March 14, 2007

Human cloning ban introduced in State House

Posted in State Politics at 4:23 pm by Paul Smith Jr

Human cloning ban introduced in House

People convicted of violating H.B. 76’s ban on cloning could face up to five years in prison and fines up to $1.5 million for each offense, as well as the loss of any professional licenses issued by the state.

Convicted violators of the bill’s bans on trafficking embryos would face fines up to $1 million for each offense and up to five years in prison.

Dr. Mary McCrossan, who has a family practice in Wilmington and is a member of A Rose and a Prayer, said the bill would allow embryos declared as excess at in vitro clinics and slated to be destroyed to be used for research.

S.B. 5 sets out a series of conditions under which couples can voluntarily donate such frozen embryos for research.

I’d like to thank Joe Miro for submitting this bill. Cloning is the creation of new human life, usually for the object of experimentation. This violates the common sense moral standard of treating every person as an end in themselves rather than an means to another end. Every human life has value and needs to respected as such.

Just because we’re able to do something, doesn’t mean we’d be right to do so. As an extreme example, we can drop a nuclear bomb on Iraq and kill many terrorists quickly and some not so quickly, but that would be wrong from a moral point of view. (As well as strategic, but that’s beside this point.) So we wouldn’t do that. But with time cloning could make that nuclear bomb death toll look like chicken feed.

We may think that a clone is just another version of the original person. But that’s not the case. Just because two people share the same genetic sequence doesn’t make them the same person. Think of a set of identical twins. The pair of twins I know well are quite different people, and frankly are easy to tell apart, but are identical twins nonetheless. We’ve seen example of this with cloning as well. A cat was cloned (although why anyone would want to clone a cat is beyond me) and named “CC” for carbon copy. The picture below of CC and her mother shows that CC is anything but a carbon copy.

So much for the “carbon-copy” idea. CC is clearly a distinct individual cat. (CC’s the one on the right.) The same would apply for a cloned human. If someone were to clone me, the clone might not turn out to be the wonderful, smart, and modest human being I am. Cloning me for the purpose of scientific study would be creating a new life solely to experiment upon. Even the Nazis, for all their evil, never did that.

We need to ban the practice of human cloning to keep from going further down this path we’re on. Urge your representative to vote for HB 76.

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