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Ethics of Medical Research The Linacre Center for Healthcare Ethics submitted a quite lengthy article Stem Cell Research to the House of Lords Select Committee in June of 2001 This article addressed the issue of human embryo cloning The specific objective of this paper is to clarify and summarize the controversial debate concerning the ethical decency of cloning human embryos for therapeutic purposes The question lingering in many individuals minds today is Should we be playing God This question has substantial points on each side Some people think that we should not be manipulating natures creations While others believe that genetic manipulation is a natural consequence of human evolution and that we can rid the world of several life threatening diseases and quite possibly save lives Embryonic cloning has a history of significant developments and discoveries that have occurred only in the past ten or twenty years In the nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties sophisticated embryological research was banned in the United States by the Reagan and Bush administrations Due to pressure from pro-life factions of the Republic party However these regulations against research into the controversial field were relaxed considerably with the more pro-choice Clinton administration Embryos are now being created for experimental use by means of cloning In this procedure the nucleus of an unfertilized ovum is replaced by the nucleus of a cell from an existing human being The ovum is then stimulated to create an embryo As the nucleus contains almost all of the cells genetic material the embryo created is the clone or twin of the human being from who the nucleus was taken This procedure is taking place in a cold sterile dish in some laboratory not the womb of a woman There is a rather surprising amount of medical benefits arising from therapeutic cloning research Doctors hope that by being able to study the multiple embryos developed through cloning they can
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