Thursday, February 13, 2002
Session 4: Human Cloning 7: Ethical Issues in "Reproductive" Cloning Continued
CHAIRMAN KASS: All right. Before we actually return to the discussion, I take it, our task now is to try to articulate which of these arguments we find most important and most compelling. Again an invitation, somewhere between an invitation and an exhortation, that on this topic as well where we will, I am sure, not conclude in detail, when you go home and before it gets cold, several pages, if you can, on which of the arguments are most important as you see it and I am not promising that we will simply count noses at the end but the language that could be created from the people in this room will certainly enhance whatever it is we finally put together, at home and the staff.
So, now, in the next couple of weeks would be just a wonderful time to receive further reflections, elaborations, things that occur to you after the meeting that are pertinent to this and, by the way, for anything else that we do. The comments we have gotten so far have been very, very helpful and, I did not mention but you have in your booklets, Alfonso's comment on supporting a ban on cloning to which he adverted in the comment that he had made before.
Janet Rowley has asked to lead off in this discussion and we will then try to do what Michael has invited us to do.
DR. ROWLEY: Thank you very much. I want to follow on with the tact that Jim Wilson was taking and just preface that by saying that I think it is extremely important that as we come down with the discussion of the reasons that we might be opposed to reproductive cloning that we make them as plausible as possible and Jim used the argument that certain of the comments were implausible and they diminished the strength and the validity of the arguments that we might put forward so that I think that that is critical and there are a number of other implausible arguments.
And I think that the point is, particularly if you look at 3a from last time, the reasons for reproductive cloning. The first five reasons on page 3 of Working Paper 3a are, I would think, potentially valid reasons for a couple to want to have a child that would be a clone potentially of a child that was dying and that child was very precious and through that, even though we may think they are misguided, they would like to continue that child in another offspring.
So I think that it is critical that we be as thoughtful as we can. The child that would be born would, in fact, be a child that the parents very much desire so I think that things that say this offspring is going to be treated as a social outcast is highly unlikely because when you really look at this in a realistic world there may be nobody but the parents who know how the child was derived and, therefore, society is not going to treat this child differently from any other child.
So I think it is critical that each one of the reasons that we look at be ones that we feel are valid concerns and there I do think that many of the reasons enumerated in the report of the National Academy and much of what was in some of the earlier working papers that do stress the lack of safety and the potential harm to the parent, and I am certainly willing to include harm to the fetus because of the technical nature of that individual's early state that those are certainly perfectly valid reasons. As well as some of the other ethical reasons that, I believe, will come forward from this afternoon's discussion but we also, I think, have to make sure that we do not phrase them in a way that reflects our own individual bias but try to make them as broadly applicable to people of varying backgrounds as is possible.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you very much.
Janet, I know that you have — from private conversation — think that at least some of those arguments in Working Paper 3b are problematic and if — it need not be now but if you — if not now, certainly when you get home we would love to have your suggestions as to which of those things strike you as implausible or speaking improperly.
DR. ROWLEY: I have my comments on all the working papers of the first meeting right here and I will speak with staff about them.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Terrific.
Well, now that Michael has told us that we have to bell the cat, Charles is ready to step to the plate as usual.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: No, I just want to bunt.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Which is to pose — maybe we could start by — with a kind of counter argument in favor of cloning or at least a way of saying that there are analogous situations in noncloning situations which work out okay. Earlier we heard that we have to be careful about emphasizing the lack of loving parents or of biological association with the parents lest we offend people who adopt, and it is not only a question of offense, lest we contradict evidence that you can be a child who is adopted and loved.
Let me ask that regarding the production of a child who is a copy. We have the accidental production of copies in biological twins. How harmed are they and if we base our argument on the harm of being a copy, how can we contradict the evidence from real life that twins or triplets generally are no worse off than anyone else and actually have special experiences and joys that some of us may not even know?
I know the big difference is it is a delayed copy but perhaps in fleshing out it is a copy of a lived life rather than two copies emerging un-lived but perhaps we could — someone could elaborate on that as to what the — what is it that repels us about the making of a copy if we are not repelled by twins?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Jim?
DR. WILSON: I think to a first approximation that the crucial difference lies in this: Twinning, which occurs very rarely, is an accident. We have two eggs. One egg becomes two eggs and they are genetically more or less identical. But copying means taking somebody that you know, an existing child, Raquel Welch, Arnold Schwazenegger, Michael Jordan, the guy next door, your grandfather, and trying to copy them.
The issue then is that the first category falls within the realm of the mysterious and wonderful surprise. Though, not every parent is delighted to push two babies around in the baby carriage at the same time, most measure up to the task admirably but designing somebody to copy somebody else is a more complicated question.
Janet said, "What if you are trying to copy a loved child who now has a terminal illness?" Well, that is different from trying to copy a sex goddess or a basketball star because you want your child to look like them. So somehow — and I have not got the words in my own mind — we have to make these distinctions so that twinning is one case, possibly copying a terminally ill child that you want to preserve is another case and copying somebody because you admire them or want your child to look like them is a very much separate case.
And my objection to cloning, which I initially did not have but Leon Kass talked me into having, was, in part, I could not figure out a way to select how you would select the clone without opening up this Pandora's box in possibilities of designing children — of making children objects in some sense but I think twinning is different from these other cases. I do not have the language to explain clearly why the differences exist but they are different.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let me lean on what you have said in response to Charles because Charles wanted you to focus on the copy and you focused on the design by choice rather than by accident so that to — just to draw you out, one could imagine that — and forgive the science fiction of this but one could imagine that in some future day a child would be designed not by cloning and would not look like anybody else at all. It seems to me that the point that you have now made stands and the cloned relation disappears.
DR. WILSON: Are you talking about, in effect, genetic engineering? Designing from scratch.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. Is the problem here that the child is the product of will and selection or is there something added because it is a copy — "copy with an asterisks", we will speak shorthand. It is not an exact copy but is somehow an attempt at a copy of some other being.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: I raise it because — excuse me, Jim. You know, on page 1 where we have the paragraph under "A", the cloned child, in italics we have "experiments in human identity" and then "experiments in programming." I am trying to —
CHAIRMAN KASS: Separate these.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: — tease them out.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: And to say leave out the fact that the programming here, which is in itself a moral problem. Let's just talk about the experiment in human identity, which we have had in natural twins. So how does — why are we offended and why do we object?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Did you want to say anything more, Jim, or not?
