Therapeutic Human Cloning in Britain.

One reason to allow cloning is to create embryos that could be used to generate compatible organs for transplant. Although not possible now, scientists believe that research in the area will eventually prove successful. What makes this research so promising is that early-stage embryos contain un-programmed master cells, called stem cells, which can produce any kind of tissue in the body.

Despite the potential of such research, it remains highly controversial because it involves the creation and destruction of a human embryo, and for those who believe that a human embryo is a person, that amounts to murder. That’s why U.S. law bans scientists who receive federal funds from pursuing stem cell research, even if the embryos are not the product of cloning but are left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. The ban does not affect scientists who receive no federal funds, but it does have the practical consequence of severely restricting stem cell research.

In Britain, however, matters are different. On December 19, 2000, the British House of Commons voted to allow researchers to clone human embryos and to keep them alive for fourteen days to extract stem cells, not just for research into generating organs for transplant but for other therapeutic purposes as well, including the prevention and treatment of conditions as paralysis and diabetes.

Explain how you would determine whether therapeutic cloning is ethical or unethical by:

1. reviewing the facts
2. defining the best ethical choice
3.identifying three critical values involved

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