Human cloning is a form of asexual reproduction. It is done by taking genetic material from a person's body cell, injecting it into an egg whose nucleus has been removed or inactivated, and then stimulating the egg to begin embryonic development. Genetically the cloned embro is virtually identical to the person whose cell was used. Some would use cloning to produce infants as copies of living or deceased people ("reproductive cloning"), while others would use cloning to mass-produce human embryos to be destroyed as raw material for experimentation (so-called "experimental cloning"). In its 2002 report, Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry, the President's Council on Bioethics preferred the terms "Cloning-to-produce-children" and "Cloning-for-biomedical-research." Human cloning dehumanizes human procreation and treats human beings as laboratory products. Banning all human cloning would not impede medical progress. Creating human clones to kill them to obtain embryonic stem cells for medical research is immoral and unnecessary. Adult stem cells are available and present no ethical problems.
Since the first successful cloning of a mammal (Dolly the sheep) in 1997, the prospect of human cloning has been the subject of much public debate. Legislation to ban human cloning was first introduced in Congress in 1998. Then in subsquent years, bills that were genuine bans were countered by bills that allowed "therapeutic cloning" and thereby opened the door for "reproductive cloning." Also see: Stem Cell Research and Embryo/Fetal Research.
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