Human cloning is coming. Maybe not to a Walmart near you, but it is coming.
And by human cloning, I mean reproductive cloning, not therapeutic cloning which is a totally different cup of tea. The cloning I’m talking about is where you duplicate a human being.
Despite efforts to prevent human cloning, such as a U.N. resolution, there is no law against it. If I had enough money, I could clone someone right here in California and no one could stop me. Of course I never would because I believe that human cloning is so wrong that it borders on evil. But there are people out there who are right now probably trying to do it.
What’s so bad about cloning a human being? There are many serious problems with it. First, by all evidence from animal studies, it would take dozens if not hundreds of attempts to make one even semi-healthy human clone. What do you do with all the cloned people who didn’t turn out normal? What if the one “good” clone becomes seriously ill after a few years? The clone will have no parents. Who is responsible for the clone? There is currently no law saying that the people who made a human clone are legally responsible for them.
What if some rich fan of Justin Beiber managed to get her hands on some of his hair, which could contain living cells? If she was rich enough (probably a single digit billionaire would have enough), she could make a clone of him and no one could stop her.
What if someone found a sample of biological tissue from Einstein? With current technology it might be possible to make a complete and amazingly accurate fresh copy of his DNA synthetically, insert it into cells, and make a clone of Einstein. If we could do that, should we? With the troubles of the world today, couldn’t we use more Einstein’s? Of course there is no guarantee that our new Einstein would be much like the original Einstein. Also, what if Einstein’s family doesn’t want him cloned? It wouldn’t matter because amazingly we do not have ownership over our own DNA sequences or those of our families. What this means is someone could surreptitiously clone you without your permission and there would be nothing you could do to stop it even if you found out about it.
Clearly law has not kept pace with technology and the brave new world of human cloning, which is coming, is something that we are entirely unprepared for.
I propose a new law where people have ownership over their own complete DNA genomic sequence. Another law outlawing human reproductive cloning is also a very good idea.