Humans 2.0, 1, (2022): 7-10
Published online: 31 Jan. 2023
Somatic cell nuclear transfer is a modern technology most famously known for producing clones, such as ‘Dolly’ the sheep. However, its purpose is being explored in what is called ‘therapeutic cloning.’ This is the process of using somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce embryonic stem cells (ntESC). These stem cells can then be used in a variety of treatments, such as organogenesis and ailments for chronic illnesses such as type II diabetes. Australia has recently lifted the ban on research conducted into somatic cell nuclear transfer testing, and thus, the question arises of how an already-strained gamete pool can be distributed towards ntESC procedures. Firstly, using Rawls’ ‘veil of ignorance’, the concept of a waiting-list structure is considered due to its unbiased nature. Then, the permissibility of such a list will be analysed from the perspective of ntESC technology potentially being critical for time-restricted scenarios. It is thus concluded that a gamete waiting list for ntESCs is conditionally just if patients are not in dire situations.
Keywords: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer; Stem Cells; Gamete Distribution; Therapeutic Cloning; Veil of Ignorance; Ethics