Human Cloning Should be Condemned
On November 25, 2001, the news that a firm called Advanced Cell Technology had created human embryos by cloning added new urgency to Congress's and the nation's deliberations on this issue.
This past summer, by a 265-to-162 margin, the House of Representatives passed a carefully worded ban on human cloning (H.R. 2505) which President Bush has said he will sign into law. The leadership of the Senate nonetheless has refused to take action on this measure, or even to consider a temporary moratorium on human cloning research. Further delay will only encourage some researchers to take further irresponsible steps toward the laboratory manufacture and destruction of human life. Such inaction is morally irresponsible and could result in irreversible harm to our society.
Creating human life in the laboratory by cloning should be condemned because it reduces human beings to mere products of a manufacturing technique. When cloning is done to attempt a live birth, the child is produced and wanted not for his or her own sake, but because he or she will carry traits that someone else values and wants to replicate. When cloning is done to pursue medical research, the reduction of human life to a mere instrument is even more complete, for a new human being is created solely to be destroyed for his or her cells and tissues. Even if medical benefits could be derived from such destruction, it is never morally permissible to achieve good ends through evil actions.
Neither practice should be allowed in a society that claims to respect inherent human dignity. As a representative of the Holy See recently stated to a committee of the United Nations General Assembly: "The act of cloning... is actually a form of imposing dominion over another human being which denies the human...