Do Ethics Stop Us Cloning Video

This medical video looks into the ethical argument behind cloning.
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Jennifer Matthews: Liz Catalan has almost everything she's ever dreamed of. Liz Catalan: I have my husband. I have a good job. I have my dogs. I have my friends, but there is still that little bit missing and it is always there. Jennifer Matthews: After years of struggling with infertility, Liz's time for having kids is running out. Liz Catalan: We are all, as women, we are born with that maternal instinct and unless you are in the same shoes, you don't know how it feels. Jennifer Matthews: Liz learned about reproductive cloning in her own online research. By extracting the DNA from an unfertilized egg, scientists can potentially put Liz's own cells into that egg, implant it, and create a child genetically identical to herself. That's exactly how Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996. Liz Catalan: I never had reservations no matter how much I read about it, about cloning. Jennifer Matthews: But many people do have reservations. Doctor David Stevens, head of the Christian Medical Association, is vehemently opposed to it. Dr. David Stevens: I think all human cloning should be banned and there's no difference morally between the two whether it is reproductive or therapeutic, you are creating a human being and sacrificing it for scientific purposes. Jennifer Matthews: Although most scientists agree reproductive cloning should be banned, many say therapeutic cloning is entirely different. Daniel Perry heads up the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. Daniel Perry: We think they should ban reproductive cloning creating a baby, but stem cells don't create babies. Therapeutic cloning creates stem cells, not babies. Jennifer Matthews: Those stem cells could potentially save millions of lives. But Doctor Stevens says even those few cells should not be sacrificed. Dr. David Stevens: Good ends do not justify bad means and I think we cannot destroy human life to save human life. Jennifer Matthews: Under President Bush, federal money cannot be used for embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9th, 2001. Daniel Perry: That's a consequence of a policy that is too restrictive, too heavy-handed and has side-lined American scientists in one of the most promising areas of medical research. Jennifer Matthews: Professor Bonnie Steinbock supports that research but says we shouldn't be so quick to stop reproductive cloning either. Dr. Bonnie Steinbock: The interesting question, I think, both philosophically and bioethically is what if it could be made safe? Jennifer Matthews: She believes cloning could eventually be as accepted as in vitro fertilization. Dr. Bonnie Steinbock: It's not clear to me that it is that different to the point that we would have to say, no, we could never do that. There must be an universal, absolute, forever ban on it. Why? Jennifer Matthews: That's the same question Liz is asking. She was raised a Catholic, but doesn't think twice about the possibility of cloning. Liz Catalan: I definitely think my God would be hand-in-hand with me, walking down that, you know, road with me. Jennifer Matthews: Steinbock says we should keep our minds, and the future, open. Dr. Bonnie Steinbock: Not so long ago, people shuddered at interracial marriage. Some people shudder at the thought of gay marriage. I don't shudder at either of those and I'm not so sure I shudder at cloning either. Jennifer Matthews: Whether you agree with Steinbock or not, this ethical debate is far from over. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting. In February 2004, researchers from South Korea announced that they had cloned the first human embryo to extract stem cells from it -- making human cloning that much closer.

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