Human Exceptionalism

Center on Human Exceptionalism

Cells division process, Cell divides into two cells
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Cloning and Congress

WHAT’S LESS BAD: enacting a ban on so-called “reproductive” human cloning that explicitly authorizes cloning for research purposes, or passing no law at all prohibiting cloning in 2002? That is the seeming conundrum facing cloning opponents, since neither side in the great cloning debate apparently can muster the 60 votes needed to pass either a complete or partial cloning ban Read More ›

The New Grim Reapers

Is all human cloning wrong? Should doctors be allowed to kill people in permanent comas and harvest their organs? Would it be moral to deny expensive medical procedures to the seriously ill and disabled in order to provide health coverage for the uninsured? Do elderly people have a duty to die to spare their families and communities the financial and Read More ›

Licensed from Adobe Stock

Anthropology Afoul of the Facts

In 1928, Margaret Mead published Coming of Age in Samoa. An immediate success, this slender volume established Mead as the most famous and most influential anthropologist of the 20th century. For nearly half a century, whether writing scholarly articles from her desk at the American Museum of Natural History in New York or pontificating as contributing editor of the popular Read More ›

Strange Clonefellows

A GREAT DEFICIENCY in the media’s reporting of debates about public policy is their tendency to reduce messy democratic discourse to a sterile, never-ending face-off between “The Left” and “The Right.” One year, The Right launches an offensive and advances a half-mile. The next year, The Left counterattacks and regains the lost ground. This caricature has certainly dominated the reporting Read More ›

Lights of the child
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Science or Propaganda?

LAST WEEK the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) made headlines when it issued a broadside that would, if followed by Congress, grant an open-ended license for biotech researchers to clone human life. True, the NAS recommended that Congress ban “reproductive” cloning, that is, the use of a cloned embryo to produce a born baby. But it also urged that human Read More ›

Closing In on Cloning

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD ORDER is hurtling toward us at Mach speed. With the announcement by Advanced Cell Technology that it has created the first human clones and developed them into six-cell embryos, the country finds itself at an ethical point of no return. Either Congress will ban human cloning, or human cloning will soon be a fait accompli. With Read More ›

baby sleeping
Photo by Ignacio Campo at Unsplash

Wrongful Birth?

Charles de Gaulle once remarked that France without greatness isn’t France. Nowadays, we’re wondering whether France without common sense can still lay claim to greatness, or to much of anything else. The wonderment is more than rhetorical. For the nation that once gave the world the “Declaration of the Rights of Man” now adds to its legal system a concept Read More ›

License to Kill

Imagine visiting your 85-year-old mother in the hospital after she has a debilitating stroke. You find out that, in order to survive, she requires a feeding tube and antibiotics to fight an infection. She once told you that no matter what happened, she wants to live. But the doctor refuses further life-sustaining treatment. When you ask why, you are told, Read More ›

Saying No to Assisted Suicide

WHEN OREGON VOTERS legalized assisted suicide in 1994, state regulators had a problem. They wanted to authorize doctors to prescribe barbiturates as killing agents. But the federal government regulates the use of these drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, and federal law did not permit their use to intentionally kill. Ordinarily, that would have been that. The feds, not the Read More ›

“Futile Care” and Its Friends

WHEN JOHN CAMPBELL’S TEENAGE SON CHRISTOPHER became comatose after a car accident in 1994, the last problem Campbell expected was obtaining proper medical treatment for his son. Campbell, a corporate executive, had excellent health insurance and was convinced Christopher would receive the best of care. But then something awful happened. One month after the accident, Christopher developed a burning fever. Read More ›