Upstate News

May 15, 2001
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Bioethics expert to present lecture on “What’s Wrong with Cloning?” May 23 at SUNY Upstate Medical University

One of the nation’s leading bioethicists, Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., will present “What’s Wrong with Cloning?” Wednesday, May 23 at 3 p.m. on the campus of SUNY Upstate Medical University. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in Medical Alumni Auditorium of Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse.

Caplan’s presentation is part of the opening celebration of SUNY Upstate’s new Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

Caplan, a professor and director of Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, is the author of nearly a dozen books, including “Ethics and Organ Transplants” (Prometheus, 1999), “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” (Indiana University Press, 1998) and “If I Were a Rich Man Could I Buy a Pancreas and Other Essays on Medical Ethics” (Indiana University Press, 1992). He writes a special column for MSNBC. com. (His most current column can be found at

Caplan currently serves as chair of advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration on Blood Safety and Availability. He also has served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses and President Clinton’s Health Care Task Force.

An opponent of cloning, Caplan urged Congress, in a March 30 opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer, to enact legislation banning cloning.

“The reasons are very simple,” he writes. “Cloning does not work very well. In fact, it hardly works at all. And it may not be a good thing to be a human clone. There are groups out there who don’t care and are willing to do a lot of harm to pursue a goal that may not do a child any good. They should be stopped.

“The media have given us all the impression that cloning works. Not true. The best way to describe the current state of cloning is reproductive carnage. We have all seen images of Dolly, the sheep cloned in Scotland, prancing about her pen. Few of us realize that she is much larger than she should be and is aging at an uncertain rate. Even fewer know that nearly 250 clone embryos failed in the effort to make this one sheep. Of those clone embryos that started to develop, far more produced dead and malformed animals than Dollies.”

Also speaking at the opening celebration is Bonnie St. Andrews, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor of Bioethics and Humanities. She will present “Healing: The Patient Muse.” Remarks will also be made by SUNY Upstate President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D.; Kathy Faber-Langendoen, M.D., director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and the Medical Alumni Endowed Professor of Bioethics; and Hal Wanamaker, M.D., and Mark Erlebacher, M.D., of the Syracuse Medical Alumni Association.

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities is a new division of SUNY Upstate uniting the Program in Medical Humanities and the Program in Bioethics. It provides educational programs in bioethics and the medical humanities to students in the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions and develops research and scholarly projects focusing on bioethics and medical humanities. The center also offers ethics consultations for University Hospital and its various clinics. The center receives financial support from SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Syracuse Medical Alumni Association.

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