Human Cloning: The Role of Law

13 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2002 Last revised: 25 May 2014

See all articles by Susan R. Martyn

Susan R. Martyn

University of Toledo - College of Law


Law embodies the moral judgments of a society. In the past, law has been used to encourage, leave alone, regulate, or ban new or emerging scientific potential. The novel legal issues that will be raised should human cloning become a reality lead to several tentative conclusions. First, we should not encourage human cloning. Second, laissez faire attitudes are too dangerous to tolerate. Third, extensive regulation will be necessary to protect both clone-donors and cloned individuals. Fourth, cloning should be undertaken only by not-for-profit organizations. Overall, we should put the burden on those who wish to use human cloning to demonstrate both benefits and safety. Even then, concerns about who will benefit and at what cost to others should inform our public policy. In considering our legal response to cloning, we need to be vigilant about the risk of human fallibility and misplaced self-confidence.

Keywords: Human Cloning, Legal Regulation, Law, Moral Judgments, Government Funding, Patent Protection, Laissez Faire, Human Subjects Research, Tuskegee Experiment, Family Law, Privacy, Commodification, Posner, Nonprofit

JEL Classification: K32, K42

Suggested Citation

Martyn, Susan R., Human Cloning: The Role of Law. University of Toledo Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, Spring 2001, Available at SSRN: or

Susan R. Martyn (Contact Author)

University of Toledo - College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States
419 530-4212 (Phone)
419 530-2821 (Fax)

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