Cloning Annotated Bibliography

Issues: 

The following sources do not necessarily reflect the Center's positions or values. These sources, however, are excellent resources for familiarizing oneself with all sides of the issue.

 Harris, John. Clones, Genes, and Immortality: Ethics and the Genetic Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

 

First published in 1992 under the title, Wonderwoman and Superman, this revised edition offers an in-depth consideration of the multiple issues raised by the field of human biotechnology. The book addresses the complex ethical dilemmas associated with embryo research, the commercial exploitation of human organs, the notion of "wrongful life," genetic screening and discrimination, and "designer babies." In his introduction, Harris states his intention to "discuss the sorts of moral considerations which should weigh with any individual or committee or legislature considering how, or indeed whether, to control human biotechnology." The reader is offered insight into Harris' own convictions about human dignity in his statements about personhood and so-called "therapeutic" cloning. With regard to the former, Harris asserts that personhood is present when an individual "becomes capable of valuing her own existence." Speaking to the issue of using "surplus" embryos in destructive research, Harris states, "It cannot be morally preferable to waste a resource, any resource, than to use it for a beneficial purpose, whether that purpose is a therapeutic or a research purpose."

Kass, Leon R., and James Q. Wilson. The Ethics of Human Cloning. Washington, DC: AEI, 1998.

Published by the American Enterprise Institute, The Ethics of Human Cloning consists of two essays written shortly after researchers in Scotland announced the cloning of the sheep, Dolly. Leon Kass' "The Wisdom of Repugnance" originally appeared in The New Republic, and James Q. Wilson's "The Paradox of Cloning" was first printed in The Weekly Standard. The essays show differing responses to the issue of cloning, particularly to human cloning. Kass, the newly appointed Chair of President Bush's Council on Bioethics and an outspoken opponent of human cloning, roots his overarching objections to this technology in the separation of human sexuality from the origin of human life. Wilson, a professor of public policy at UCLA, considers the possible effects of any form of artificially-aided conception, particularly cloning, on child rearing and particularly notes concerns about deviations from the typical two-parent family. Wilson believes that human cloning is an acceptable option if the cloned child is born to a married couple and is their joint responsibility. Although he acknowledges the possibility of abuses such as the harvesting of organs from cloned individuals and various other forms of dehumanization, Wilson believes that the bond of family would, to a large extent, prevent such acts. Each essay is followed by a response from the other author, thus providing the reader with a clear and thoughtful debate on this most timely issue.

Lauritzen, Paul, ed. Cloning and the Future of Human Embryo Research. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

The authors of the chapters in this book discuss not only cloning, but also embryo research and other reproductive technologies to give the reader a better understanding of the complexities therein. The book is divided into three sections: 1) Moral Status of the Pre-implantation Embryo, 2) Debates Surrounding Cloning and Embryo Research, and 3) Public Policy Issues. The status of pre-implantation embryos is debated, and public policy recommendations on this polarizing issue are considered. The book includes an Executive Summary of the National Institutes of Health Human Embryo Research Panel Report, as well as the Executive Summary of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission Report on human cloning. Both of these documents deem the destruction of embryonic human life to be acceptable in some contexts. Contributors to this volume include Bonnie Steinbock, Courtney Campbell, Maura Ryan, R. Alta Charo, Ronald Green, Laurie Zoloth, and others.

Lester, Lane P., and James C. Hefley. Human Cloning: Playing God or Scientific Progress? Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1998.

"Human knowledge is a precious resource. Used wisely, the knowledge of genetics and heredity will protect and enhance the dignity and sanctity of human life. But let humans tamper with God's order of life for their own ends, and they place themselves in grave danger." The authors of this book assert that scientific and medical research/intervention should not run counter to God's intentions for humankind. Written by Lane Lester, who has a Ph.D. in genetics, and James Hefley, who has a Ph.D. in communication and a Master of Divinity degree, this book highlights the interface between modern biological science and Scripture. Theological questions regarding human cloning are raised in chapters such as "In Whose Image?" and "Will Clones Have Souls?" A helpful overview of genetic science and the history of genetics is also included.

MacKinnon, Barbara, ed. Human Cloning: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

The chapters in this book are from an April 1998 conference held at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco. The conference focused on three issues surrounding human cloning--scientific, ethical, and public policy--and the book is divided into these same categories. Editor Barbara MacKinnon of the Philosophy Department of the University of San Francisco invites the reader through her introduction to "Suppose you have just been informed that you are a clone. After a moment of shock or disbelief, your first response might be a question. What does this mean?" MacKinnon then launches a discussion of human cloning by various proponents and critics. Written by philosophers, lawyers, and scientists, the essays in this book explain the science of cloning and discuss the ethical problems that human cloning presents. Philosopher Jorge L. A. Garcia articulates why human cloning is wrong in his essay, "Human Cloning: Never and Why Not," while Political Science Professor Andrea L. Bonnicksen, member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, discusses in her essay, "Crafting Cloning Policies," the need to formulate incremental policies which would allow for the gradual development of human cloning. Other contributors to this volume include Richard Lewontin, John Robertson, and others. 