DR. WILSON: I am not sure I have my thoughts well enough in order to say anything at all but the parents do now in many cases go to some length to produce "the right kind of child." We begin with assortative mating that men and women of roughly the same educational level, often roughly of the same personality and political orientation, sometimes of the same athletic background are more likely to get married than people who have none of these things in common.
Now this may — this is, in fact, the result of drives that may, in fact, have nothing to do with child bearing but they do, in fact, affect child bearing because it increases the probability, though far from the certainty of having a child that will to some degree emulate the parents.
The deliberate design, however, or engineering of a child to produce some template, it seems to me, is a very different matter. First of all, it strives towards a kind of certainty that people I do not think should exercise over children. Secondly, it creates the risk that if you make a mistake, that is to say in your engineering plan, you will hold it against each other as parents or against the child. And, thirdly, though this is not any concern to the parents, it reduces biological diversity in a way that is harmful to the human race.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Michael, and then Janet? Janet, did you want to respond directly to this?
DR. ROWLEY: Yes. You see, this is where I think we have to be very careful that we deal not too far in the future and I think that to the extent that we can avoid too much of eugenics in our discussion we will end up having a report that will be far more acceptable to the — not only general educated community but certainly to the scientific community.
Irv made the point that we are all genetically defective so it has been estimated that we all — seven percent of our genes are defective genes. Now they may only — that defect may only come out if you are stressed in a certain way or if you live to a certain age and then those genetic defects become apparent but the notion that somebody in the future is going to be so knowledgeable that they can put all of the genes together in an embryo and have them all be nondefective genes is so vanishingly small as to be nonexistent. And so I believe, again as I asked earlier, that we have to confine ourselves to things that are really going to be biologically relevant.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Comment? Bill, please?
DR. HURLBUT: I affirm what you say but I think you should take it even one step further and say that to even define a gene as defective has a huge variation of context implicit in it.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Could I get a point of clarification from you, Janet, because it does bear on the way in which some of us at least have been thinking about this? There are at least some people, and some of them, in fact, scientists insofar as they write for public consumption, Lee Silver would be one name that comes to mind, who talk about, and talk rather optimistically, not about getting rid of all of the recessive — mostly recessive genes that we carry but talk about things like genetic enhancement privately practiced.
I mean, I think probably a fair amount of it is overblown but are you suggesting that we really should not even put on to our conceptual horizon genetic intervention based upon genomic knowledge that might actually come under the heading of enhancement, whether it be for simple things like height? I mean, is that off the table?
DR. ROWLEY: Well, all of these things are going to be multifactorial and how many genes are involved in the determination of height I am not very certain. I mean, I am totally uncertain. And in many of these areas it is really the interaction of two genes so one gene is not enough. You need two. And in some circumstances I think there is evidence that you need more than two. So how you get the constellation of all the right genes out of the 30,000 or so that we have in our cells, you know, I think is just such an unlikely event that to be bringing up these as rational, valid arguments against cloning, we run the risk of undermining our report.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you. Dan?
DR. FOSTER: I certainly agree with that. I mean, you know, the crude estimates are that every gene has at least three messages because of, you know, each message has, you know, somewhere around three proteins that is going to — I mean, those are minimal estimates. So even if you know the genome you have got, you know, multiplied possibilities and trying to put all that together is difficult.
I do not think we ought to confuse the issue of genetic enhancement, particularly — I mean, you can do that somatically. You know, people have said that in gene therapy you have got to worry about whether you use nuclear RNA or mitochondrial RNA, and whether you are going to do this for therapy or enhancement and so forth. I mean, you can get all those models.
But there is a much bigger problem if you are talking about gene therapy in the germ cell. I mean, whether you are doing somatic or germ cell because that is not just in one cloned individual. That is going to be passed down, you know, throughout the whole tree after that. In one sense I think that the, you know, germ cell therapy, although for sickle cell or something like that it might be worthwhile doing it, that is a much more serious problem than cloning.
In other words, I do not think we ought to complicate the issue of cloning, which is before us, with cloning plus gene therapy and enhancement. I mean, I think those are — that is a vastly — then it becomes vastly more complicated than the already complicated issue.
And the only other thing I want to say in passing, I agree with the view about trying to say in fairness there might be certain circumstances where cloning could be justified. I am not sure of that myself that it could be but there also is the issue that — of catastrophic damage to the race, you know, so that there are only a few survivors. Let's say that there was a widespread, you know, dinosaur-like collision on the earth or something. You could conceivably say that the technology of cloning, if there are enough survivors to have some diversity, that that might be life-saving for the universe, at least the human universe. Now, I think that is very farfetched but, I mean, people have brought that up.
My main point is that I do not want to confuse genetic engineering and germ cell genetic engineering with cloning. I think that will make it so complicated that you cannot deal with it.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. I think the only reason the question comes up — and gene therapy is off the table all together from the discussion here but there are some people — in fact, the testimony has been offered that in some ways cloning is the first of a series of possibilities where genetic knowledge, in fact, maybe even much more precise genetic knowledge than cloning, which is, after all, crude. You pump in the nucleus, you do not really know what you have got in there. If one had more precise genetic knowledge, one could, in fact, start down the road to "designer" children.
And I take Janet's point exactly that if this is on the horizon it is out there but if we are here going to be talking about that, what is objectionable here is that somebody is doing designing or engineering not for therapy, not for therapy, then at least those — at least conceptions of the possibility of genetic enhancement are part of the way people have been talking about it publicly. That is why it has entered into the discussion.
And if it turns out to be — if it turns out that we could do a surface by pointing out that this is for the moment just smoke and mirrors and very unlikely, that would also help. I mean, that was — I was not suggesting that we take up gene therapy at all.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Could I just add one sentence on that. I think you are absolutely right. Michael's point that this — our unanimity and societal unanimity on cloning — offers us an opportunity to make a moral argument is important here. Designer genes and designed humans could be decades, centuries away. But, as Leon said, cloning is a crude first case. It is a completely designed human in a sense because it is a copy of something that we know.
So by making the argument against design now with this, we establish a principle that can later be applied if and when the other becomes a problem. So I think it is useful to do it even though obviously the actual advent of that threat is very far away.
