IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- Introduction
Why all the hoopla over cloning? Shouldn’t human cloning be a perfectly legitimate, albeit extraordinary, form of reproduction?The CRI Perspective in a moment…
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- 1973
As has been well said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The stark reality of this sentiment was born out in 1973 when Christians quietly lost a major battle in the war against abortion. Two and a half decades later the far reaching impact of this loss is being felt in a raging debate over human cloning. While Pandora’s box is already open, Christians must do all that is permissible to speak out and prevent a human clone from emerging.
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- Richard Seed
Richard Seed’s preposterous plan to produce 200,000 human clones per year has caught the attention of politicians and pastors, as well as the president of the United States. According to Seed, “Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God.”1 Following Seed’s outrageous remarks, President Clinton immediately pushed Congress for a five–year moratorium on human cloning.2
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- The Painful Process
In theory, cloning adult humans would be similar to cloning adult animals.3 Thus for Richard Seed to succeed in his biological schemes, he would first have to harvest women’s eggs, fuse them with the nucleus of human cells, and then implant the reworked eggs into the wombs of surrogate mothers, dooming almost all of the embryos to failure and death during the tortuous experimental phase. While Seed sees this as an intoxicating proposition, the leaders of 19 European nations signed a treaty declaring that cloning is “contrary to human dignity and constitutes a misuse of biology and medicine.”4 Like the leaders of these countries, Christian leaders must also speak out clearly and concisely against human cloning.
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- First…
First, producing a human clone would require experimentation on hundreds if not thousands of live human embryos. In reality the entire bloody process would be the moral equivalent of the human experiments carried out by Nazi scientists under Hitler.
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- Furthermore…
Furthermore, if defects were detected in developing clones, abortion would no doubt be the solution of choice. And make no mistake — the notion that an embryo has full personhood from the moment of conception is no longer a theological proposition, it is a plain old scientific fact.5
IS HUMAN CLONING ETHICAL- Finally…
Finally, cloning has serious implications regarding what constitutes a family. While children are the result of spousal reproduction, clones are essentially the result of scientific replication.6 To wit the question, who owns the clone? It is terrifying to consider the fact that the first human clone might well be “owned and operated” by none other than Richard Seed.That’s the CRI Perspective, I’m Hank Hanegraaff.
- The Associated Press, USA Today, 7 January 1998, Nation (www.USA.com).
- Linda Chavez, “Cloning and Abortion: Two Sides of a Coin,” The Orange County Register, 15 January 1998, Metro section, 9.
- It is important to note that while it is theoretically possible to clone a human body, the human spirit can never be cloned. As with twins, the clone may share the genetic blueprint with the body from which it is derived but would nevertheless remain distinct with respect to soul or spirit.
- Joseph Schuman, The Orange County Register, 13 January 1998, Front Page.
- French geneticist Jerome LeJeune explains, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence” (italics added); quoted in Francis J. Beckwith, Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 42. Many other leading medical experts echo LeJeune’s words. These experts include Dr. Matthews-Roth, a principal research associate in the department of Medicine at Harvard (see Beckwith, 43), and Dr Hymie Gordon, professor of medical genetics and a physician at the Mayo Clinic (see Beckwith, 42). While Pro-abortionists try to separate “human life” from “personhood,” this distinction is merely a semantic deception. Personhood is an essential attribute of human nature; if one is a human life, he or she is naturally also a human person.
- In essence cloning is a form of asexual reproduction.