November 21, 2007

Ignoring the Children for the Clones

A clone of clonesLast week on CNE I was blogging about the reproductive cloning legislation study by the United Nations University's Institute of Advanced Studies. They suggested more international legislation. Apparently not because there is too much cloning going on, but simply because so many countries make anti-cloning legislation.

The real problem here is that anti-cloning legislation is getting introduced for all the wrong reasons. Defending human dignity, identity or traditional biology are problematic foundations for laws given how little agreement there is about their nature or normativity. But current cloning methods are likely to be inefficient and risky for the health of the cloned child, making reproductive cloning unacceptable in any civilized society for the foreseeable (near) future. So it would make more sense to push for laws preventing the unnecessary risking of children's health rather than stopping reproductive cloning. That would achieve both the aim of curtailing reproductive cloning as well as any other dangerous practice. But yuck-based legislation efforts does not care much for that kind of rationality.

It is all a bit like making cigarette smoking illegal while ignoring pipe, cigar and marijuana smoking because they have other cultural connotations.

Posted by Anders3 at November 21, 2007 12:50 AM