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'Reproductive Cloning: Can Cloning Harm the Clone?'

Pattinson, Shaun D.

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Since the creation of Dolly the sheep was reported in February 1997, the possibility of a cloned child has elicited powerful declarations of condemnation. A widely held view is that cloning a human being would be immoral and ought to be prohibited by legislation. This paper outlines the regulatory approaches taken in the EU countries (with particular reference to the UK), Canada and the US, before examining the claim that creating a clone would be a wrong to the resultant clone. It is argued that advocates of right-based moral theories must reject this claim, even if the clone is likely to have a terrible life. For the purposes of this paper, I use ‘cloning’ and related terms to refer to the deliberate creation of a human being that is genetically identical to another human being or has the same nuclear gene set. This paper is only concerned with cloning aimed at producing a child, often called ‘reproductive’ cloning. It is not, therefore, concerned with the creation of a human embryo by use of a cloning technique for other purposes, such as obtaining embryonic stem cells for the treatment of an existing person—often referred to as ‘therapeutic cloning’.


Pattinson, S. D. (2002). 'Reproductive Cloning: Can Cloning Harm the Clone?'. Medical Law Review, 10(3), 295-307.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2002
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2008
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2013
Journal Medical Law Review
Print ISSN 0967-0742
Electronic ISSN 1464-3790
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages 295-307
Keywords Cloning, Ethics, Law, Reproductive cloning.
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (210 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Medical law review following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Pattinson, S. D. (2002) 'Reproductive cloning : can cloning harm the clone?', Medical law review., 10 (3). pp. 295-307 is available online at:

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