Re: POLITICS: Cloning

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 16:24:01 MDT

This is going to be a mess. Consider that clones are made today in fertility
labs. I can envision the case in which a couple is using the services of a
fertility lab to do genetic selection because they have some kind of genetic
disorder that makes it too risky to use nature's way. In this case several
embryos may be cloned and tested to come up with one set of clones to be
implanted. Right to Life folks are not happy with this because some embryos
get terminated. So far, not much problem, and I am sure new laws will not
stop this practice.

Now let us suppose that the couple above ends up with a healthy child who
makes them very happy. Unfortunately, the child dies by some terrible
accident. Fortunately, the couple banked the other embryos, so they can try
again with the same genotype. It seems to me, this may be the start of a
legal problem, but no jury is going to put the grieving couple away for
starting over, let alone take the kid away after having been shown the dead
baby pictures with the implied question "What would you have done?"

Now let us take out the accident. The couple likes the kid so much, they
want another. Rather than going through the genetic selection again, they
decide to use a banked embryo to have the other twin. However, we now have
the problem of technology making twins that are not of the same (living)
age. Good lawyers would introduce the idea of the case above in the minds of
the jury, and put it to them that they would not have convicted had the first
child died, so how could they convict now? Further, they could argue that
the frozen embryo should not be discriminated against just because an older
sibling has the same genotype; why should the existence of the older sibling
diminish the embryo's Right to Life?

Next suppose that one of the twins above grows up and decides that he/she
wants a clone. The key step is now a trip to the freezer, no egg hunt, no
nuclear transfer. The Right to Life folks are going to want to see that
embryo have one. If hauled into court, the adult twin could truthfully deny
having done the cloning, and argue the line that he/she had just rescued
his/her brother/sister from life threatening danger should the freezer fail.
If the ban on cloning people let this one slip through, they put themselves
in the position of saying that it is okay to have a bank of your clones made
before you were born, but not made later, although the result is going to be
the same.

I predict that the product of ban on cloning laws is going to be waay too
much fun (and money) for lawyers. I agree with Robert, just wait. I am.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 10:00:00 MDT