The Ethical-Theological and Legal Approaches to Cloning

The announcement of the birth of Dolly raised many ethical questions about cloning and its implications. This genetic technology raised questions in all scientific dimensions, that come out either in favour or against the various applications of cloning. Aim: The aims of this study were to present the moral and theological questions that arise from the application of cloning in humans, and to analyze the Greek legislation regarding reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Material and Method: A literature review, based on both review and research literature, was conducted covering the period 1952-2010, derived from the MEDLINE, SCOPUS and ΙΑΤΡΟΤΕΚ databases, using as key words: Reproductive cloning, Bioethical, Therapeutic cloning, Legislation, Orthodox Theology. Results: There is considerable ethical debate about whether or not human cloning should be used. The main argument against human reproductive cloning is that it is an offence to human dignity. On the other hand, those in favour of cloning strongly believe that it would be the most effective method of assisted reproduction in cases where no other method can be used. In contrast to human reproductive cloning, which is rejected by the majority of scientists, therapeutic cloning is expected to give new momentum to the treatment of a variety of diseases. Firstly, the use of stem cells will help to treat conditions such as the degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Subsequently, at a later stage, given its complexity and following long-term laboratory research, cloning could help to produce tissues or complete organs for transplantation. The Orthodox religion is totally opposed to cloning, claiming that experiments on embryos constitute an insult on the sanctity of human life. The Greek legislation prohibits reproductive cloning, but it considers the application of therapeutic cloning to be legal. Conclusions: Reproductive cloning is considered morally and scientifically unacceptable, because it is believed to offend the human dignity and to disturb the genetic diversity of humans and of nature as a whole. Further research is needed on therapeutic cloning using germinal cells, which could be particularly important in the area of transplantation medicine.

Category: Volume 49, N 4
Hits: 45 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2010
Authors: George Katsimigas , Evridiki Kaba