[EDITORIALS]No to human cloning

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[EDITORIALS]No to human cloning

What we have long feared appears to have happened. According to foreign media reports, Clonaid, a company associated with a group that believes extraterrestrials created mankind through cloning, has successfully produced the first human clone, an infant girl who is genetically identical to her 30-year-old mother.

Although no tests have been carried out to confirm whether the baby is a real clone, such an accomplishment seems feasible, considering the scientific advances in this field. We support the cloning of human embryos to obtain stem cells for therapeutic purposes. But we oppose reproductive cloning to produce human babies for three reasons.

First, science and technology should respect the accepted social and cultural values. For both religious and ethical reasons a human must be born through the fertilization of an egg with sperm. It is against God's will to produce humans through processes using somatic cells.

Second, cloning can create social disorder and be abused. For example, one could have three or four clones of himself for spare organs.

Third is the issue of the human rights of clones. Side effects, including genetic diseases and abnormally rapid aging, have been seen in clone animals. Such abnormalities were caused by biological instability introduced during cloning. If cloned humans come down with diseases that nobody has ever suffered, who would take the responsibility?

The birth of a cloned baby, if true, is a typical case that shows us the danger in using science and technology that is ethically intolerable and can be taken advantage of so easily. A social consensus is necessary to control the galloping developments in cutting-edge technology because some malicious scientists could do damage to millions of people. In that respect, ethics legislation must be enacted as soon as possible to provide the legal ground for punishing attempts to clone humans. Under no circumstance should the cloning of humans be allowed.

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