CHAIRMAN KASS: I have the two Michaels, Sandel and Gazzaniga and Bill.
DR. HURLBUT: This is relevant to the direct thing you are talking about.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Okay, please.
DR. HURLBUT: I think we need to be careful not to object to cloning on the basis that we are going to produce an identical copy because I think — Leon and I had a little talk about that in the break and I think I disagree with Leon's understanding of genetics but my thought of this is that we have to avoid doing what has been called "genomic metaphysics."
I have an objection to some of the working papers that imply that a person is their genetics. I do not think there is any real good scientific evidence for that and I think there is a little bit of evidence at least to go the other direction that, in fact, what you have to avoid in this discussion is what Steven Rose calls the "nuclear board room" where the cell is completely controlled by the nucleus.
In fact, what he calls "molecular egalitarianism" is more to the point. The cytoplasm actually affects the gene expression a lot and that is why when you put a different nucleus into an oocyte you are not going to get the same thing as you did from a split oocyte, the split zygote that produces identical twins.
And then there are about 50 good reasons that I could go through that show you why even identical twins from an original cell are not the same and this has to do with things ranging all the way from the lack of concordance of twins to the very real differences that there are in twins that you would not think would be there, like differences in handedness, differences in swirls in the hair, differences at the expression of diseases. I know of a case of Huntington's disease where twins, identical twins, had a difference of expression by ten years. And there are identical mutations in cystic fibrosis where they have completely different phenotypic outcomes.
The point is that a clone is not only going to have just those differences. It is going to have the differences of the accumulated somatic mutations in the nucleus it is placed. It is going to have the differences potentially of the mitochondrial differences. It is going to have the differences of the gestational effects of a different mother at a different time or so forth. There are just so many differences.
Just because they can make a cow that produces a substance in its udder that you can milk out as a pharmaceutical, one gene — sure, there are going to be genes that are direct impacts on phenotype but most of what we really care about for which we would do cloning, issues of performance or appearance and so forth, those are going to be what are called quantitative trait loci with many, many genes entering into them, and be probably way beyond our bioinformatics for many a decade at least, and maybe forever.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Michael and then Michael?
PROF. SANDEL: I do not think we can entirely disentangle cloning as a copy and cloning as making a designer baby. It seems to me that what is objectionable, the core of the moral objection to cloning, is not that it is a copy but that it is a copy by deliberate design. A copy of a particular other person. The parents want this clone because it is a copy of some particular other child or other person with some characteristics.
Insofar as that is a motivation, then you cannot completely separate the objection to cloning from the objection to genetic engineering and designer babies. You could try to distinguish to see what is doing the moral work in our worry. You could imagine two hypothetical scenarios to isolate these two features of cloning.
You could imagine a group of parents who have failed at an infertility clinic of a conventional kind and who go to one that specializes in cloning. They clone babies but the baby they take home is assigned at random behind a veil of ignorance. They do not get the one that they cloned.
Compare that practice on the one hand, which involves cloning but does not involve a child with characteristics that you have chosen and identified and designed in advance so the mystery, the uncertainty is still present. The hubris of actually deliberately constructing a child with certain characteristics is not present because you do not know which one you will go home with.
Compare that scenario with another scenario where there is no cloning, where there is a natural — a pregnancy begins, a couple conceive a child, and during the course of the pregnancy, let's say the mother is able to take some kind of pill that can select for the sex, the height, the physical strength and the intelligence of the child. So there has been no cloning.
Which of these two practices would you find most objectionable? It seems to me the second. And the reason we would object more to the second than to the first is that it has all of the things that we have talked about here, the hubris, the treating of the child as a project, as an object of manufacture, removal of mystery, all of that would be present without any cloning so it is not the cloning as such that carries the moral graviment here.
It is the deliberate design, the genetic engineering that flies in the face and erodes the proper way of regarding and revering and treating children and instead sets up the deliberate choice of characteristics.
Now, it could be argued that there — people will argue we do this environmentally. We select for various characteristics, not only by the marriage partners but also in trying to enroll kids in special classes that will enable them to get 1,800s on the SATS even if you do not genetically engineer it or who will be good at sports and giving them special advantages but insofar as those — that should not be a comfort to those who would support cloning.
To the contrary, the very fact that cloning babies by deliberate design carries forward a logic of a practice we are already engaged in, is all the more reason to oppose it and all the more reason to rethink the tendency implicit in the current environmental manipulation of children that regards them as projects and their success is a measure of the parent's worth and so on.
As, also, creating dispositions — Mary Ann last time used the term "the insensitivities that induce desensitizing" to the mystery of human nature and in the case of the child's nature.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Michael Gazzaniga?
DR. GAZZANIGA: I would like to go back and pick up a couple of threads here. The emphasis that I think we should stick to the safety issues is a very serious one because we are on solid footing there and the minute we drift off into the psychologizing of the interaction of the clone with the parents, we are not on firm ground.
There is — built into this conversation is this thought that the clone is a copy and, of course, we all know from thousands of identical twin experiments that you can look at twins as a glass half full or half empty, that there is a tremendous concordance rate with disease intelligence, psychopathologies, and yet there is a tremendous individual variation, too.
So the probability that a cloned child would be not a chip off the old block but the old block is just wrong. It is just — there is going to be tremendous variation there and it might dissuade people from even thinking about it if they really looked at the twin data and saw how much variation that will undoubtedly occur.
But, Mike, what you are scared of on the selection business of a baby-building, I learned this week, to my great surprise — I think it was generally known by those people who worry about these things — if you do a couple of clicks on Google after you look up "IVF" you get yourself to a clinic and you type in exactly what you want in your spouse, hair color, level of education, height, athleticness, what part of, you know, America did they go to school in, and bingo comes back a list of eggs that they have ready to go. Egg 418 looked pretty good to me. It has all the characteristics that you might think you want in your spouse. It is here. They are doing it on a daily basis.
So this sort of, you know, ringing our hands about this is — it is here.
PROF. SANDEL: Just briefly.
CHAIRMAN KASS: I think Michael wants to say something to that.
PROF. SANDEL: Michael, I want to respond. My response is that is just as appalling as cloning.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Rebecca, and then I have Gil and then Robby.
PROF. DRESSER: I think we do need to think about what we might say in response to some of these arguments for reproductive cloning and two of them talk about infertile couples who could — I mean, say you have a man who is sterile so the only way that they could have a child who is biologically related to the husband is through cloning. Also you might have a situation where the only way — I mean, people who do not want to engage in prenatal screening or pre-implantation screening might say, "Well, this is the only way we could have a healthy child and this would allow us to avoid donor gametes. Our goal is to avoid donor gametes."
What would we say to them in response besides, "Well, currently it is unsafe and I do not think we should invest the resources into making it safe"? But this is a variation of the arguments people have used for other kinds of infertility treatments so I think we need to think about what we would say.
I guess the other point is these parents who would like to produce a child to replace one who has died prematurely. I mean, people have said, "Well, they are misguided." But I think we would want to go into some of the reasons, in a sensitive way, why we do not think the child can be replaced and I do not know how many of you read my friend, Tom Murray's piece in the Washington Post about replacing a child through cloning. It was really one of the most powerful pieces I have ever read about why this really would not work and I think we should look to that as a reference.
DR. ROWLEY: Can I just respond? I would like to just respond to the first one. So if a husband is infertile, the wife wants a child related to the husband, of course if it is cloned then it is not related to her. So that is the trade off she is going to have to make.
CHAIRMAN KASS: She gets to deliver it you see.
DR. ROWLEY: She would carry it but by cloning she has no genetic contribution to that child and that may change the situation.
CHAIRMAN KASS: To this, and then Gil is going to hold on? Go ahead.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: It is an interesting point that you raise because there are sympathetic cases where you can, you know, I think fairly easily justify cloning. The question is do you ban the whole? Do you permit the whole category of actions, including the nonjustified cases because you can find some justified cases or you can reverse it? I mean, just because we can think of some harms, do you then ban the entire class of action, that it could include certain, you know, beneficial things because you can identify some harms to some individuals? There is an intermediate solution to that which is actually to permit it only in, you know, certain cases.
For example, I mean, this would apply actually to the research cloning as well if some rich entrepreneur wanted to clone himself and give the embryos out as party favors, I mean it is a pretty gross thought but, you know, you could imagine some guy in Silicon Valley, you know, doing that as a joke to stick it to the antiabortion people. I mean, presumably even the, you know, supporters of that, you know, would not want to see that happen so that is another possibility is you could actually try to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of the procedure.
CHAIRMAN KASS: I have Gil, Robby and Mary Ann.
PROF. MEILAENDER: A word to Michael Sandel's comment before but then mainly I want to express how lost I am. I would hate to have to make the choice, to be asked to make the choice that you gave us about which of those two things was somehow worse, Michael.
It seemed to me that one thing — your worry about the control and the hubris and so forth, I mean, that does capture one aspect of the concern about cloning. It did not capture anything about the issue between the relation between the generations, however, which is, you know — I mean, maybe you do not think that is a powerful argument anyway but, you know, that would be a concern about cloning even in the hypothetical case where the hubris could not enter in because you did not get to pick your own, pick which one you took home sort of so that there are other considerations that would enter in, I think.
But then I — you seem to me — did I say something really stupid that you are smiling about?
CHAIRMAN KASS: No, I am smiling because I am going to appreciate what is coming.
PROF. MEILAENDER: Well, you just seemed to me to have ended the last session very optimistically now because at least my understanding of your summary of — your understanding was that we had some kind of agreement that whatever exactly we call this,cloning for baby making, that that was a bad thing, that we were going to try to think about the arguments, that was one thing.
And that, second, we were going to try to think about the arguments in this rich, thick way that Michael had urged us to think about that was not reduced to considerations of safety alone.
And it seems to me now that the reported consensus on both of those things has broken down and I am just — I am not sure where the conversation is.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes, we have had an attempt in an exchange about whether it is copying or manipulation that is troublesome. As soon as you mentioned copying there is lots of screaming that it is not really copying anyhow and that is the most important thing to say. I wish I remembered to ask Irv Weissman about this because almost a couple of lines away from saying that the clone, of course, is not going to be identical and all kinds of environmental factors, and I am sure Bill is right about that.
There are also remarks that cloning is a wonderful way of replicating animals for their uses and surely you do not have to be a genetic determinist to think that if there was nothing in this, if the genotype did not somehow matter enormously, this would be a — you know, a dead end all together even in animal cloning but — so the copying thing breaks down. There is some worry about whether manufacture or manipulation is really an isolated case here or whether it is generalizable to other things.
And listening to all this stuff go around, sensible Michael Gazzaniga says, "Look, safety. That is solid. The rest of this stuff is..." you should excuse me "...speculation."
So I am going to fly Michael's flag again — and Janet, by the way, has called attention to the fact that at least some of the arguments in Working Paper 3b — she just advertised this, she has not nailed them all — are exaggerations that undercut the legitimacy and the believability of the case we want to make so here we are.
Worries about identity and individuality is not a problem because there will not be any identity and individuality. Mind you, Jim Wilson last time said, if I am not misremembering him, "The problem is not going to be that the kid is not, in fact, going to be somehow living out the life that preceded him but everybody is going to be looking at him and wondering why aren't you more like the guy I tried to plan you to be?"
So that the — there still would be questions about identity and individuality precisely because you did not have the things identical. So that the attempt at a copy failed might produce consequences almost as bad, if not worse, as producing the copy itself should it succeed.
We have Paul McHugh from earlier, if I can find it, where manufacturing was point 1, copying was point 2, and then breaking off the kind of lineage and the human affection, which of course runs afoul of do we want to say something terrible about adoption and the fact that — you know, et cetera, et cetera.
So I am with Michael Gazzaniga, I think we should just give up.
DR. MCHUGH: Can I just speak to that because I thought the conversation was going along quite well given what Charles had said. Charles was challenging the issue of if you think it is an infringement on human dignity to be a copy how do you deal with twins? And that seemed an important thing to do if you wanted to say that reproductive human cloning was a degradation of human dignity.
Now I think that the important thing to say about twins that occur in nature are that they are special in themselves. They are, themselves, individuals. They discover that they are twins rather that they are created — they are manufactured as twins. It is part of their individual nature. In fact, to be a twin and not something that somebody said you are going to be a copy of anything other than somebody who is also living a life directly with you.
