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Ethics of Cloning

General Resources | Opposing Views | Religious Perspectives

The ethical issues surrounding the topic of cloning mainly focus on human cloning, although some people have explored ethical issues in animal cloning. (Because very little could be found free on the Web about the ethics of animal cloning, that is not included here for now). One distinction to keep in mind when reading ethical statements about human cloning is the difference between reproductive cloning (to produce a new human being or animal) and therapeutic cloning (now often referred to simply as somatic cell nuclear transfer) which creates an embryo for research or therapeutic purposes, such as to create stem cells, but not to implant into a mother.

General Resources:

Primer on Ethics and Human Cloning by Glenn McGee, Associate Director for Education, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Center for Bioethics.

Articles on ethics and cloning can be found on Bioethics.net which includes articles published in the American Journal of Bioethics.

Opposing Views on Human Cloning:

  • Reproductive Cloning Network was the main site to find articles in favor of human cloning with links to news, commentary and discussion forums, but the site now appears to be taken down. The spokesman Randolfe Wicker, is also founder of the Clone Rights United Front, a pro-human-cloning activist site.

 

Religious Perspectives:

Some thoughts of different religious and non-religious private groups on the morality of human cloning are presented here. Aside from the Roman Catholic Church which has a centralized authority, the perspectives within a single religious group are offered by different theologians and can vary.

  • Church of Scotland, Science, Religion and Technology Project, Cloning and Stem Cells Home Page

    "The Society, Religion and Technology Project was begun by the Church of Scotland in 1970, to address wider issues being raised by modern technology." This group seeks balanced consideration of the ethical implications raised by new scientific findings, it informs the church of developments, and contributes to governmental ethical debates. The Cloning and Stem Cells Home Page addresses the ethics and morality of cloning humans and animals and is the best and most extensive Web site exploring cloning from a religious perspective.

  • The Roman Catholic Church

Several statement have been made by the Roman Catholic church condemming any attempt to clone humans. The Pontifical Academy for Life, founded by Pope John Paul II, issued this reflections on cloning and AmericanCatholic.org has a page on Cloning and Catholic Ethics.

  • Some Jewish Perspectives on Cloning: