Op-Ed

As this article is being written, delegates from nearly every country are meeting at the United Nations to take the next steps towards an international convention banning human reproductive cloning. Human cloning is the latest, and loudest, in a series of new technologies of human reproductive and genetic manipulation that have – and will – elicit controversy and division in civil society. Additionally, enormous payments to egg “donors” with specific characteristics have been in college newspapers for several years (see “Assisted Reproductive Technologies,” July/August 2002, Z Magazine). Recently, the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, in which embryos are screened for certain genetic characteristics before implantation via in vitro fertilization (IVF), for gender selection or non-disease traits has garnered attention. Soon, we can expect to see public debate over inheritable human genetic engineering, the technology with the greatest potential for social and biological impacts.

Human reproductive cloning is neither far-off science fiction nor banned taboo. The technology is imminent, and several rogue scientists are working to create cloned children. Although more than thirty countries have already passed laws prohibiting reproductive cloning,...