HIGHTOWER: Why Not Clone Humans?

Once again [swelling movietone news-style music] science marches on ... and on ... until it tramples right over humanity's moral fences.It was less than a year ago that a lamb called Dolly was [quote] "born" -- not through nature's process of the egg and the sperm, but by being cloned in a laboratory from an adult cell. This had previously been thought impossible, but there Dolly was: proof that mankind could clone entire animals ... even humans. "Hold on," the scientific establishment shouted at those of us who raised ethical concerns, "we have NO INTEREST in cloning people, so quit trying to alarm folks with your 'Brave New World' scenarios."Not even a year later, though, the same establishment that was saying "never" ... is suddenly saying "Why not?" Indeed, according to the New York Times, the experiments are already underway. Dr. Steen Willadsen, a cloning pioneer, says flatly: "It's just a matter of time before the first human is cloned."It's easy for entrepreneurs to envision big profits from chains of cloning centers. After all, they argue, its just another way of reproducing. Infertile couples could clone themselves, producing babies that are themselves. Or, grieving parents of a terminally-ill child literally could reproduce that child through cloning. And what about cloning to create a ready source of body parts for ill people? Far-fetched? The Times cites a doctor who says: "If any of my relatives got cancer, I would clone them" and use the clone as a bone marrow donor to save the relative's life.This is Jim Hightower saying ... Here we go again, rushing down that slippery slope of immorality, and chasing an "immortality" with no functioning brakes. Why not "designer children," too? Tiger Woods could create a whole new revenue stream by literally selling little pieces of himself! What a Brave New World the cloners offer.Source:"On Cloning Humans, 'Never' Turns swiftly into 'Why Not' by Gina Kolata. New York Times: Dec. 2, 1997.

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