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April 01, 2005

Massachusetts set to allow cloning

This entry was posted in the following categories: Political , Social

Yesterday, the Massachusetts senate voted to allow "theraputic cloning" for stem cell research. Today the house voted to allow it. Governor Romney has promised to veto, but they'll probably override it.

As I understand it, theraputic cloning is where you put someone's DNA in a fertilized egg, let it develop enough to create some stem cells, then insert them back into the DNA donor to (possibly) cure whatever problem they had.

One editorial claimed that Gov. Romney who apparently supports stem cell research using fetuses left over from in vitro fertilization is being hypocritical. I don't think so. I think that simply, if you (begrudgingly?) accept in vitro fertilization, then using fetuses from there is a better use for them than just throwing them away.

But I can't say that, given what it entails, I'm all that thrilled with in vitro fertilization. You create tens or hundreds of babies in the hopes that one of them might implant in a womb, then incinerate the rest? Yeek...

But what this points out is the real danger of this bill; not in what it's allowing now (which I don't like in itself), but the mentality of "Since we're already doing xxx, why can't we just go one step further and do yyy." We already have a factory assembly line creating fetuses for couples who want to be pregnant, now let's just slip someone's DNA in there to maybe cure diabetes or whatever else ails them. Then some years from now someone's going to say, "We already do cloning for theraputic (stem cell) purposes, why not carry one of these to term so they can donate a kidney." What's next? Designer babies? ("A doctor was slapped with a malpractice suit after a baby he promised would have blonde hair and blue eyes turned out to have brown hair and eyes.")

And just for the record, I myself am diabetic. It's possible I'll benefit some day from stem cell research. But, I promise you, not if it involves cloning. I will never want someone else's life (even if it is "just a fetus") sacrificed for my own.

Michael

Posted by mlv at April 1, 2005 12:02 AM

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