Law Prof and Novelist Lori Andrews Untangles Today’s Strangest Biotech Cases

CLONE RANGER: Meet the woman who reigns as the nation’s foremost legal authority on the most contentious technological and bioethical issues of our time

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Law professor and novelist Lori Andrews
“She’s truly brilliant,” says a colleague. “Literally 20 years ago she was anticipating ethical problems that would be coming in the future, and they would all come to pass.” Below: Andrews’s literary efforts range from legal tomes to pulp fiction.

She was cooking dinner when she got the call about the dead guy who had willed that his noggin be severed, frozen, and later attached to a live body. “What are the legal rights of a severed head?” the scientist caller asked. “Should it receive a portion of the estate?”

Then there was the senator who wanted to ban genetic engineering by making it a crime to put DNA of any form into a human egg. She had to call back to inform him that he would be outlawing the making of all babies.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because sperm puts DNA into an egg.”

And there were others: the mad millionaire who wanted to launch a eugenics program; the family desperate to test the blood-soaked cloak worn by Mary Todd Lincoln the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination; the Dubai officials who sought ethical advice on cloning members of the male population (if a man clones himself, would he be the clone’s father or brother?).

But the topper for Lori Andrews, the Downers Grove native who grew up to become one of the world’s foremost legal authorities on the most contentious technological and bioethical issues of our time, came with a 1998 visit to the UFO Café in UFOland, a theme park for the alien-worshiping Canadian cult known as the Raelians (Ray-AY-lee-ans).

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