Human reproductive cloning: A conflict of liberties

Bioethics 24 (2):71-77 (2010)
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Abstract

Proponents of human reproductive cloning do not dispute that cloning may lead to violations of clones' right to self-determination, or that these violations could cause psychological harms. But they proceed with their endorsement of human reproductive cloning by dismissing these psychological harms, mainly in two ways. The first tactic is to point out that to commit the genetic fallacy is indeed a mistake; the second is to invoke Parfit's non-identity problem. The argument of this paper is that neither approach succeeds in removing our moral responsibility to consider and to prevent psychological harms to cloned individuals. In fact, the same commitment to personal liberty that generates the right to reproduce by means of cloning also creates the need to limit that right appropriately. Discussion of human reproductive cloning ought to involve a careful and balanced consideration of both the relevant aspects of personal liberty – the parents' right to reproductive freedom and the cloned child's right to self-determination.

Author's Profile

Joyce C. Havstad
University of Utah

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