Human Cloning

Science, Ethics, and Public Policy
Author: Edited by Barbara MacKinnon
As human cloning becomes even more probable, Human Cloning sets out to address the scientific, ethical, and public policy questions that will need to be addressed long before it becomes a reality.
Paper – $27
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/2002
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About the Book

Is human cloning a science fiction nightmare come true? Or is it a practical avenue toward beneficial new medical treatments and techniques?

In this concise volume, experts on all sides of the debate make arguments for why we should either pursue, regulate, or ban the cloning of human beings. From this collection, readers will gain a clearer picture of the history of cloning in agriculture and animal science, the various biological procedures that are encompassed by the term "cloning," the philosophical arguments in support of and opposed to cloning humans, and the considerations that should inform discussions about public policy matters related both the cloning research and to human cloning itself.

Balancing scientific detail with philosophical argument, Human Cloning succinctly outlines what cloning is and is not (e.g., cloning does not produce identical individuals), what has led to recent scientific developments, what is now possible, and what ethical dilemmas cloning presents. Opponents claim that cloning subverts human dignity, makes a mockery of spousal love, and poses serious safety hazards. Proponents cite a range of potential benefits, such as producing transplant tissue that is less likely to be rejected, extending current techniques of artificial insemination, and controlling genetic abnormalities to prevent birth defects.

Cloning itself is not new, but as the science of cloning continues to advance--and as human cloning thus inches closer to reality--we are compelled to consider its implications for society. Human Cloning is a lucid, substantive guide to this contentious and potentially revolutionary issue.


"MacKinnon provides a lucid general introduction based on a conference. Then, three scientists, three philosophers, two law professors, and one political scientist grapple with the issues. Coverage is clear, fair, and reasonably balanced, ranging from 'why not?' to 'never, and why not?'" -- Choice

"This collection is a useful introduction to the cloning debate. It is distinguished from its competitors . . . mainly by its valuable contributions on the science of cloning." -- Neil Levy, Metapsychology On-Line

"[These essays] focus attention on the scientific, ethical, and public policy aspects of human cloning, primarily in the reproductive sphere. . . . Everyone who reads this book will find something that pleases and something that raises their hackles. . . . Well suited for the university classroom and the philosopher's bookshelf." -- Margaret R. McLean, Religious Studies Review