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. https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/10.3.295