The Test of Cloning: Can Adventists Pass?

Speaker: Categories: Oct 12, 2002


[1hr, 16min, 9sec / 1hr, 1min, 25sec]


Can you remember back to the days of yore when resolving ethical or moral dilemmas was rather simply done? Perhaps the first step to reach such resolution might likely have been to reach toward your bookshelf for a volume labeledIndex. Flipping its pages, you found the topic with numerous references following. You then reached further among your library resources and pulled down a volume or two which probably bore the logo of Pacific Press, Review and Herald, or Southern Publishing. Opening to the pages cited in the Index, you found just the answer you needed to help resolve your dilemma. If there were still a lingering question in your mind, a call to your pastor might have provided thefinalanswer.

How is it today? Do we still have easy access to definitive answers for the questions/dilemmas confronting Adventists? If not, where else might we turn for guidance? How shared are our dilemmas with the community around us? Our October AAFSD meeting will pose a dilemma, not restricted to SDAs but certainly of concern. Note what Dr. Jerry Winslow shares in the paragraph below.

“The process of nuclear transfer, commonly called cloning, may eventually be used for human beings in two very different ways -- as a method of assisted human reproduction or as a method for obtaining embryonic stem cells. Recently, much attention in our society has been given to the biological, ethical, and legal issues associated with cloning. Last November, President Bush appointed a presidential commission with the assignment of making recommendations regarding a wide variety of bioethical questions. This commission selected as its first topic the ethics of cloning, and the commission's report on cloning was issued this past summer. It may come as a surprise to some Adventists that our church, anticipating the debates about cloning,issued its own statement[emphasis added] on the ethics of cloning in 1998. Should our church address matters such as cloning? What distinctive contributions can we make to topics like this? Who speaks for our church on these topics? The Forum meeting on October 12 will take up these questions, and more."


Gerald Winslow is Professor of Christian Ethics and Dean of the Faculty of Religion at Loma Linda University. He is also Vice President for Spiritual Life of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. He received his undergraduate education at Walla Walla College and his master’s degree at Andrews University. He earned his doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. For the past thirty years, he has specialized in teaching and writing about Christian ethics, especially biomedical ethics. His books includeTriage and Justicepublished by the University of California Press andFacing Limitsfrom Westview Press. His articles have appeared in academic journals such as theWestern Journal of Medicine, theJournal of Pediatrics,The Hastings Center Report, and the Journal of Medicine and Philosophyand in church journals such asMinistry,Spectrum,Adventist ReviewandAdventist Today. He has presented lectures and seminars at universities and for professional groups throughout North America and in Australia and Europe, and he currently serves as an ethics consultant to a variety of organizations, including Blue Shield of California, Roche Pharmaceutical, and City of Hope. For over a decade, he also served on the Christian View of Human Life Commission of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He is married to Doctor Betty Wehtje Winslow, who teaches community health nursing at Loma Linda University. The Winslow’s have two daughters, Lisa who is a computer software engineer and Angela who is an occupational therapist.

"Tony"Zuccarelli, a native of New York, completed his baccalaureate degree in Bacteriology at Cornell University in 1966. He obtained his M.S. in Microbiology, with honors, at Loma Linda University, 1968, before enrolling at Cal-Tech, Pasadena, where he earned his Ph.D. in Bioethics in 1974. He enjoyed an American Cancer Society post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Constance (Germany), 1974-76, and then joined the faculty at Loma Linda University where he serves as Director, Medical Scientist Pro- gram and Graduate Coordinator, Professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry in the School of Medicine, and a member of the Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy, Loma Linda University. He has a host of professional publications to his credit.

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