The Clone Age: Adventures in the New World of Reproductive Technology

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9780805064469: The Clone Age: Adventures in the New World of Reproductive Technology
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With a new afterword.

Sperm donors on the Internet, an epidemic of multiple births, posthumous parenting-the foremost legal expert in the field takes us inside the secret world of reproductive technology. Lori B. Andrews passed her bar exam the day the first test-tube baby was born. Today she is the world's most visible expert on the legal and ethical implications of reproductive technology, sought after to assess the impact of genetic testing, the ethics of creating babies from dead men's sperm, and the propriety of human cloning. In this provocative work, Andrews relates her experiences, exploring the vast array of scientific developments in this virtually unregulated field and the social, moral, and legal questions they raise. A new afterword written for the paperback edition addresses the latest headline- making developments.

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Review:

Yesterday's science fiction is today's litigation, and nobody knows that better than Lori B. Andrews, an attorney specializing in genetic and reproductive technology. Her book The Clone Age is a personal look at the sweeping changes that have affected the way we think of making babies: in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogate motherhood, and, of course, the very real prospect of human cloning. Andrews has advised physicians, legislatures, and various governments on the legal and ethical aspects of these technologies, defending the rights of prospective parents and donors and blazing trails through territory that was literally inaccessible just a few years ago. Imagine Solomon confronted with the dilemma of a child born to a surrogate mother from donated egg and sperm at the request of an infertile couple: Would she have five parents, two, or none? Andrews has confronted this and many other puzzlers, and her report from the front is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

While she has spent much of her career arguing for the use of IVF and other technology to further reproductive choices, she does favor regulation to curb the field's dark side, such as the thinly veiled racism of nouveau eugenicists who want to "boost" the gene pool with (mostly American and European) Nobel Prize-winners' sperm. She herself has drawn the line at human cloning, which she feels serves no useful purpose and is too easily abused to be allowed as a reproductive strategy. Whether this view will prevail, as so many of her others have, will be decided in time, as today's litigation becomes tomorrow's policy. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Lori B. Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and the director of the Institute for Science, Law, and Technology, is the author of six books and has served as an adviser to the President and Congress, the World Health Organization, NIH, and several foreign governments. She lives in Chicago.

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