So, I think those are crucial distinctions between what is the natural creation of twins and their individual nature, which includes the fact that, gee, I am a twin, I have an interesting special life, and somebody saying, I am going to make you a twin of dad or even twin of Junior, who has already had a bit of a life and for which that copying is intended for my purposes and to some extent not completely for your purposes.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Unless someone wants to join in this, I had Robby and Mary Ann. Janet, do you want in here?
DR. ROWLEY: I can wait.
CHAIRMAN KASS: You can wait. Robby, Mary Ann and Janet, Bill.
PROF. GEORGE: Leon, I am not surprised that we are — where we are because we come with a variety of different background ethical understandings and commitments so I think it is natural, if I can use that term, that we are where we are.
I think that some arguments will appear plausible to some people but less plausible or even implausible to others not because we disagree about some empirical facts or even predictions in some cases, although those would result in disagreements, but because of background understandings about what constitutes harm or what counts as injustice or wrong or what have you.
Now, I think that does highlight the fact that we are going to have to deal with a procedural issue if it has not been dealt with, Leon, down the line, which is should we look for a report, should we hope for or should we try for a report that will express a consensus or should we be satisfied to canvas arguments in a report that some members think are plausible but other members think are implausible and just lay the facts of the matter in that regard out in the report?
I do not know what we are planning to do or whether that is something we are to decide or it has been decided.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Nothing has been decided but let me make a proposal on this at least the way I have been thinking about it without actually articulating it, and this is to anticipate where we will be tomorrow where there will be nothing like this degree of rough agreement on the outcome where there might be differences here today about the reasoning.
I think we can proceed differently in the two parts of the discussion about cloning for biomedical research and cloning for baby making.
The last time there were some people who suspected that if you start
to try to dissect the repugnance you are going to wind up with a bunch
of arguments that do not add up to anything. Better Paul McHugh's 18-year-old
revulsion at "The Birthmark"
than anything that he has learned sense. Other people said, "No, we should
make an effort."
If you look at the report of the California Council, the California body, they reached a unanimous agreement on the result and simply said, "Some of us find some of these arguments more persuasive than others." And I do not think that is simply taking a shotgun approach and hoping that everybody in there is going to find something that is their's. I think that was Charles' remark last year. There were 200 and some odd votes and seven arguments and there were 50 people or 30 people. My math is failing. You know, people found each of those arguments — some people found each of those arguments persuasive enough to produce the conclusion.
I do not see any reason why we should not try to elaborate the variety of arguments that at least some people here think have weight. And if there are some about which all of us agree, so be it. If not, I think we can simply say, "These are the arguments that have been advanced, we do not all subscribe to all of them and these are there for your consideration. And, by the way, it happens that we think these are most worthy of your consideration."
That I think is a lot easier to do in this area than it will be when there is less agreement on the outcome unless one wants to say, as Michael Gazzaniga said very nicely wondering why we were spending so much time on it. Forgive me, I am paraphrasing it, "This is just disgusting, period." And I do not think — forgive me but I do not think we can get away with doing that even if that is the first and, alas, the last word.
So, I do not think we should give up on this matter, though. I think someone has to step up and bell the cat. And if the language of human dignity is the language we want, it cannot be a slogan. I mean, it has got to be — and we might, in fact, for the next time see if — we are not the first to think of the term and it has a meaning other than Kant gave it, we are not bound to Kantians if we speak that language, but it might be important for us, just as we have had technical assistance on the scientific side, to get some discussion in here and maybe even someone in here if we do not have the talent in the room to try to develop some of these notions so that these arguments, in fact, can be developed in a more than sloganary way.
PROF. GEORGE: That certainly sounds sensible to me and I would support that approach.
I would point out, though, that there is a potential fallacy that we want to avoid running into and that is supposing that an argument's ability to attract widespread support tracks the strength of the argument or its fundamental nature. You could have an argument that is able to get us all — that we will all buy, that we have got unanimity on, but there may be some people who think that there are stronger and more fundamental arguments but those very arguments are arguments that do not attract the support of some other people who buy the original argument.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Look, on this point, I mean, I will again make a proposal and I am open to your suggestions and corrections. It does seem to me that to the extent to which we have also a pedagogical and educational function, which means not that they should agree with us but that they should be given things to think about. It seems to me that the best argument might, in fact, be one made by only one person in here and we should nonetheless put it out there.
PROF. GEORGE: Okay.
CHAIRMAN KASS: I mean, I think that it is — anything that — anything that serious and thoughtful people in this room think is an argument sufficiently worthy — we run it by everybody else to make sure there are not logical hollows (sic) or factual errors. I think it is important to at least provisionally say it belongs in the discussion and that — because we are not finely sure — we are not finely sure on which of these points the full weight — we might not finally be sure which of these points the full weight falls.
If you are simply going to go what can command the most respect, Michael Gazzaniga said it, it is finished but I think that we are trying to do something — I mean, the safety question is not finally an objection to cloning. The safety question is a temporizing objection to the technique and the question is would we have objections to cloning were it is safe? That is partly our charge and that means we have got — you asked a procedural question. Did you want to —
PROF. GEORGE: No, I have a substantive point as well.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let's do that.
PROF. GEORGE: But I wanted to get the procedural question on the table. It relates to the substantive point because the substantive point is to try to build a little bit on what Michael has been doing here this afternoon.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let's do it.
PROF. GEORGE: And I — the parallel is obviously not exact but in the debate over slavery, particularly the early debate, not the debate in the 1830s and '40s and leading up to the Civil War, but in the earlier period when slavery was introduced into the United States there were objections.
Among the arguments that were canvassed by the people who favored the importation of African slaves was the idea that the slaves themselves would be put in a better position than they would be in if they were simply left in Africa subject to tribal warfare and to enslavement in Africa and all sorts of terrible horrors.
And then the question became would it be better — are we not doing them a favor and, therefore, doing them no injustice to import them into the United States however they are treated, and there was some, as you can imagine, idealization of how they would be treated in the United States, they will be overall better from a point of view of simply consequences the argument was. The situation is not one that you can really condemn on grounds of morality or justice because you are making people better off. That argument was countered not only by the objection that cast doubt on the likely consequences of importation of slaves for the slaves because some opponents of slavery were actually willing to concede the point and say that actually the slaves would be better off if you brought them here.
