A structure to accommodate therapeutic cloning

Following close behind biomedical advances are moral quandaries, said Francis Fukuyama, Ph.D., a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and the author of Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Speaking at the Bioethics and Public Policy Seminar Series in January, Fukuyama called for a new regulatory approach to issues such as human cloning. Although therapeutic cloning is desirable, he said, allowing it would make reproductive cloning harder to ban.

“There is a short-term need to establish some sort of regulatory structure to permit therapeutic cloning to go ahead,” he said. “In the longer term, the reason you need to think about the broader regulatory structure has to do with the prospect of nontherapeutic uses of biomedicine, some of which are here already and some of which will be coming down the pike in the next few years. — Is it legitimate to use these techniques to choose boys over girls or vice versa? If there’s a way of preventing a biological predilection for homosexuality, is that something that’s legitimate for parents to choose?

“I think there are areas where more regulation, rather than less, is called for.”


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