“We report the derivation of a pluripotent embryonic stem cell line (SCNT-hES-1) from a cloned human blastocyst.”
With this scientific and innocuous-sounding statement, Korean researchers announced Thursday that they created and killed several human clones for the purpose of extracting their stem cells. Even worse, their detailed recipe on how to create human embryos by cloning was published in the U.S. Journal Science. This recipe intended to advance therapeutic cloning will undoubtedly also advance reproductive cloning because it has been placed in the hands of every scientist, including any nut case with access to a laboratory. Remember the Raelians?
According to one report, when fertility laboratories fertilize eggs and grow embryos to the same developmental stage as the Korean embryo clones, 40 to 60 percent end up as babies when implanted. That means a human clone will undoubtedly be born in the very near future.
Despite these ominous consequences, the reason for doing this kind of research is always the same. Proponents say, “This research will aid in the treatment of disease such as leukemia and Parkinson’s. It has a wide range of applications in the medical and related fields. And the potential research outweighs the potential danger that human life itself will be manipulated.” The Korean researchers went one step further saying they conducted this research despite the controversy, “because they are scientists and think it is their obligation.”
Translation: These doctors and scientists are hiding behind the noble curtain of healing our parents from Parkinson’s disease and our children from leukemia, but they are destroying human life to do it. That’s called human sacrifice. So at the very least, let’s dispense with all the false piety and technical jargon.
We all know by now there are two forms of human cloning. They are reproductive and therapeutic. The goal of reproductive cloning is to create and give birth to a baby. (Virtually no one supports this publicly.) The goal of therapeutic cloning is to create a baby who will be sacrificed for its body parts, specifically embryonic stem cells that will be used for research and or treatment.
Both forms of cloning begin with the same procedure called somatic cell nuclear transfer. This technique was first used by the creators of Dolly and now by the Korean scientists. In both reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning, a life is created. This is an undisputed fact.
Obviously, there has never been a greater need to protest the current direction of this unethical research. But this is not a rejection of technological advance. In fact, most Americans recognize advances in science and medicine such as transplant surgery, cancer treatment and ironically adult stem-cell research improve our health and lives. But the secret of an advancing society is remaining civilized, and a civilized society preserves human dignity by living within ethical limits and moral boundaries.
In response to “advances” in human cloning, it’s time for average Americans to cowboy-up and confront the mindset of scientists who view themselves above all ethical and moral limits. It means quashing the idea that there are no limits on what they do in the name of science. It means enforcing the idea that non-scientists have a say in the research they conduct and experiments they pursue. Scientists have a duty beyond themselves and discovery. They have a duty to comply with the ethical and moral limits that define us as a culture and nation.
Like many other Americans, I believe that efforts to create human beings by cloning marks a new threshold in moral depravity opening the floodgates to unspeakable human-rights violations and grisly human experimentation on our unborn children. It is not only a decisive step toward turning human reproduction into a manufacturing process, but it transforms the mystery and majesty of life into a mere malleable and marketable commodity.
The only measure likely to distance ourselves from countries like Korea, counteract immoral state laws such as the “clone and kill” bill recently passed in New Jersey as well as to prevent enactment of cloning bills pending in other states is passing federal legislation.
If you oppose human cloning, put on your boots (preferably the ones with spurs) and call your U.S. senators expressing support for Senate bill 245 (S. 245), The Human Cloning Prohibition Act introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.