Has a person been wronged if they are cloned without their consent? Presume that the cloning process is non-invasive; a scientist simply picks up stray hair you left behind, and then makes a clone of you. Does that violate your rights? Do we have a copyright on our DNA?

This question is at the extreme end of a cloud of questions. The person who picked up your stray hair might use your entire genetic information (cloning) or any subset thereof. I don't think there is a general moral answer here about where to draw the line. There are some clues to a moral answer about how the line should be drawn in the law.

Obviously, the less of your genetic information is copied, the less of a legitimate interest you have in preventing the copying. If they just copied the bit that controls hair color (I know, this isn't quite the way it works, but let me simplify a bit), then it is hard to see how you would become worse off by the fact that there is someone somewhere 20 years younger than you who has the same hair color.

In cases where more substantial chunks or your genetic information are copied, you may well become worse off -- for example, because your talents, looks, or basic personality traits become less unique. In these cases, the more copies are produced, the stronger your grounds to object.

Whether these grounds can be outweighed depends on the purpose and context of the genetic engineering. Suppose that, thanks to a rare combination of genetic traits, you have immunity against a nasty communicable disease. It's highly desirable that many in the next generation have such immunity. In such a case, the interest of society might outweigh your interest in preventing that, thanks to the use of your genetic information, many in the next generation are uncomfortably similar to you.

There's ample space for reasonable disagreement about how to weigh the competing interests here, and the decision should ultimately (once we get there, technologically, and thus have a better understanding of what is and is not technically feasable) be made by an elected legislature -- differently, presumably, in different jurisdictions. Such legislatures may also need to decide two further matters:

(1) who is allowed to extract and store genetic information, and for what purposes and with what safeguards (there are probably good reasons to make it illegal for any old hobby geneticist to collect stray hairs from people and to extract and store their full genetic information); and

(2) whether there should be (tradable or untradable) private property rights over genetic information and, if so, how these should be conceived.

While there is no good case for saying that persons have a natural right to veto the use of their genetic information, there are good reasons to be cautious in regard to legalizing -- especially commercial -- use of genetic information, even with the consent of the person whose genetic information it is.

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