McGee, Glenn, ed. Pragmatic Bioethics. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1998.

With a cover that declares "as seen on Oprah," this book might appear to be less weighty than it is. The text, however, "assembles pro- and anti-clone arguments, clears up popular misunderstandings and explains the what, why and how of clones" according to Publishers Weekly. The book's section headings include "Liberty and Ethics in Cloning," "Revulsion and the Role of Bioethics," "The Clone Chosen," "Rights to Clone," and "God and the Clone," featuring Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, and Islamic perspectives. The contributors are lawyers, molecular scientists, and ethicists such as Leon Kass (who is opposed to all human cloning) and Carson Strong and Timothy Murphy, who believe that cloning may be an ethically justifiable method for allowing people to have children. Also included is an essay by Ian Wilmut, the researcher whose team of scientists cloned Dolly, and the Executive Summary of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's Recommendations for Human Cloning. Other contributors include John Robertson, Arthur Caplan, Sherwin Nuland, Gilbert Meilaender, and others.

Pence, Gregory E., ed. Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Human Cloning. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.

With essays from "Moving Toward the Clonal Man: Is This What We Want?," written by James Watson in 1971, to "Don't Worry: A Brain Still Can't Be Cloned" authored by George Johnson in 1997, this book provides a general overview of human cloning. Editor Gregory Pence, a medical ethicist and professor of philosophy, chose the essays in this book because they "offer various points of view on whether we should be excited, disturbed, or indifferent to the prospect of human cloning." Boston University Law Professor George Annas condemns human cloning in what is commonly termed the "reproductive" sense, but believes that cloning research which stops short of implanting a cloned human embryo may be supported if a compelling case for such experimentation can be made. Leon Kass, the newly appointed Chair of President Bush's Council on Bioethics, offers a dissenting position, asserting that "as a matter of policy and prudence," the very creation of cloned human embryos ought to be banned if human cloning in the "reproductive" sense is to be prohibited. Kass notes also his "serious reservations about creating human embryos for the sole purpose of experimentation," calling such a prospect "deeply repugnant." Essays by Gilbert Meilaender, John Robertson, Stephen Jay Gould, R.C. Lewontin, and others are also included in this book.

Pence, Gregory E.. Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.

According to the author, this book "attempts to think through the questions that cloning humans raises at different levels, including cloning human embryos to help infertile couples, cloning embryos to study genetic disease, a married couple's origination of a baby through cloning to prevent a baby with a genetic disease, and the extent to which human cloning should be forbidden, permitted, limited, or even encouraged by public policy." In opposition to an overwhelming majority of lay people and scientific/medical professionals alike, Pence makes a case for the acceptability--and even appeal--of human cloning. In doing so, he considers the method by which Dolly was created and the importance of her birth, various misconceptions about human cloning, and the relationship between cloning and sex, as well as personal cases which support the legitimacy of human asexual reproduction. Pence's book is an important one for understanding the possible arguments of cloning proponents.

Ruse, Michael, and Aryne Sheppard, eds. Cloning: Responsible Science or Technomadness? Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2001.

This book considers both the case for and the case against human cloning and considers a variety of perspectives from both positions. The first section of the book looks at the cloning of the sheep, Dolly, and includes the actual scientific paper originally published in Nature. Section two looks further into the issues surrounding animal and plant cloning, while sections three through nine focus entirely on human cloning. Questions of dignity and identity, as well as societal questions and medical implications of human cloning are considered in sections three through seven, while section eight contains official statements from the Catholic Bishops, the United Methodist Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Church of Christ. Various religious perspectives are offered in section nine, and section ten concludes the book with considerations of policy and regulatory guidelines. A glossary of scientific terms is also provided. Contributors include Philip Kitcher, Julian Savulescu, Ronald Cole-Turner, Mary Warnock, Daniel Callahan, and others.

Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family. New York: Avon, 1998.

In the afterward to this book, author Lee Silver, professor of molecular ecology and evolutionary biology and neuroscience at Princeton, states, "My goal has been to present both the scientific and the political realities of reprogenetic technologies as I see them, along with the ethical dilemmas their use will raise. I leave it to philosophers and bioethicists to figure out how these ethical dilemmas might be resolved." As the book opens, the reader is moved scene by scene further into the future when, ultimately, the development of genetic engineering and its accessability will have formed a world even more polarized than now. In such a world, the "haves" will be stronger and healthier than ever and may not even be able to "breed" with "natural" humankind. Through various vignettes, Silver portrays the gradual development of different types of families and of a new marketplace for genetic merchandise. The New York Times Book Review states that the book is "provocative . . .disturbing . . .No question is too speculative, remote or absurd for Silver . . .He entertains even the wildest and most speculative notions because--as he argues persuasively--the future is already here." Silver's writing is full of prophecy and of probability and it should be read by anyone concerned, as we all should be, about the options that genetic engineering and cloning may make available to us, for good or for bad.

Updated March 2009