The Brave New World of Cloning, Part Two–The Cloning of Humans and the Reproductive Revolution

The cloning of a human brings to mind the sterile, dehumanizing images of Huxley’s Brave New World, with its fertilizing rooms, decanting chambers, and embryo stores representing the technological perfection of artificial human reproduction. The reproductive revolution has already thrown a host of difficult ethical issues on the national agenda, but the genetic revolution is perhaps the greatest ethical challenge of the new millennium.

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The Brave New World of Cloning, Part One–The Cloning of Animals and the Ethics of Dominion

News that scientists had cloned an adult sheep from non-reproductive cells shook the scientific community some years ago, but prompted an earthquake of concern in the larger culture. The cloning of the sheep by Dr. Ian Wilmut’s team in Scotland raised a host of ethical, legal, and social issues which will take time to untangle. Yet, even as this reality began to sink into our cultural consciousness, further reports of the cloning of monkeys from embryo cells and attempts at human cloning raised the sense of ethical crisis.

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A Conflict of Conscience–The Culture War Hits the Pharmacy

Should pharmacists be required to dispense so-called “emergency contraceptives” even if it violates their deepest convictions? That is no longer a hypothetical question, as Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich recently issued an executive rule requiring all pharmacies in his state to fill a woman’s prescription for the “morning-after pill.” The governor’s “emergency order” comes with the force of law, and means that pharmacists who refuse to fill these prescriptions can face sanctions and could lose their jobs and professional status.

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No Neutrality–Gilbert Meilaender on Bioethics

Gilbert Meilaender is one of the most intelligent and influential bioethicists of our age, and it is reassuring to know that he is a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. Meilaender holds the Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Theological Ethics at Valparaiso University, and his numerous writings in philosophy and bioethics are must-reads for intelligent Christians.

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Are All Humans Persons? A New Assault on Human Dignity

America has been involved in an intense and culture-shaking debate over abortion that has now lasted into its fourth decade. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court did not settle the issue at all. Far from it. That landmark exercise in judicial activism has led to the death of millions of unborn babies and left a scar across the nation’s soul that will not heal until America regains its moral sense and defends the unborn.

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The Revolt Against Human Nature

Are you ready for the posthuman future? That is the frightening question posed by Wesley J. Smith in his new book, Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World. Smith, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute and special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture, has written another book that demands the attention of every thoughtful Christian.

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The Corruption of Medical Ethics–A Sober Warning

“First, do no harm.” That most basic principle of the Hippocratic Oath has formed the foundation for medical ethics for over 2,000 years. Nevertheless, that principle is now routinely redefined or ignored, and the field of medical ethics is filled with compromises, conflicts, and worse.

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Who’s Afraid of the Fetus?

The front page of The New York Times may well be journalism’s most prized piece of real estate. That fact makes the appearance of one particular article all the more surprising and noteworthy.

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The Cause of Life–Where We Now Stand

From our vantage point in the year 2005, we can now see that the twentieth century was a time of tremendous contrasts. Great advances were made in the fight for freedom. The century ended with millions liberated from enslavement to communism, fascism, and other ideologies of terror that marked the last one hundred years. Yet, at the same time, we recognize that the twentieth century was among the most barbaric epochs in human history. Millions were slaughtered in two world wars, in the ovens of death camps, in the killing fields of genocide, and on the altar of convenience.

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The Case of the Cloned Kitten–An Ethical Challenge

Just before the end of the year, headlines across the nation announced that a Texas woman had received delivery of a newly cloned kitten–an exact replica of the pet she had cherished for 17 years. The woman, identified only by her first name in press reports, declared herself ecstatic about the kitten and pleased to have paid the $50,000 required for the carbon copy of her beloved dead cat, “Nicky.”

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