But they argued that by breaching the fundamental principle of human equality and introducing the institution of slavery in the United States, there actually was not even a United States in the early part, they were still colonies, you would be creating a cultural structure and set of understandings. An ethos, which would diminish everybody's self-understanding of their humanity or what Kant might call "their dignity." Or if we are going to be Kantians we will call "their dignity." You will make our own self-perceptions, the ethos that will be generated around the institution of slavery will just diminish our own understanding of our humanity.
And to fast forward, a lot of years later a friend of mine visited South Africa after the dismantling of Apartheid and came back and was telling some of us about it, and said, "Look, they are going to have a long time — it is going to be a long time getting over the situation of Apartheid in South Africa because there was a kind of sickness. A kind of sickness that was introduced, a serious pathology that has affected people's self-understanding pretty much across the board that is just going to make it very difficult." An institution like Apartheid has long-lasting consequences. People say the same thing about the Soviet Union. It is sometimes put in terms of the terrible effects of communism on the Russian soul. People will talk in those terms.
But the point here is that sometimes it is not simply a concern that this or that individual human being will suffer these or that — these are those bad consequences in the slavery case. We are now in the possible cloning case. But that we will create by virtue of introducing something that will be institutionalized where we will contribute to or exacerbate an already existing condition, which is one which is incompatible with a truly humanistic understanding. With an understanding of the human being as having intrinsic dignity.
Now, you put it earlier and put it in the last meeting, and I completely agree with it, that proper understanding of a child is not as an object, not something that can be or ought to be manufactured but rather as a gift. I think we need something like that in place to explain why children are not property.
It is actually quite difficult to explain on purely consequentialist terms why we do not treat children as property but I certainly think that we should make sure never to breach a principle, irrespective of what the immediate consequences would appear to be, to breach a principle that the breaching of which simply makes it impossible to say why children are not property or to treat children as truly gifts.
And that is why I think that the fundamental — my own judgment of this is — and here we are going to have different views about the plausibility of the argument. The fundamental problem with cloning for baby making is manufacture. It is treating the child as an object. It is breaching the principle that enables us to explain why it is that children are not property.
I fear that it is exacerbating an already bad situation because I think — and I would be very curious about Jim Wilson's reaction to this — I think we have already gone down the road much too far culturally towards seeing children not as having an intrinsic dignity but as having their worth in certain perfection that they are supposed to have in their ability to produce for us things that we desire as parents or as adult members of the society.
There is a mall near Princeton. I was wandering in the mall one day shopping and a woman with a couple of kids had one of the kids in hand who obviously had Down's Syndrome. And as the woman passed there were a couple who were on the other side of me and I heard one of them express to the other view that not only was this unfortunate that this child had Down's Syndrome but there was something irresponsible that the parents had done in allowing that child to be born. There was a wrong done. I am not sure whether they were meaning the wrongness to the child or to all of us or to the society who spent resources.
So there was no sense of the intrinsic dignity of the child that I could perceive in that kind of comment but rather Aylmer's error of supposing that the dignity of the child was dependent in some way on the child at least not having Down's Syndrome, if not being perfect, at least not having Down's Syndrome, and I think that is just emblematic of a problem we have.
Michael has pointed to some other factors that I think are indicia of that direction and my fundamental fear when it comes to the issue of cloning for baby making is that it will simply seal or at least exacerbate an already serious misunderstanding of the basis of the human dignity of the individual.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Mary Ann, Bill and Bill and Paul.
PROF. GLENDON: I would like to reflect just a bit on the kind of situation where you have wide agreement about an outcome but very different reasons for supporting that outcome. Reasons that maybe are different because of the philosophical presuppositions on which they rest or reasons that involve different estimates of probabilities and harms.
It seems to me that from the way this conversation has been going, we may end up in a place not too different from the rest of American society having a view — a common view on an outcome and having quite a divergence of views on why.
Nevertheless, two things seem to me to be worth thinking about. One is that certainly a group like this can perform a great service by stating — by evaluating the reasons that we think are nonstarters. Really trivial. And by giving our best views on the relative weight of the various considerations.
And then if we should come out with three, four, five reasons that are supported with different degrees of enthusiasm by different members of the group but none of which are laughed out of court by the group then I would suggest that the cumulative weight of those three, four, five, six reasons is itself a separate and additional reason for bolstering an outcome that is widely supported.
And a little historical example or precedent of this kind of thing: Right after World War II one of the first things the United Nations did was get a group of philosophers together to try to see if there could be such a thing as universal human rights. And these philosophers came from all different religious and philosophical traditions and, surprisingly, to their surprise and everyone else's, they could agree quite easily that things like torture and slavery were always and everywhere wrong but they could not for the life of them agree on the reasons, and they left it at that.
It is not a small thing to be able to say that some things are so bad in practice that no one wants to publicly advocate them and some things are so good in practice that no one wants to publicly disavow them. So I want to sound an optimistic note here.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Good.
Bill Hurlbut, Bill May and Janet. I think after Bill May if I did not miss the queue. Bill Hurlbut, Bill May, Janet.
DR. HURLBUT: I am not sure I can articulate this quite properly but I am going to try anyway. What you just said strikes me as really to the heart of the matter. As I was reading the papers we were given I remember in the Lederberg paper he talked about the possible benefit of cloning being an extension of what twins experience by way of intense communication and a deeper possibility of a richer fullness of social reality.
Now, I said a few minutes ago I do not personally think that would happen all the more because they would not have a common gestation. By the way, an interesting subset on what I said before is that twins actually share — most identical twins share placenta. Some share other extraembryonic membranes so that they are consanguineous and even fraternal twins in the womb often share blood systems and sometimes express both their blood types.
So we are talking about a system where it is not just genetics. You are talking about a system where there is this profound intermingling of process. There is a scientific idea called "regression to the mean" and it is often taken — this means that if you take tall parents, their kids will still end up shorter than you would have predicted probably. At least they will not compound and you cannot get — necessarily get a really tall child by mating tall parents. You will probably get a taller child but what you are more likely to get is a child that is regressive towards the mean.
Well, why is that? Partly because of genetic reshuffling but, second, because there is this amazing — the amazing process that homogenizes in the expression, the stochastic effects of genes playing out and so forth that what happens in one gestation is not necessarily going to happen in the next even with exactly the same genotype.
