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U.S. Research Firm Claims Human Cloning, Fuels Controversy

U.S. Research Firm Claims Human Cloning, Fuels Controversy

Posted December. 27, 2002 22:31,   


`It’s outrageous. It’s a crime against humanity.` As foreign press reports on Dec. 27 that U.S.-based private research company Clonaid claimed that it successfully produced the first cloning of a human being, academia, religious groups and civic organizations are voicing their concern.

Ethically, it is an outrageous attempt against human dignity and technically, the incomplete nature of the technology might lead to defects of cloned babies.

˝Human dignity is based on the fact that every each individual is unique and the only one, but it will be marred if cloned human beings appear,˝ said Jin Gyo-hoon, professor of public ethics education at Seoul National University. ˝Since cloned humans could be used for particular purposes, scholars as well as religious leaders have been vehemently opposing the idea.˝

˝Scientists learned from animal experiments that cloning technology is so imperfect that they doubt that the company actually cloned a human being,˝ said Hwang Woo-seok, professor of veterinary science at Seoul Nat`l University. ˝Even if the technology reaches a complete level, whether to clone a human being or not must be discussed by diverse members of the society and the scope of its use should be limited.˝

˝It`s not convincing at all since Clonaid did not conducted a DNA test and disclose how many experiments they carried out before,˝ Dr. Mun Shin-young at cell application research division of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

˝Given the obligation and moral responsibility one can feel watching his or her clone and the possibility that cloned humans might suffer from a variety of defects and fall into slavery, human cloning cannot and must not be a real,˝ said Kim Myung-hee, bioethics manager for the Catholic One Mind One Body Movement.

˝The biggest problem is that there is no law banning human cloning,˝ said Myung Jin-sook, director at the Civic Organization for Women. ˝The government needs to enact a bioethics law, which will reflect the position of women who must provide eggs and become surrogate mothers.˝

˝Doctors at fertility clinics do not advise infertile couples to use the cloning technology since it has yet to be proved, and couples, on their part, hardly show interest,˝ said professor Lee Suk-hwan, Medical Research Center for Women at Cha Hospital. ˝Infertile couples are so desperate that they might want to resort to the technique if it proves to be a success.˝

˝It’s shocking that what we have seen only in science fiction stories and movies has become a reality,˝ said Jang Eun-jung, 26-year-old woman working for a company. ˝If we begin to violate the law of nature, we will end up bring confusion and chaos upon ourselves.˝

˝If humans are allowed to mass-produce humans like automobiles, there will be no human dignity and a disaster will follow,˝ said Bae In-soo, 33-year-old teacher at a middle school student.