The Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life

In Heiner Roetz (ed.), Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: The Example of Human Cloning. Rodopi. pp. 1-16 (2006)
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Abstract In 1998, the Council for Science and Technology established the Bioethics Committee and asked its members to examine the ethical and legal aspects of human cloning. The Committee concluded in 1999 that human cloning should be prohibited, and, based on the report, the government presented a bill for the regulation of human cloning in 2000. After a debate in the Diet, the original bill was slightly modified and issued on December 6, 2000. In this paper, I take a closer look at this process and discuss some of the ethical problems that were debated. Also, I make a brief analysis of the concept “the sprout of human life.” Not only people who object to human cloning, but also many of those who seek to promote research on human cloning admit that a human embryo is the sprout of human life and, hence, it should be highly respected. I also discuss the function of the language of utilitarianism, the language of skepticism, and religious language appeared in the discussion of human cloning in Japan.
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