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Science Matters

The Science and Ethics of Reproductive Cloning

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Popular news magazines report that for $30,000 you can clone your cat, and soon you will be able to clone your dog. As cloning technologies advance, so do the hopes and fears of people around the world—imagining that the reality of human cloning may be closer than we think. Several organizations are working to institute a worldwide ban on reproductive cloning, but many countries oppose such a ban based on the belief that all cloning techniques should be available in medical research. While many favor research on therapeutic cloning for treating human disease and illness, reproductive cloning for producing offspring has always been far more controversial. Issues of concern include the fear of eugenics, safety of current and future technologies, and potential benefits vs. unknown social and biological consequences. In this light, panelists discussed the complex moral, ethical and legal issues that infuse the debate on reproductive cloning.

Science Presentation:

Dr. Edward McCabe started the program with a science presentation explaining the basic science and future course of reproductive cloning, differentiating myth from reality regarding current cloning technologies.

Download Dr. McCabe's PowerPoint presentation by clicking here.

Panel Discussion:

Four featured panelists offered different perspectives on the science, practice and ethics of cloning. Panelists included: (click name for bio)

Geoffrey Cowan, LL.B.—moderator

Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Southern California

Lori B. Andrews, J.D.

Distinguished Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Associate Vice President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Edward R.B. McCabe, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Co-Director, UCLA Center for Society and Genetics (CSG)

Hassan Hathout, M.D., Ph.D.

Islamic bioethicist and author of the acclaimed book Reading the Muslim Mind
Retired Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kuwait University

Panayiotis Zavos, Ph.D.

Director, Andrology Institute of America, Lexington, Kentucky
Associate Director, Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine & IVF
Art & Science Seminar :

In conjunction with the panel discussion, a small round-table seminar pursued the topic from a broader point of view. This facilitated discussion explored the foundations of our respect and appreciation for human life through selections of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. With the help of this masterpiece of Western thought, participants interpreted Aristotle’s meaning, and brought this ethical test to bear on the complexities of the topic considered in the panel discussion.

Admission to this Art & Science program was Free for Members and $10 for non-Members.

A Special Exhibit:

A special exhibit developed by the Dallas Museum of Art entitled After Life complements the panel discussion and seminar by exploring perceptions of death, dying and rebirth among diverse world cultures through art.

If you would like to participate in our Online Journal discussion inspired by this exhibit, please visit www.ArtAndScienceStudio.org.

Resources for Further Reading



State Laws:

Home | Stem Cell Research | Defining Life and Death | Reproductive Cloning

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