|In recent months there has been a great deal of publicity in the newspapers on the question of human cloning. As a pro-lifer I am against human cloning, but being neither a doctor nor a scientist I did not feel competent to express my sentiments in an appropriate language. However, the arrival of the March issue of Knights of Columbus magazine Knightline came to the rescue. In it there is an article by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, under the title, “Act Now to Ban Human Cloning.” Having read it a few times I phoned the head office in New Haven and received permission to publish the article in The Interim.
The Supreme Knight’s Message
Human cloning is an effort to create humans as “copies” of other humans. It is done by taking genetic material from a person’s body cell and injecting it into an egg, which then stimulated to begin embryonic development. The cloned embryo is almost identical genetically to the person whose body cell was used. It should be obvious to all Knights and pro-life advocates why human cloning is wrong, but allow me to explain further.
Human cloning is wrong because it dehumanizes human production. It treats human beings as products and mere carriers of genetic information or traits that others find useful. Cloning human embryos for live birth – so called reproductive cloning – violates human dignity – robbing the child of a real father and mother and his own personal identity.
Cloning attempts to replicate the handiwork of God, the sole Creator of life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way: “The Dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to Divine Reatitude.” (1700). There will be many who argue that cloning should not be banned because of the potential to spur on advances in medicine. This is simply not true. A full ban of human cloning will not interfere with medical research because cloning embryos for stem cell experimentation is increasingly recognized as a wasteful, unreliable and unnecessary path to medical research.At our 199th annual Supreme Court Council meeting in Toronto last August, our Order went on record as being opposed to stem cell research. It is in that same spirit and in our great tradition as Knights of Life and for Life, that I urge you to act today on this important legislation. The effective and morally acceptable way to prevent human cloning is to forbid its use to make new humans in the first place.