Re: spare parts and cloning ethics

E. Shaun Russell (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 09:03:59 -0800 (PST)

On 01/03/97, Hal Finney wrote:

>The issue of the rights of animals, brainless humans, and small children
>is a difficult one. At one extreme we can say that they are owned
>creatures, and their masters can do whatever they wish with them.

Keeping an anencephalic (sp?) clone alive would be very expensive,
to say the least. You can't expect to have your brainless clone acting
exactly how you want it too because it will have no will to do anything that
you tell it. If it becomes possible to manufacture a clone that has a very
slightly developed brain, then that will delve deeply into an ethical issue
about "what life is." Food and clothing will be essential, and bathing
would be desired; hygiene will be necessary if you want the parts you'll
take from it to be healthy. There will probably be some emotional
attachment to this clone, due to the fact that it looks nearly identical to
what you or someone you know once looked, not to mention the build up of
emotional attachment because of the years of "mothering" or "fathering" the
clone. Imagine having a severely mentally handicapped child for thirty
years then suddenly taking his\her heart or liver. I would do it if
necessary, but there are definately better alternatives.

I think the best idea regarding cloning thus far is the one of
cryogenically freezing an anencephalic clone, then taking its parts *but*
remember that it would have to be grown so that the organs etc. would be
compatible. Who would raise the clone to that point? Cloning certainly has
its ups and downs, but I think that there are a lot more feasible methods of
extending life and growing body parts.

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

~~~:~~~> E. ternity E. Shaun Russell
:~~> E. xpansion
:~~~> E. xtropy Extropic Artist,
Transhumanities editor for
"Between the idea and the reality falls the Homo Excelsior Magazine
Shadow" --T.S. Eliot ("The Hollow Men")