Though not the first attempt to ameliorate a human genetic disease by modifying somatic cells, the experiments performed by Dr. Martin J. Cline on two women suffering from thalassemia (one in Jerusalem, the other in Naples) were the first and still the only ones to use rDNA techniques.1 In some respects the criticism and censure of Cline by the NIH resembles the case of Dr. Ian T. Kennedy.2 Both Cline and Kennedy were found guilty of having violated the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, but there is a crucial difference between the two cases. Cline attempted to implant genetically altered cells into human beings. Consequently, his work involved moral issues concerning the use of human subjects in biomedical experiments which go beyond the usual concerns over safety and control in rDNA research. In fact, I shall argue that the rDNA aspect of the Cline affair was relatively minor compared with the moral reasoning which guided the actions and judgments of Cline and his critics. Despite its importance for understanding the behavior of the participants, this ethical dimension does not receive adequate emphasis in Robin and Markle's account of the Cline episode within the framework of their four sociological perspectives (substantive, network, organizational, societal).