Jul 19, 2006

Is a Clone a Unique Person?

A recent article published by the BBC summarizes a new study that investigates what a human clone would feel. UK and Austrian researchers interviewed identical twins to determine their uniqueness, as compared to their sameness. The study concludes that a cloned human being would probably consider himself to be an individual, because individual twins believe their genes play only a limited role in shaping their identity.

Identical twins share exactly the same genes because they are created when a single egg is fertilised by a single sperm, but splits into two separate, but genetically identical, embryos. The physical differences between twins and clones are the conception process, the separated times of births, and that lack of two parents.

In 1997, the PONTIFICIA ACADEMIA PRO VITA answered the question of whether cloning is permissable, and concludes cloning of a human being is immoral. The document declared a child must never be an industrial product. Cloning is "an asexual and agamic reproduction" producing an individual without two parents. Yet regardless of how the body is created, the Vatican reminds us the spiritual soul is created by God and "is the essential constituent of every subject belonging to the human species."

In section 3, the document firmly announces:
Human cloning belongs to the eugenics project and is thus subject to all the ethical and juridical observations that have amply condemned it. ... In the cloning process the basic relationships of the human person are perverted: filiation, consanguinity, kinship, parenthood. ... Halting the human cloning project is a moral duty which must also be translated into cultural, social and legislative terms.

No comments: