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TitleImpersonations: Troubling the Person in Law and Culture
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Recto Running Head i

Page 150

sciousness, human experience, emotion, and life, the organs failed. Dr
Merrick is thus attempting to allay any concern on the part of cus-
tomers that what is being produced is a human being. He dehuman-
izes the invented human, as do the courts and CBAC in the Onco-
mouse case, through its divisibility, its mechanical reproduction, the
control of the scientist, and its lack of exhibition of the cognitive func-
tions typically associated with higher life forms and humans. Again,
the law is referenced, but is revealed to be an ineffective brake on the
heady coupling of science, capital, and in this instance, the military.

Unlike the courts, the fictional text can explore how the clone feels
to be a clone, and more significantly, to be both person and property.
The property status of Jordan and Lincoln becomes poignant when,
upon escaping the Institute, they meet up with the sympathetic tech-
nician McCord (Steve Buscemi) in his house.

L6E & J2D: What are we?
McCord: Ah man, why do I have to be the guy that tells the kids

there’s no Santa Claus? Okay, look, you’re uh, uh, well,
you’re not like me. Um, I mean, you’re not, uh, human. I
mean, you’re human, but you’re just not real. Uh, you’re not
like a real person. Like me. You’re clones. You’re copies of
people out here in the world.

J2D: What?
L6E: Clones?
McCord: Some hag trophy wife needs new skin for a facelift or one of

’em gets sick and they need a new part, they take it from

When Lincoln and Jordan counter their non-person status with evi-
dence of memories from their childhood, McCord advises them these
memories are imprints only – computer programs to give them a basis
for their identity.

When Jordan asks why no one cares that the clones are killed and
that they are raised for parts, McCord tells her that their sponsors do
not know. He defines the sponsors as ‘the people that had you made.
They, like, own you.’ Still horrified, Jordan queries why Merrick does
not want the owners to know that the clones are alive. McCord
answers tersely, ‘[j]ust because people wanna eat the burger, doesn’t
mean they want to meet the cow. ... You’re like the replacement
engines on their Bentley. They’re not going to care. They don’t care.’

Invented Humans: Kinship and Property in Persons 139

Page 151

Interestingly, The Island makes a distinction between human beings
and persons, more expressly than does The 6th Day or most of the
judges in the Oncomouse saga. The personhood status of the cloned
human comes up expressly only once in The 6th Day when Adam and
a repentant Dr Weir discuss the social implications if Drucker, as clone,
came out in public. Weir advises, ‘[a] clone has no rights. A clone can’t
own anything. Drucker would lose all of this. He would lose every-
thing, because he would be legally dead.’ So, while the film may
redeem the humanity of the clones, the law does not recognize them as
persons. In The Island, the human being status of the clones is never
questioned; they are deliberately raised as human beings in order to
ensure the sustainability of their organs. However, as property, the
clones cannot be persons. They cannot be in the same world as the
original; they are mere copies. As a result, chaos ensues when they
escape the confines of The Institute and begin to act as agents in the
real world, outside of the control of the scientists – in the same social
space as their originals.

What then ensues is a fairly traditional chase plot where Lincoln’s
owner and a private security team hired by Merrick chase the two
clones through the Los Angeles of 2019, while the clones frantically try
to adapt to their new environment and stay alive. As in The 6th Day,
the abiding humanity of the clones cannot be curtailed by science or
their status as property. They enact the unruliness of the very notion of
the invented human. Arguably for the Supreme Court in the Onco-
mouse case, the humanity of the invented human – the oxymoron of
the person as property – causes it to leak from any easy categorization
as property. Yet persons as property is not as unthinkable as it became
in the Abolition era. The invented human, always simultaneously the
patentable human, has been spoken by science, courts, and policy
advisors, not only by popular culture. As a social science fiction, the
invented human works as the horizon point of our anxieties about the
increasing uncertainty of that second boundary, between persons and

In the finale of The Island, Lincoln Six Echo replaces his sponsor, who
is killed in error by the security team, and no one can tell the differ-
ence. As he walks away a security team member says to him, ‘You’ve
been witness to certain trade secrets.’ Lincoln replies: ‘[y]ou mean that
they manufacture human beings that walk, talk and feel. That kind of
secret? ... Who’d believe it?’ Indeed, who would believe a story about
an invented human?

140 Impersonations

Page 300

Index 289

Rowell, Newton Wesley, 82, 84–5

sales versus subject distinction,
214–15, 218

Salomon v. Salomon & Co., 33, 39–40
Salomon, Aron, 39, 40
same-sex marriage debate, 81
Sankey, Lord, 85–7
Schane, Sanford, 37
Schiavo, Michael, 3–5
Schiavo, Terri (Theresa Marie

Schiavo), 3–10, 16, 28
Schindler, Robert and Mary, 4
Schwartz, Hillel, 3
science fiction: in relation to

automata, 161; of cloning, 26; in
relation to invented human, 105,
134; popular narratives of, 27,
107, 128, 137, 162, 202

Seed, Richard, 107
Seltzer, Mark, 187
separate entity principle, 40–1
Serenko, Alexander, 174
Shannon, Claude E., 149, 170, 174
Shaw, J.C., 162
Shelley, Mary, 115
Simon, Herbert, 162
Singer, Eric, 210
The 6th Day, 27, 109, 128–31, 137, 140
Slate, David, 162
Smart, Ninian, 66
Smith, Stone and Knight Ltd. v. Birm-

ingham Corp., 235n14
social obligation approach, 47–8
social science fiction: in relation to

automata, 159; of biotechnology
114–16; in relation to Dolly the
Sheep, 126; in relation to human
rights, 124; of the invented hu-
man, 105, 107–9, 131, 140–1, 223

Stafford, Barbara Maria, 148, 158
stakeholder theory, 47
Standage, Tom, 159
State of Missouri ex. Rel. Cr ow v.

Hostetter, 75
Stewart, Timothy, 118–19
Strate, Lance, 91
suffrage, 72–4, 77, 82–3, 87, 90
Supreme Court Act, 77–8
Sussman, Mark, 158–9

technique of biopatenting, 26, 108,
112–20, 133, 136, 186

techniques of personification (tech-
nologies of personification): in
relation to the computer, 28, 148;
in relation to the corporation, 51,
66; in relation to fringe cases, 224,
228; in relation to kinship, 121; in
law, 18; in relation to liminality,
12, 23; in relation to moral agents,
68; in relation to Persons case, 26,
72, 103; in relation to Terri
Schiavo, 8–9

technology of gender, 102–4, 223
‘Terri’s law,’ 4
Transamerica Life Insurance Company

of Canada v. Canada Life Assurance
Company, 42

Tur, Richard, 19
Turing Test, 146–9, 164, 169, 175,

179. See also Imitation Game
Turing, Alan, 27, 147, 148, 150, 163,

The Turk, 27, 153–61, 164, 166–7
2001: A Space Odyssey, 162

Uniform Computer Information Trans-
action Act, 176

Uniform Electronic Commerce Act, 177

Page 301

290 Index

Uniform Electronic Transaction Act,

Union Carbide, 31–2
United Nations, 48, 49, 176
United States Patent and Trade-

mark Office, 113, 118

Vancouver Rape Relief Society v.
Nixon et al., 101

vanDuzer, J. Anthony, 39
Vaucanson, Jacques de, 153
von Tigerstrom, Barbara, 124–5,

Vurdubakis, Theo, 150

Waits v. Frito-Lay, Inc., 195–6
Walton, Priscilla, 203–4

Warren, Samuel, 193, 216
Weber, Max, 181, 191
Welling, Bruce, 33
Wettig, Steffen, 178
White v. Samsung Electronics

America, Inc., 184, 196, 217
Wiener, Norbert, 162
Wilensky, Bob, 149
Wilmut, Ian, 106–7
Wilson, Carine Reay, 69, 88
Wise, J. Macgregor, 180
Woman’s Court, 74
World Bank, 48, 49, 56

Zavos, Panos, 107
Zdenek, Sean, 174
Zehendner, Eberhard, 178

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