Cloning and Politics

Russell Turpin
Wed, 05 Dec 2001 00:05:55 +0000

>>If you were to kill anyone because it helps you create someone else, 
>>you'll be tried for murder.

Robert Harley writes:
>If you ended one pre-existing life in order to help create another one, 
>that might well be the case.  But when creating a life requires creating 
>others that will probably be lost, that's a different scenario. ..

They're lost only because they're unwanted excess. Nothing
distinguishes most of the discarded embryos from the ones
that are used. It is NOT the case, with IVF, that creating
life requires that others will be lost. It's easy to
describe policies where every embryo has to be used, and
none are created until there are adequate women who will
accept the new embryos, to meet this condition. But that's
not what is done. Embryos are NOT discarded because that
is a necessary feature of giving couples children in this
fashion; they are discarded merely because they are left

>A couple may certainly choose IVF even if they believe that week-old 
>embryos are valuable. ..

Valuable? Yes. A person with rights? No.

>IMO, such a decision is qualitatively (but not
>quantitatively) like choosing to separate siamese twins, even when saving 
>one will probably cause the other to die. ..

Here are two qualitative differences. (a) Siamese twins
are an accidental, not planned result. Excess embryos are
discarded because that is the way we plan the process.
(b) If technology permitted the twins to be separated in
a way that preserved both in full health, that would be
mandated. Technology DOES permit a way to save all the
embryos in full health, yet it is not mandated.

You're working very hard to escape the simple fact: IVF
clinics and those who use them clearly view embryos as
possessing a qualitatively lower moral status than infants.
The Catholic Church is perceptive enough to realize this,
and consistent to their moral stance, condemns IVF because
of this.


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