By Heiner Roetz

Human cloning is a prime concentration of present bioethical dialogue. concerning the self-understanding of the human species, it has turn into probably the most debated themes in biomedical ethics, not just at the nationwide, but additionally at the overseas point. This ebook brings jointly articles by way of bioethicists from a number of nations who tackle questions of human cloning in the context of other cultural, spiritual and local settings opposed to the historical past of globalizing biotechnology. It explores on a cross-cultural point the issues and possibilities of worldwide bioethics

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At the same time, it seeks to ensure that such research will be in line with the fundamental values of Japanese – and international – society, and not prove socially or politically disruptive. The issue of human cloning is a show case in this respect. An analysis of public opinion, government decision making and bioethical reasoning reveals different attitudes in these spheres of discourse. Public opinion is generally favourable and focuses on the medical benefits promised by reproductive medicine.

However, after the establishment of the law and the guidelines, the topic has been fiercely debated between scientists who wish to promote “regenerative medicine” and specialists who want to put the brakes on the rapid advance of scientific technology. The central point of the debate is whether to remove the ban on “therapeutic human cloning” to acquire ES cells from a human clone embryo. Junji Kayukawa, a journalist specialising in human reproductive technology, urges us to pay attention to the fact that “regenerative medicine” was included as one of the major topics of the Japanese government’s “Millennium Project,” announced in 1999, together with other advanced technologies in the field of information science, medicine, and environmental science.

As Kayukawa and Ogoshi pointed out, this has not been sufficiently discussed. The third problem is that research on therapeutic human cloning (and research on human embryos in general) is inevitably going to regard a woman’s body as a mere “resource” to be exploited for scientific technology, and a woman’s body is going to be treated as “material” to produce a profit, even if money is paid to her as donor. ” Kayukawa urges us to discuss the gap between these two opinions, or in other words, the gap between these two worldviews concerning human life.

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