Human Cloning and Human Dignity: The Report of the President's Council on Bioethics / Edition 1

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Few avenues of scientific inquiry raise more thorny ethical questions than the cloning of human beings, a radical way to control our DNA. In August 2001, in conjunction with his decision to permit limited federal funding for stem-cell research, President George W. Bush created the President's Council on Bioethics to address the ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation. Over the past year the Council, whose members comprise an all-star team of leading scientists, doctors, ethicists, lawyers, humanists, and theologians, has discussed and debated the pros and cons of cloning, whether to produce children or to aid in scientific research. This book is its insightful and thought-provoking report.

The questions the Council members confronted do not have easy answers, and they did not seek to hide their differences behind an artificial consensus. Rather, the Council decided to allow each side to make its own best case, so that the American people can think about and debate these questions, which go to the heart of what it means to be a human being. Just as the dawn of the atomic age created ethical dilemmas for the United States, cloning presents us with similar quandaries that we are sure to wrestle with for decades to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Established in late 2001 by President Bush to consider the ethical ramifications of biomedical research, the President's Council on Bioethics is made up of 17 scholars representing medicine, law, genetics, government, international studies, psychiatry, philosophy, and ethics. Its first report focuses on three major issues: cloning to produce children (reproductive uses), cloning for biomedical research (therapeutic uses), and various public policies that could be enacted. The council members were divided on their recommendations regarding human cloning, so both a majority and a minority opinion are presented here. While both groups favored a ban on human cloning to produce children, they disagreed in the areas of therapeutic research; ten members recommended a four-year moratorium on cloning for biomedical research, while seven urged the regulated use of cloned embryos for biomedical research. Along with brief background information on human cloning and a discussion of terminology related to the field, the report also includes a glossary and a bibliography. In addition, many of the members have included a personal statement that clarifies their own specific viewpoint. Although the prepublication version of this report is available on the web, the reasonably priced paper copy fairly represents the many opinions and complexities related to human cloning, making it a worthy purchase for convenience and archival stability. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586481766
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 10/3/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,562,069
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Leon R. Kass, M.D. is the Addie Clark Harding Professor at the University of Chicago, and the Hertog Fellow at American Enterprise Institute. A nationally renowned bioethicist, he has written extensively on biology and human affairs; his books include Toward a More Natural Science, The Hungry Soul, and The Ethics of Human Cloning (with James Q. Wilson). He lives in Washington, D.C.

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    presents many different viewpoints

    I personally found this book very interesting and I learned a lot from it. I was constantly looking at the glossary because it uses a number of medical terms that I wasn't familiar with. This book covers stem cell research, human cloning to produce children, human cloning for biomedical research, and animal cloning for biomedical research. I feel that this book does a good job of presenting the pros and cons of each of the topics that it covers. Although some of the facts in this book are interesting, some are disturbing, for example I found it upsetting when I learned that a rabbit egg and human sperm were combined, grown up to a stage with about 150 cells, and then killed. This book has helped me develop my own viewpoint on cloning, especially now that I know how the whole process works. This book would be an excellent resource for anyone who was curious about how cloning works or for someone who already knows about cloning but just wants to read about other people's viewpoints on it.

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