Re: Religious Life/Professional Ethics

George Murphy (
Tue, 03 Feb 1998 15:34:00 -0500

Keith B Miller wrote:

> I would argue that at least some guidance is provided in the issue of
> cloning, for example, by scriptural principles. The great concern shown
> for the poor, sick, and socially outcast in scripture certainly provides
> constraints on how cloning (or any medical technology) is applied. Whom
> does the cloning proceedure benefit most? Who will benefit most from
> cloned organs or from treatments based on cloning technology. If humans
> are cloned, which individuals will be chosen - those deemed most physically
> perfect, those who are most intelligent, those who will pay? How is the
> value of a human life assigned? What will be the impact on the perception
> of those who are deemed imperfect in society's eyes? I would argue that an
> ethic influenced by the gospel would favor decisions that provided for the
> best return for the neediest in society. Scripture does not provide
> specific prescriptions but general guidelines.

I agree that there are some general principles which are
applicable. It's a reasonable theological deduction from Scripture that
all human beings, no matter how produced, should be treated as fully
human. But Scripture doesn't tell us that producing humans by these
means is or isn't appropriate. I think one can make a good case that,
in the present state of the world, adoption is preferable to use of
exotic technologies for infertile couples. Of course that doesn't
amount to a prohibition of human cloning in all cases.

George L. Murphy