March 10, 2009

Embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning

Melissa Clouthier has some important clarifications on President Barack Obama reversing of Bush Administration’s restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Yet, there must be something in that piece I wasn’t able to understand. It’s when she quotes Katherine Jean Lopez :

[A]s Katherine Jean Lopez notes, “Notice the qualifier. Cloning is fine for research — ‘therapeutic cloning.’ In other words, you can create life as long as you’ll destroy it and not raise it as your child. That is an assault on human dignity. How many Americans realize the import of what Obama said today?”

“She is right,” Melissa Clouthier says after a moment. “Scientists may form cellular clones on which to experiment, but citizens may not use the same technology to create a human life.”

Since Katherine Jean Lopez is a conservative, pro-life and Catholic columnist, I guess I must have missed something. Let’s just say that “therapeutic cloning” is intrinsically evil—if not an affront to basic human values—because it creates life only in order to destroy it for research purposes.


  1. I don't think it's that significant that Obama reversed Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, if that's all he did. That was always mostly symbolic.

    This larger issue of cloning, however, is going to lead us into ethical quandries we haven't even imagined yet. If technology gets to the point that a man and a woman, or whatever mix of genders and species, can create their version of a "perfect" child or ten of them, why not? Because it isn't natural, or it disadvantages uncloned children, or it might just possibly be racist, or God won't like it, or.... I get a headache thinking about it.

  2. "Cloning is fine for research — ‘therapeutic cloning.’"
    What is Mrs Lopez talking about? It seems to me that she got mixed up ...

  3. @Tom:
    Why not?
    First and foremost because human cloning requires the deliberate killing of a human embryo.

    @Walt: you might be right ...