Ethical Issues in Human Cloning: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

Ethical Issues in Human Cloning: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

Ethical Issues in Human Cloning: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

Ethical Issues in Human Cloning: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives


A refreshingly comprehensive & balanced overview of the complex arguments, for & against, human cloning. This timely anthology offers a range of expert opinion, from scientific, religious (western & non-western), philosophical & legal points of view on all the major ethical issues surrounding this controversial subject. Readable, concise & highly engaging, readers will acquire a broader & deeper understanding of both sides of the issues.


Just about everyone has heard of "Dolly," the lamb cloned from an udder cell of an adult sheep. This happened at the Roslin Institute, formerly known as the Animal Breeding Research Station, near Edinburgh, Scotland. Udder cells had been taken from the six-year-old ewe and frozen. As to the fate of this ewe, no one seems to know, although it's safe to guess that she may have ended up on the plates of some unknowing Scots.

So instead, let's talk about my sisters, Margaret and Marie, who, as natural identical twins, are about as close as possible to being pure clones. They share the same genotype, and they look remarkably alike. They even share a passion for dancing. Naturally gifted, they danced their way together from Newport, Rhode Island, to Stephens College in Missouri, becoming part of its faculty; now they run their own successful studio. At the same time, they are decidedly different in numerous ways. They are worlds apart in disposition and personality. Even in the domain of dance, they have different specialties--the temperament for ballet is radically unlike that for modern jazz.

The moral of this tale is clear. Even with natural clones such as my sisters, precise genetic copies do not translate into exact duplicates. In contrast to science fiction, science fact indicates that exact copies of Hitler, Mozart, and so on are impossible. What is possible has been demonstrated to us through the birth of Dolly: just as we had formerly produced genetic copies of molecules, cells, and plants, we could now produce genetic copies of animals. The more stunning news, however, is that we can now use adult cells as donors, cells that have already become specialized and differentiated.

Let's get back to Dolly. Dolly was born on July 5, 1996, and soon after the headlines first appeared--nearly eight months later, in February 1997--describing the successful cloning by Ian Wilmut and his colleagues, Dolly and Wilmut . . .

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