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Books, Journals, New Media
November 25, 1998

ReproductionWho's Afraid of Human Cloning?

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 1998;280(20):1798-1799. doi:10.1001/jama.280.20.1798-JBK1125-6-1

Gregory Pence's Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? constitutes a well-reasoned contribution to the cloning debate. From his initial insistence on using the more precise term, nuclear somatic transfer (NST), Pence offers a rational, well-tempered voice in a discussion that too often is driven by emotion and fears fueled by science fiction. Pence discusses the importance of the public's aesthetic response to the prospect of cloning humans, as well as the appropriate relationship between reason and emotion in ethical analysis. "[E]motions without reasons do not constitute good moral arguments. Emotions can be justified, but they can also stem from our most primitive, prejudiced reactions," he writes. Philosophy and its questioning of underlying assumptions are, according to Pence, the appropriate additive to emotion and antidote to its worst side.

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