Send in the Clones: fertility expert cloning human beings

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This is not a joke. The weird world of cloning people just leapt more in our face this week:  a renegade doctor is working on cloning humans, has created embryos and implanted them in women who wanted to be pregnant with the clones. Three of the embryos he made were from cells from deceased persons.

There’s so much to say about this, in a real-world as well as science fictional context, that my mind is still boggling. So for now I will just share the factoids and return to thinkish commentary later.

You can read the article here in The Independent online from the UK. A Discovery Channel (UK) program called “Human Cloning” shows the work of this doctor and airs tonight at 9pm BST, 4/22/09. Among other things this shows the work of Dr. Zavos, filmed by the documentary filmmaker doing this film for the Discovery Channel.

What is so wild about Zavos’ work is that he is defiantly and expressly breaking the taboo – and in some places (like Britain and the U.S.), overt laws – against cloning humans. The people who go to his secret clinic don’t care about laws, they care about having a baby, and a clone of someone they cared about in at least a few instances, like that of Cady, a 10-year-old who died in a car wreck. Her blood cells were preserved and her mother is open to having a clone-baby of her late daughter.

This is mind-bending, and it’s real, and it’s here now.  This also puts us just a few real-time years away from the circa 2015 posited events in the science fiction movie The 6th Day: a sci-fi thriller from 2000 delving into the ethics of cloning (plus it’s an Ahhhnold movie and great action/adventure).  See summary here

So what do YOU think of the prospect of human clones?  Practically speaking? Ethically speaking?  Great idea or weird evilness, or what?   

As for me: I’m  still sorting through my own reactions to this. Doubly strange, since Splintegrate is heavy on the clone theme,  so I’ve been living with this psychologically very closely for a long time, now.

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