The Government Should Enact Laws to Regulate Cloning

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There are many ethically interesting forms of human cloning, and not all of them are reproductive. These include: 1) the splitting of early human embryos for pre-implantation genetic tests (this is not usually thought of as cloning at all). 2) The production (that is, the isolation and in vitro multiplication) of human stem cells, which may have the ability to develop into full-fledged human beings (this is sometimes but not always associated with cloning in other senses).


John Stuart Mill, the nineteenth-century English utilitarian, believed that laws and social policies should be devised to prevent harm to innocent third parties. His starting point was that people ought to be left free to do whatever they like, as long as they do not harm others by their actions. If competent individuals want to hurt themselves, or agree to be hurt by others, their actions should not be restricted in the name of 'their own best interest', or in the name of 'rationality', or 'morality.' If they do not harm others, their liberty should not be interfered with. (Mill p. 13) Mill recognized that people could be harmed psychologically as well as physically, and indirectly as well as directly, but for legal purposes, he argued for a narrow understanding of harm. Since people can be irrationally offended by other people's doings, and since it is difficult to assess the long-term consequences of our actions, he thought that only the concrete and relatively immediate infliction of harm should be publicly regulated. (Mill pp. 14-15) The Millian view on liberty and harm gives rise to three norms as regards human reproductive cloning:
Other 'outcome-oriented' ethicists have, however, thought that Mill's ...
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