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Human Cloning


a way of creating embryos for fetal tissue and stem cell research. Twinning ... cloning and stem cells. Fetal tissue research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Human Cloning

Human Cloning
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  • Self, Society, and Technology
  • Scot D. Yoder

  • Types of human cloning
  • Cloning and stem cell research
  • Cloning for human reproduction

Types of cloning
  • Reproductive vs. therapeutic cloning
  • Twinning and delayed twinning

Reproductive vs. therapeutic cloning
  • Reproductive
  • cloning a human being
  • a new form of human reproduction
  • Therapeutic
  • human cloning
  • a way of creating embryos for fetal tissue and
    stem cell research

  • An embryo is split resulting in two genetically
    identical embryos
  • Primary use is for therapeutic cloning

Delayed twinning
  • Genetic material from a fully developed human is
    used to create an offspring.
  • Current technology employs somatic cell nuclear
    transfer (SCNT).

Somatic cell nuclear transfer
A brief history of the stem cell controversy
  • Fetal tissue research
  • stem cell research
  • cloning and stem cells

Fetal tissue research
  • Mid 80s Fetal tissue began to show promise in
    treatment of certain diseases -- e.g.,

Fetal tissue research
  • 1988 DHHS placed a moratorium on the use of
    human fetal tissue for transplant and the use of
    federal funds for research using tissue from
    aborted fetuses.

Fetal tissue research
  • 1989 NIH issued statement that it was
    acceptable to use tissue from spontaneously
    aborted fetuses or ectopic pregnancies.
  • 1992 Bush authorized creation of five tissue

Fetal tissue research
  • January 1993 Clinton lifted moratorium.
  • October 1993 Congress terminated funding for
    support of research and transplantation.

From tissue to embryos
  • 1994 Human Embryo Research Panel recommended
    that federal funding be approved for research
    involving human embryos created for experimental
  • The embryo could not be more than 14 days old.
  • Clinton rejected the proposal.
  • 1995 Law passed prohibiting use of federal
    funds to support research in which a human embryo
    is destroyed.

Embryos and stem cells
  • 1998 Two researchers announced that they had
    succeeded in isolating and culturing human
    embryonic stem cells
  • 2001 Bush enacts policy on stem cell research
  • Allows research on the existing stem cell lines
  • Prohibits using federal funds to acquire new stem
    cells through the destruction of embryos.

Stem cells
  • Stem cells can be harvested from both embryos and
  • Embryonic stem cells are thought to be more

Stem cell cultivation
Treatment possibilities
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Parkinsons
  • Diabetes
  • Spinal cord injuries

Sources of embryonic stem cells
  • Frozen embryos
  • Aborted fetuses
  • Embryos created through human cloning
  • Solves the problem of immunological rejection

Key questions
  • Does the embryo have moral standing?
  • If not, is there any reason to respect it and
    give it protection?

Brief history of reproductive cloning
  • In 1996 Dolly was born using SCNT

Brief history of reproductive cloning
  • In 1997 the National Bioethics Advisory Council
  • A moratorium on using federal funds to support
    attempts to create a child by SCNT.
  • Voluntary moratorium on the part of private
  • Legislation prohibiting attempts to create a
    child through SCNT

Brief history of reproductive cloning
  • In 2001 Researchers at Advanced Cell Technologies
    reported that they had successfully created a
    human embryo through cloning.

Brief history of reproductive cloning
  • In 2003 Clonaid reported (unverified) that they
    had produced a live birth through cloning.

Two types of moral arguments
  • Two general types of arguments are used for and
    against reproductive cloning.
  • Rights-based arguments
  • Appeal to fundamental human rights implicated by
    human cloning.
  • Goal-based arguments (consequentialist)
  • Appeals to the benefits or harms of human cloning.

Rights-based arguments for
  • The right to procreative freedom
  • the right to select the means of reproduction
  • the right to determine what kind of children to
  • The right to scientific freedom
  • based on First Amendment right to free speech

Goal-based arguments for
  • Medical
  • A new means to relieve infertility.
  • Allow couples to avoid transmitting genetically
    inherited diseases.
  • Allow people to obtain needed organs or tissues
    for transplantation.

Goal-based arguments for
  • Non-medical
  • Enable individuals to clone someone who had
    special meaning to them.
  • Enable the duplication of individuals with great
    talent, genius, character, etc.
  • To achieve immortality (e.g., the Raelians).

Rights-based arguments against
  • It would violate ones right to have a unique
  • It would violate ones right to have an open
    future (to be ignorant of ones future).

Goal-based arguments against
  • Harms to the clone
  • Psychological distress and harm
  • Physical risks
  • Harm to society
  • Diminish worth of individuals and respect for
    human life
  • Divert resources from other more important social
    and medical needs
  • Reduce diversity of the human gene pool

Leon Kass on cloning
  • In 2001 Leon Kass was appointed by President Bush
    to head the National Bioethcis Advisory Council.
  • The repugnance of cloning
  • Arguments against cloning
  • Cloning and the biotech project

The repugnance of cloning
  • We have, in general, been morally desensitized,
    so that we now accept things we shouldnt.
  • The theme of individual procreative liberty
    distorts what is unique and important about human
  • We have an intuitive repugnance to cloning -- we
    should trust and investigate that intuition.

Kass on repugnance
We are repelled by the prospect of cloning human
beings not because of the strangeness or novelty
of the undertaking, but because we intuit and
feel, immediately and without argument, the
violation of things that we rightfully hold dear.
Repugnance, here as elsewhere, revolts against
the excesses of human willfulness, warning us not
to transgress what is unspeakably profound. --
Kass, The Wisdom of Repugnance
Kass arguments
  • Cloning threatens identity and individuality.
  • Includes social identity and kinship ties
  • Cloning transforms procreation into the
    manufacture or production of human children.
  • Cloning represents a form of despotism over
    children and a perversion of parenthood.

Kass on the biotech project
  • For Kass, it is important to look at human
    cloning in the context of the larger biotech

The biotech project
  • Utopian visions based on the belief that science
    and technology will help us overcome nature.
  • Beyond healing to changing human nature.
  • Reproductive and genetic technologies and
  • The result is a dehumanized, or post-human
    future like that depicted in Huxleys Brave New

Why difficult to control?
  • The belief that technological progress is
    inevitable if it can be done, it will be done.
  • Cultural emphasis on individual freedom
  • The biomedical enterprise is justified on
    humanitarian grounds
  • A culture of ethical relativism
  • The economic interest in biotech

What will help us?
  • We have lost our innocence.
  • Freedom of inquiry vs. freedom of action
  • Our willingness to limit biomedical science in
    the name of human freedom and dignity.
  • Resistance to the commodification of human life.
  • Most Americans are still revolted by a
    post-human future.