Therapeutic and reproductive cloning: a critique

Soc Sci Med. 2004 Jan;58(2):401-9. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(03)00206-5.


This article is a critical examination of the science and ethics of human cloning. It summarises the key scientific milestones in the development of nuclear transplantation, explains the importance of cloning to research into the medical potential of embryonic stem cells, and discusses the well-worn distinction between 'therapeutic' and 'reproductive' cloning. Suggesting that this distinction will be impossible to police, it goes on to consider the ethics of full human cloning. It is concluded that it represents an unacceptable form of parental despotism, and that the genetic engineering and cloning of future human beings will fracture the foundations of modern humanism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bioethical Issues*
  • Cloning, Organism / ethics*
  • Cloning, Organism / trends
  • Embryo Research / ethics
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Genetic Engineering / ethics
  • Humans
  • Reproductive Medicine / ethics*
  • Reproductive Medicine / trends*
  • Sex Preselection / ethics
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / ethics*