Re: Cloning is Here

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 17:25:35 -0500

Michelle Welcks wrote:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Sound reasonable. But once the clone is accepted as a person, he can
> > justly claim the ownership of his own genome and making any clones of
> > himself is his decision, not the original clone (hmm, I have to watch
> > Multiplicity, I think).
> An interesting point. There shouldn't be any problems with owning your
> own genetic code in its entirety, but what about smaller portions?

Just as present parents have joint rights to custody of their children,
and if they are dead, their relatives all have rights based on proximity
of relation.

> been a while since I've studied genetics, but I believe there are
> tremendous amounts of reoccurring patterns in our exon DNA. I'm not
> sure about the intron material. It would be interesting trying to use
> introns as a type of PGP signature or copyright mark, but I'm afraid it
> would be too easily circumvented. Any 'current' geneticists out there?
> Backtracking a bit, I wonder if it could be well argued for the parent's
> ownership of a child's code? (Another factor for divorce court. . .)
> If the code is owned by each individual, would it be illegal for the
> parents to manufacture twins?

Nope, each parent has shared biological rights to their children, and a
legal right to contribute any portion, whole or part to a reproductive

> Regarding ownership of one's one code: If a clone was made by the owner
> (in this example one's self) and now two individuals owned rights to the
> code, as you've suggested, the legalities of one clone selling genetic
> information to another party might be interesting. Also, what happens
> if an illegal (as defined by this example) clone were made? Clearly it
> could not be denied its rights, could it?

I would say that the original has rights as a fraction in inverse
proportion to the number of generations removed that the new clone is.
Likewise, just as decendants of President Zachary Taylor had rights ( or
rather a responsibility to protect their heritage) as to the exhumation
of his body for an autopsy to determine actual cause of death,
decendants are responsible for safeguarding their genetic heritage.

> Finally, how long would one's genetic material remain under copyright?
> How long after death? Depending on that answer, who owns the currently
> deceased? If it is public domain, do we have the right to exhume their
> bodies and claim our property?
> It is unfortunate that these questions will have to be answered very
> soon and probably without much deliberation.

I think that the only difference between current family rights and
future as impacted by the reality of cloning is that a clone will have a
100% heritage from one family rather than a partial heritage from each
parent. I think that reproductive rights need to be defined as a right
to one's genetic code. The more it is divvied up or decended from, the
more dilute the rights, but they are still there.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

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