July 6, 2022

The other kind of cloning becomes agenda item

The other kind of cloning becomes agenda item

Although Woo-Suk Hwang made it clear that making babies was definitely not on his agenda, the news prompted Michael Kinsley, of the Los Angeles Times, one of the leading newspaper columnists in the US, to wonder whether reproductive cloning was so bad an idea that life-saving therapeutic cloning should be banned to stop it. “Is human cloning such an horrific concept that it crosses a line into the territory of Frankenstein and ‘Brave New World’? Well, they said the same thing 27 years ago about in-vitro fertilisation (test-tube babies), and that is now virtually uncontroversial.”

And in Britain, two renowned scientists said that it would bring enormous benefits to childless couples. Nobel Prize laureate James Watson, of DNA fame, told a conference that there was nothing inherently wrong with cloning. “I’m in favour of anything that will improve the quality of an individual family’s way of life.” And Professor Robert Edwards, who was responsible for the first test-tube baby 27 years ago, said that eventually cloning would become safe and should be permitted. “If we stand back and say it can’t be done this is letting our patients down,” he asserted.