Never Let Me Go

I started reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro a couple of days ago and I can’t put it down. It is brilliant and disturbing at the same time. The main character is a student at what appears to be an English boarding school, but everything is just a little off. The students never leave the school and there is no mention of parents. Gradually you learn that all of the students are human clones and they are being brought up to be donors. Donors of their own organs. 

The book was published in 2005, just as the debate about the ethics of cloning was heating up. Cloning was in the news again a week or so ago. I can’t remember but some scientist was excited about the “successful” cloning of some animal. We hear about the successes, but we don’t hear about the failures. The famous Dolly the cloned sheep had many health problems and was put down long before the end of her natural life span. Many other cloned animals have also died early. I’m not especially religious, but a living creature, whether human or animal, isn’t simply a bunch of organs and systems. A living being isn’t a machine, a collection of moving parts that can be swapped out, or scavenged to save another machine. It disgusts me that a living creature could be cloned and raised with the intent of sacrificing its life to give up body parts.

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