So that is the foundation of why I object to Joshua Lederberg first off but the second point is — and this is why I said the thing about not copying — our objection to cloning, as I agree with Michael, should not be that it will produce an exact copy. It should be, in the broadest sense, the type of intervention that is involved. The project that a person becomes.
And here I was thinking of Dworkin's paper. I am not — I cannot really claim that I understood that paper fully but I think, if I understood, it I disagree with it. Okay.
DR. HURLBUT: And what I disagreed with it was this emphasis on the human obligation to forge forward into chance versus choice. I think the chance versus choice is a crucial issue here and I hate to introduce such a realm of personal belief into the equation but I think, finally, this comes down to some sense of how you do ethics and what that has to do with your sense of what the natural order really is.
And from my — for my feeling, there is something good about the composite of the natural order. I — Lednetz (?) has this idea of the "compossible" and here it means, the way I take it anyway, is that all things that are possible, even some things that are good, do not necessarily all coordinate into a better whole. So it is possible for us to do without, forego something that one could make a very good positive argument for, say in this case some benefit of cloning, on the argument that it destroys too much else even if it were okay and good in itself.
And here — I know this is getting a little long but let me just try it anyway. I will be quiet after this.
Here I think we have to recognize that even medicine has a limited prerogative, not to mention the projects beyond healing. Even medicine at some point will say this is not what medicine is for even though one could argue it is good because when you put it all together there is a sense in which there are some things in human life that are made and they are designed apparently by nature for surface alteration, and some things that are just absolutely at the core of what makes us human, and if we disturb them they — we either will lose our identity or we will lose our community. I am thinking here of alterations, cosmetic alterations of the face do not strike me as that big a deal morally, whereas cosmetic alterations of deep neurologic structures would, and there is sort of concentric circles here.
One last thing I want to introduce here is the idea that there is something in this general composition of the coordinated whole of nature that relates to suffering. Today is a very special day for the Christian community in that it is the Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I am right about that, right?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes.
DR. HURLBUT: There is a very mysterious combination in this perspective on life that combines a recognition of the disorder of the natural reality, disorder of what might be called struggle, suffering and sacrifice, combined with an affirmation of the fundamental goodness within what is considered a created order by the Christian, that there is something that binds these all together, these both together, which is very central to medicine and very central to every human life also, and that is this mysterious category called love, which is a meaningful combination of accepting some things as — within the order of nature and working to change others.
And, I think, finally, in the end we are not going to define why one thing is — something is wrong absolutely. Just that it simply does not work with what we perceive to be the larger and deeper human good, which is why I so greatly welcome this way of doing bioethics after having spent 30 years reading lowest common denominator pluralism.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you.
Bill May and Janet?
PROF. MAY:: I would like to return to the points made by Michael and Mary Ann. I think it is very important to carry forward multiple arguments not reduced to common denominator. One may need to understand that the arguments are not related to one another like links in a chain, in which case you get somebody opposed to one assuming the whole thing is collapsed.
The metaphor behind your way of putting it together is strands in a rope rather than links in a chain. And one would want to eliminate things that are weak but one will also face the problem that one argument may cut against another as one prepares this. One cannot automatically assume one is putting together several strands that easily braid with one another.
My final point is that I just hope we are not too tactical about all this. There is a kind of apologetics and religious traditions where you have a settled conviction and then you just figure out how it will work with an audience and I do not think that is the way we ought to proceed.
I think, finally, there were complaints in religious politigetics (sic) that you ought to take God at least as seriously as you take your audience but in this case I think one also fails to honor one's heirs (sic). I mean, this is — this has to achieve public discourse and it seems to me we are not here to manipulate American people but to engage in public discourse that sufficiently honors them, that we expose the deep reasons that shape and would allow us to articulate our convictions.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you very much. I am now getting almost as lost as Gil for a slightly different reason. I would not dissent from anything that has been said but — and maybe it is that we have been at this all day and people are tired but we are now getting more back into the metaconversation about what form this should take and how many arguments we should use, and gotten away from the substantive questions of which ones actually deserve to be trotted out there in the first place.
Now there was some resistance in the — some suggestion that recasting these things in terms of harms as Working Paper 6 did it is shortchanging what we can do. That means one might be thrown back on Working Paper 3b, which, if it has any vices, erred in the other direction. I mean, it was expansion. It was speculative. It tried to raise large questions that ordinarily many of them do not get raised in these discussions.
And I would like to in the next ten minutes, before we take a break just before we get our own ethical instruction, to see if anybody wants to put their thumb on the scale here in favor of one or another of these moral arguments or the category of moral arguments. I do not want to say that they have not been put forth here. Several people have said, "It is the manufacture point."
By the way, "manufacture" to some people in the room already looks like being irresponsible because it sounds like taking a baby and building it up from nuts and bolts but it is, I think, the manufacture image in the literal sense of something made by hand, something made to order even if one is making only a small piece of it, the principle is somehow established. So some people have come down on that side. Other people have come down on the business of — wanted to say, "Well, it is not just the manufacture alone but an attempt at a copy of a particular being that is important." Others that this seems to be a violation of the natural way of relating to children and the order.
But it seems we could — the staff could use some help in trying — I mean, you will provide some help by what you will write when you go home but today it would be nice if these last few minutes could be used for somebody to say, "Look, this is where I think the really important issue is in addition to the question of bodily harm."
Janet, and then Charles.
DR. ROWLEY: Well, I think many of us come back to some of the comments that Michael made and I am not the person to really thoughtfully articulate these issues but some of the notions of what we mean by either humanness or human dignity are, I think, some of the issues that can at least be raised in a more philosophical way and why are you concerned about manufacture? You are concerned because of the way it contravenes at least your notion of what human dignity is.
And so I certainly think that safety is a critical component for myself but I do think that there are some other issues that are dear — probably more dear to many of you than possibly even myself but that would carry weight with the general population. These other aspects are really considered undesirable because they diminish either human dignity or some special qualities that individuals feel they have.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you. Charles?
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: A couple of short points. One is you said — you mentioned the word "speculative" in thinking of the harms. The harms are going to have to be speculative because we are not going to have empirical evidence if we succeed. There will not be any clones so we are going to have to speculate as to what it would be like to be a clone and why it would be bad and what society would look like. So I am speaking in defense of speculation because we are not going to have empirical evidence. We can draw analogies but there will be nothing empirical.
