Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Should Humans Be Cloned?

Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Should Humans Be Cloned?

Article excerpt

New methods can create a baby who is your genetic twin

YES

The cloning of human beings is now possible. Scientists can take an egg cell, remove its DNA, insert DNA from a cell of any person, and create an embryo who is that person's younger but identical twin. This technology offers a miracle option for families who cannot have children of their own by any other method. After 25 years as a fertility specialist, trying to help couples have babies, I have joined with scientists in Europe and elsewhere to develop that option. By doing so, I believe, we will be helping humanity.

It is true that the cloning of animals--such as Dolly the sheep, created in Scotland in 1997--has so far had a high failure rate and is fraught with risks. But those risks have been exaggerated, and many of them have resulted from improper cloning. Meanwhile, I can show you e-mails from thousands of families eager to accept those risks. They say in their messages that if they are able to have a child through cloning, they will love that son or daughter just as much as they would any other.

Believe it or not, the genie is out of the bottle. Human cloning will be done whether we like it or not. I think we should accept it, make it legal, regulate it, and make sure it is done in a responsible, scientifically correct way --not left to unscrupulous black-market exploiters.

--PANOS ZAVOS, PH.D. Director, Andrology Institute of America Lexington, Ky. …

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