On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X
VAN DEN BERG, M.E.S. (Elbie). Human reproductive cloning and biotechnology: Rational, ethical and public concerns. Koers (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.77, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2304-8557.
Previous research indicates a lack of clear international guidelines on the permissibility of embryonic stem cell research and human reproductive cloning. These studies suggest that this is the result of severe criticism from uninformed publics, whose arguments are based on misconceptions influenced by popular literature and science fiction films. However, the current research argues that public cloning attitudes that are based on real social and ethical concerns should be deployed to direct social and legal policy-making on human reproductive cloning. Addressing public concerns about human reproductive cloning is essential in exploring sound avenues for sensible biotechnology and policy-making. The research, on which this article reported, intended to give a critical evaluation of some major arguments for and against human reproductive cloning in order to establish whether or not these arguments hold up well under rational interrogation. Notwithstanding the author's critical attitude to uninformed opinions, false assumptions and unsound conclusions about the complex issue of human reproductive cloning, the author argued from the perspective that every life phenomenon is inextricably intertwined with everything else, and part of larger complex webs of interactions. Such a perspective recognised that the well-being of other human beings, including future human clones, is not only an existential, social and moral imperative but also epistemological. Against the backdrop of this perspective, critical questions arose that justified the creation of human clones in the face of possible defects and abnormalities in cloned children, as well as the possible harm to societies.