Philosophical arguments for and against human reproductive cloning

Bioethics. 2003 Oct;17(5-6):447-59. doi: 10.1111/1467-8519.00360.


Can philosophers come up with persuasive reasons to allow or ban human reproductive cloning? Yes. Can philosophers agree, locally and temporarily, which practices related to cloning should be condoned and which should be rejected? Some of them can. Can philosophers reproduce universally convincing arguments for or against different kinds of human cloning? No. This paper analyses some of the main arguments presented by philosophers in the cloning debate, and some of the most important objections against them. The clashes between the schools of thought suggest that philosophers cannot be trusted to provide the public authorities, or the general public, a unified, universally applicable view of the morality of human reproductive cloning.

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Organism / ethics*
  • Cloning, Organism / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ethical Analysis*
  • Ethical Theory*
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Philosophy*
  • Reproductive Techniques / ethics*
  • Social Values