A Medical ‘Black Market’ May Happen with Human Cloning

A Medical ‘Black Market’ May Happen with Human Cloning

A Medical ‘Black Market’ May Happen with Human Cloning

A black market is any illegal service or commodity that is high in demand that eventually makes its way to the unreported economy.

Dr. Charles Foster of the University of Oxford believes this will happen with human cloning.

“I expect that there will be a black market [around therapeutic cloning],” said Dr. Foster in a recent interview. “The appropriate caution of the regulators when faced with potentially new uses of therapeutic cloning is likely to be seen by desperate patients and relatives as inappropriately restrictive.”

Human cloning is illegal in nearly every country, but the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act of 2008 makes studying the topic legal in the UK.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 3.08.36 PMTherapeutic cloning, technically called “somatic cell nuclear transfer” (SCNT), is a process by which a cell nucleus (containing genetic material) is removed from a living being and transferred into an unfertilized egg that has also had its nucleus removed.

Human cloning technology would reinvent the process of transplanting organs. In theory, a patient receiving an organ removed from his or her clone would have a successful operation with no risk of rejection.

In Y 2013, BBC reported that scientists in the US were already experimenting with cloned human embryos as a source of stem cells. These cells could, in theory, be used to create organs, bone, and tissue for use in surgery.

Dr. Foster worries that such a system would lead to serious ethical problems: “If therapeutic cloning were used to produce individuals from whom organs or tissues could be harvested, there would be concerns about instrumentalization meaning that the person would not have been created because she was wanted for herself, but because a particular type of tissue or organ was wanted.”

health-121912-003-617x416One can only imagine the effect such a realization would have on the psyche of cloned individuals. The process “would produce a whole new set of relationships between humans,” says Dr. Foster, predicting that human reproductive cloning will never become mainstream.

What is more likely, says Dr. Foster, is that the cloning of animals will become more common than natural reproduction.

“The commercial pressures to produce carefully engineered meat are strong. Cloned meat could therefore become cheaper than normally produced meat, and I’m not convinced that consumers will be prepared to pay the price difference for meat produced by natural reproduction,” says Dr. Foster

Stay tuned…

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

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