Re: Anti-cloning explained

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sun Aug 12 2001 - 23:59:59 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:

> No! No! Please don't, Ken, even in irony or whimsy! They're *utterly*
> separate issues; I don't want to see cryonics win out at the expense of
> vicious abortion bans.

Thank you, Damien, I will take your admonition under advisement. However, I do
not believe these are so separate. But, you are right, I don't want vicious
abortion bans either.

There is something fundamental about the boundary conditions for when human life
starts and stops. It plays into so many of issues we discuss on this list.
Abortion, cryonics, individual rights, rights of parents to control medical
treatment of their children, rights of hospice patients to physician assisted
suicide, etc. all have come connection to when in development someone gets or
looses some kind of personhood status.

The rights of frozen embryos are now in the news. Yes, someone will argue that
all embryos have at least as many rights as the Frozen, and then connect to the
abortion issues. The counter argument is that embryos that are connected to
women's bodies have to take a secondary rights position to the rights of women to
control their bodies. The new twist I have heard from the Right is that in the
case of the Frozen, the control of the women's body is out of the equation, so
the latent right to life of the embryo comes to the front.

What I find curious is that the respect being sprinkled on the Frozen, has
nothing to do with what they are (clumps of cells that up until recently were
considered the same as dead biopsy samples), but entirely for their 'potential'
personhood. This get back to my earlier post about what you can do to live sperm
and eggs that you cannot do to inanimate frozen embryos. And yet, we have a
cultural disrespect for cryo suspension of adults, even though, extrapolation of
scientific trends clearly show that these folks have 'potential' to reassert
their already established personhood.

I guess your best shot is to be sure to get pregnant just prior to cryo


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