And so for the broad categories, let me suggest a shorthand. Harm to the clone, psychological and physical, and corruption of the rest of us. Hubris in the parents and the kind of chaos, if you like, in society, the rearrangement of the natural order in society. That may be three categories under which we could start to group the harms, the reasons.
And perhaps, as Janet indicated, maybe the central concept should be the assault on dignity, as Paul also suggested, as perhaps the central theme. Dignity — it would allow us to be pioneers, as Michael suggested, but it also is grounded in an idea that is generally understood and respected and whose contours we could draw and explain what we mean colloquially by dignity in a more systematic way.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Mary Ann?
PROF. GLENDON: I have changed my thinking about some of these matters on the basis of the reading and I do not know whether there is any resonance for this thought but I started out thinking about this reproductive cloning as a very dramatic break with everything and I have come to see it more as a kind of continuum of a tendency that is already regrettably very well established in our society and that is treating children too often as objects.
So I think a way — maybe a way of reflecting on this is that as surprising and shocking as the idea of cloning might seem intuitively, it really is very much of a piece and a kind of logical outcome of a whole lot of things that we have over time come to take for granted. An opportunity to rethink the way our society thinks about children.
CHAIRMAN KASS: That is very nice. Michael?
PROF. SANDEL: I agree. And that may make it worse than it appeared even when it seemed a radical break.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Gil?
PROF. MEILAENDER: Although, I do agree in some respects, Mary Ann, with what you said, I mean I think there is something different about cloning also that ought to come to the fore, and I am not sure. To me, when I try to think of the basic category, it has to do with what it does to the relation between the generations in several ways.
I mean, it is replication in a way that reproduction is not and that means that we are largely interested because we think we know what we are going to get. Granting all the truth about the fact that it is not an exact copy and so forth, it is just not clear that there would be such an overpowering reason to go ahead and do this if we did not think that we knew a good bit about what it was that we were going to get.
So that, in part, that replication means a certain kind of exercise at control. It does not mean that generations do not exercise — one generation does not exercise control over a following one in other ways but this is a different kind of control and that seems to me to be important.
And the other way, and which still sort of under my general rubric of relation between the generations, comes to the product language that it — we are — if this were to be an accepted social practice, however, perhaps rarely done, at least for the time being, we are teaching ourselves to think about the relation between the generations in a different way as a product rather than a gift and there again — I do not know if the language is controlled so much as — or even dignity, which is always language that I have a hard time pouring meaning into, I think it raises questions about the human equality.
CHAIRMAN KASS: About?
PROF. MEILAENDER: Human equality.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Equality.
PROF. MEILAENDER: In terms of the relation between the generations. So, if I were going to try to sort of sort out what arguments seem to me crucial, I mean that has been very fast but I would do it sort of in that way.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes.
DR. __________: (Not at microphone.)
PROF. MEILAENDER: Well, it is — I understand how it is that a child who results from the union of a man a woman might be thought to be a gift that they receive and one of them, equal to them. A child whom we produce through this act of replication is harder to think of in that way and insofar as it is harder there is a — it is harder to think about them simply as equals in a way when it is made for that purpose.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Robby, and then I think we should take a break.
PROF. MEILAENDER: Just quickly, I want to reinforce what Gil says there. I mean, this makes a lot of sense to me. When we ask ourselves — if we do take it as a given that there is something problematic about treating children as products, whatever our opinion is about whether cloning or IVF or anything else does that, but if we think that there is something problematic about treating children as products and if we think that the superior understanding that ought to be our's to the extent possible and our cultures to the extent possible is the idea of a child as a gift.
Getting behind that I think there is an ideal of equality that is doing the work. Why do we object to the idea of a child as a product? I think it is because we have an understanding that the producer is always superior to the product, that if we bring technique to bear to bring something into existence, that we, as the operators, as the controllers, as the people in charge of the technique are in a relationship of superiority.
Now we may vow and we may be perfectly — make good on our vow. We may make good on our vow to treat the being brought into existence, whether it is a child or a cat or, you know, whatever it is, we are vowing to treat as our equal. And, as I say, we might make good on that but that — even our making good on it would not negate the fact that in bringing that being into existence we did so on terms under which, in principle, we were the superior, they were the inferior, we were the producer, they were the product.
So I think that the staff would be well advised to look into — to explore this idea that Gil has floated of equality being a fundamental issue at stake with respect to cloning and there is some literature.
In fact, I can recall, Gil, something of your's, if you can't, that addresses this issue.
And, I think, there is some additional literature that has been put out by the Lineker (?) Center for Health Care Ethics in London. If I recall correctly, a woman named Helen Watt has done some work on this but I will certainly help the staff with this.
And, Gil, if you know the literature, maybe you could as well.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Okay. Let us do the following: I will try, rather than now where my head is about as swimming as the rest of you, I will try between now and tomorrow morning, not to summarize this discussion or produce order out of it but come in with some assignments, generalized assignments of what I think we need to do to make the next step of this. There are things that have been said here that, I think, need to be developed and articulated.
I would like, I guess, Mary Ann, just to thank you for the suggestion. I mean, in my own thinking, I have tended, at least insofar as I have been thinking about Council business, to think about cloning in the context of other technologies and insufficiently thinking about it in relation to other child rearing practices and social arrangements, of which this would be a piece.
So it seems to me that if, in fact, we did not simply make this technically based but also a socially based assessment and developing the areas that could draw on other things, granted there is a lot of empirical research to be done to see whether our intuitions about those things are right but I think that would be a contribution.
I do think if we go that route it is incumbent upon us to try to distinguish between what is perfectly proper manipulation as some people call it, which — I mean, what I call education, they call manipulation, and why it matters or does not matter so much, that it actually is the laying of hands on the genome rather than just going to work on their little souls from the time they are this big. I think there are differences but I think it behooves us if we are going to go that way to be able to indicate both the similarities and the differences I raised that last time. I do not think we have bitten that one yet.
Our public visitors should be free to go unless you want to hear how Council members are instructed about their own moral behavior. There are some snacks in the common room over there, which if you be quick about it, those of you who cannot wait to dinner, you go pick up something and come back in about seven minutes. We will try to keep the last session with our legal person for half an hour and I know some people have to go.
Thanks very much.
(Whereupon, at 4:53 p.m., the proceedings were adjourned.)