What Justifies the Ban on Federal Funding for Nonreproductive Cloning?

Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy 16:825-841 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper explores how current United States policies for funding nonreproductive cloning are justified and argues against that justification. I show that a common conceptual framework underlies the national prohibition on the use of public funds for cloning research, which I call the simple argument. This argument rests on two premises: that research harming human embryos is unethical and that embryos produced via fertilization are identical to those produced via cloning. In response to the simple argument, I challenge the latter premise. I demonstrate there are important ontological differences between human embryos (produced via fertilization) and clone embryos (produced via cloning). After considering the implications my argument has for the morality of publicly funding cloning for potential therapeutic purposes and potential responses to my position, I conclude that such funding is not only ethically permissible, but also humane national policy.

Author's Profile

Thomas V. Cunningham
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles

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