Re: Cloning given the kook treatment.

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 00:37:46 MST

We're up against the children-as-chattel thing, too. Spang on. This is *very* tricky territory. Also speaks to the
"should parents hack their kids" thinking I've contributed to recently.

What is a birth defect? Who decides? When? How? Who says? wrote:
> In a message dated 3/29/01 10:58:59 AM, writes:
> >Oh of course, I'm thinking more along the lines of Dr. Moreau.... ;) The
> >problems can't be fixed unless research is allowed. All the US
> >legislation (and in other developed countries) is doing is ensuring that
> >the test subjects will be third worlders, under no legal protections...
> Research needs to be done, but it needs to be done on primates. The catch
> of restricting research, of course, is people who currently want cloning,
> such as infertile couples, but may be too old to raise a child by the time
> it's low-risk for people.
> One important ethical point, in relation to the infertile, is that our society
> *absolutely* allows reproduction that puts the fetus at great risk, as
> long as it's the only option for the parents. Tay-Sachs or cystic fibrosis
> carrier couples can have children, even though they have a 1/4 risk of
> producing a child with defects far worse than what have come from
> cloning. Huntingdon's carriers can reproduce with a 50% risk of a very
> nasty disease. Couples with serious fertility problems are downright
> encouraged to keep trying, even after multiple miscarriages show another
> is a virtual certainty. Even when risk is avoidable - such as fetal alcohol
> syndrome - punishment is rare and severe punishment absent.
> If fetal risk requires barring cloning even for infertile couples, integrity
> requires we shut down most infertility treatment and unleash the hounds of
> eugenics on carriers. I don't want to do that, and I hope most other people
> don't either. Unfortunately, Congress isn't know for ethical integrity.
> It is unnerving, though, that this ban would provide future precedent for
> eugenics legislation. The basic principle: that Congress may legislate
> reproduction for the purpose of protecting good genetics, is the founding
> principle of coercive eugenics.

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