'No' to human cloning

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'No' to human cloning

There is some alarming news from Clonaid, a human cloning company associated with a religious group called the Raelian movement, that a test subject is now carrying a cloned embryo. The announcement would be even more shocking if this were not a group that says its founder was told by aliens that life on earth is an extraterrestrial genetic experiment.

In any case, we need not take a position on the credibility of this particular announcement to note that it again points out the dangers of cloning of complete human beings, which we oppose. Embryo cloning stops prudently after the intended stem cells are procured from embryos less than 14 days old. Human cloning goes far beyond that. Clonaid claims that their experiments will bring hope to infertile parents and dismisses opposition to cloning as being the same as opposition to in vitro fertilization 20 years ago. But the latter process does not tinker with the natural process of the fertilization of an egg by sperm. Human cloning reproduces a ?win child?of either parent with only a speck of skin or any other cell specimen. Could we seriously consider this a normal human child?

Human cloning would bring jarring religious and cultural shocks to our society along with its supposed benefits. Such complete manipulation of nature also goes against the universal belief in the respect for life. Most advanced countries have already passed laws strictly prohibiting human cloning.

We lack such laws. Even if one is skeptical of this particular announcement, it is still a wake-up call to put into law a set of cell cloning guidelines that the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Science and Technology have drawn up.

This Clonaid stir should also make us consider what should be done in the case of women who go abroad for the purpose of being impregnated by cloning and then return here to give birth. The issue is that under the proposed guidelines, only those who perform such a procedure are at risk of a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; there are no penalties for those who have been impregnated. What scientific technology a society should embrace is the people? choice, not scientists? Human cloning should never be allowed in this society.
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