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Cloning at the Crossroads of Humankind

The world changed when it was announced in February of 1997 that scientists working for a private research institute in my former homeland of Scotland had cloned a sheep. The world was taken by total surprise. Technology first, typically by surprise; ethics and policy later, if at all. Four years later, here in the U.S. we still have no policy. There are few more worrying facts in the modern world. Let me offer three comments.

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New Babies Have Three Parents

A team of infertility specialists at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at St. Barnabas Medical Center said they helped produce 15 children with foreign DNA added to that which the children naturally inherited from their mothers and fathers. The news was met with an outcry from ethicists and from other scientists, who accused the team of playing God and of ignoring potentially disastrous side effects in their haste to dabble in genetic engineering.

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Bodies Without Souls

The books title, Body Bazaar, is a pun on the strangeness of how elements of the human body DNA, umbilical cord blood, embryos, bone, tissue have become products for a burgeoning global biotechno-mart. For doctors harvesting human tissue, the body has become (changing the metaphor) a gold mine.

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The Bioethics Mess

Bioethics the word sounds like old-fashioned medical ethics applied to new medical technology. Its the application of traditional philosophical or theological principles to the moral dilemmas created by, say, cloning or experimenting with new AIDS drugs, right? Not really.

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Brave New Genetic World

Even human embryonic stem-cell research, the most morally problematic to date of all the new reproductive technologies, has a huge cadre of advocates who look to stem-cell therapy to cure a wide range of degenerative disabilities. That is where the brave new genetic world we have built on IVF technology starts to look scary.

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The Betrayal of Hippocrates

Unbeknownst to most Americans, a small but influential group of philosophers and health care policy makers are working energetically to transform our nations medical practice and health care laws. So goes the introduction of Wesley Smiths book, The Culture of Death The assault on medical ethics in America. WorldNetDaily staff writer and talk show host Geoff Metcalf recently interviewed Smith about his book and the growing bioethics movement.

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Life Is Too Important to be Left to Scientists

At press conferences today in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo, scientists will announce the completion of the Human Genome project. It is remarkable that, in less than a half century, we have gone from Crick and Watsons discovery of the structure of DNA to a basic map of our 100,000 human genes.

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Play It Again Organ Donation

What is the position of the Catholic Church on organ donation for the purpose of transplant? What moral principles are involved? What would motivate one to be an organ donor?

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