The First Cloning of Primates Poses Profound Ethical Questions

On reports that two macaque monkeys have been created via cloning in a Chinese lab, marking the first cloned primates, Robert Klitzman, M.D., Academic Director of the Master of Science in Bioethics program at Columbia University, shared some cautionary thoughts.

“The announcement that Chinese scientists have cloned two monkeys marks an important scientific advance, but also poses profound ethical questions,” Dr. Klitzman said. “Most importantly: will these or other scientists next attempt to clone humans? What, if anything, can or should try to stop them? And what will the implications be for humanity as a whole? This announcement makes it critical that we begin to address these dilemmas.”

Recently, Dr. Klitzman also addressed the ethics of horse cloning in polo for the fourth season of Talks@Columbia, the thought leadership series featuring top faculty from Columbia, scholar-practitioners from Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, and industry leaders.

Learn more about Columbia’s Master of Science in Bioethics program and its new fully online option starting this fall.