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Friday, April 25, 2014

Human cloning: Science as tool or master?

In an oddly titled Washington Post editorial, "Stem cells: Good or evil?" the usually clear and readable Post suddenly prefers sterile, technical language ("something called somatic cell nuclear transfer") over the much more readily understood term, human cloning. The editorial suggests that a new process simply involves "creating stem cells cloned from the normal skin cells of adults," when in fact researchers actually cloned and killed living human embryos like utilitarian lab rats.
Gallup polling shows that 83 percent of Americans oppose human cloning; hence the obfuscation.
Several decades of grant-seeking researchers' scandalous propaganda and hundreds of millions of research dollars thrown at embryo-destructive research have produced zero cures. Yet the Post persists in promoting the hype, asserting that human cloning will at long last produce "extraordinary new treatments." Yes, we've heard it all before--"cures of biblical proportion," paraplegics "leaping out of wheelchairs." Following this yellow brick road unfortunately diverts precious funds away from ethically non-controversial and proven effective non-destructive stem cell research.
The editorial also ignores the exploitation of and health risks posed to egg donors, especially poor women, by the hormonal harvesting procedures required for human cloning. Moreover, if human cloning is technically perfected, no law will prevent rogue scientists from cloning a baby, along with potential horrific physical defects and unspeakable psychological trauma.
Science is a powerful tool that can serve us well within ethical boundaries and critical scrutiny. Without such boundaries and scrutiny, we will become its victims--and in the case of cloned human beings, its slaves.

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