Cloning is defined as the creation of an organism that is an exact genetic copy of another. This means that every single bit of DNA is the same between the two organisms. Cloning can be done through artificial twining and somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this paper we are concerned with reproductive cloning as there are other types like recombinant DNA tech & therapeutic cloning.
Purpose of reproductive cloning is to produce the genetic twin of another organism. Ethical controversies
Cloning has led to all sorts of controversies which include moral controversy- like are scientists morally right to use whatever technologies they think is possible for humanity? Are scientists transcending the boundaries of human ‘freedom’? But others may argue here that man was given authority over the earth by God. We have to accept that before successful cloning is achieved many mistakes have to be made a long the way-for instance, human beings with serious deficiencies will be created.(Dudley, 2001) This may go against the human right of the cloned and again the human clone may not have his own identity since he/she is a replica of another.
McGee (assistance professoruniversityofPennsylvaniancenter for bioethics) argues that cloning allows the child to be born of only one genetic parent, changing the idea of a parent, child family and the idea for a community. Again scientists are accused of murder as they kill embryos to carry their ‘money and fame seeking’ ideas. ( Kass & James, 1998). In cloning, scientist may alter a baby’s genetic code to give the individual a certain genetic resistance and so on. This is tampering with “mother nature”.My position on cloning is that the risks involved in cloning are way far too many as compared to its pros. So reproductive cloning should be banned as it goes against the ethics. The cons are too many and justifying or permitting cloning is like permitting the violation of human rights.
I believe every individual has a right to own his/her identity. By reproducing an exact replica, we are denying such individuals their right to uniqueness which then denies them identity. Again cloning transcends human boundaries and taps into a field that is otherwise a reserve for God.
The cons of cloning
It is believed that cloning may reduce genetic variability and this runs the risks of producing an entire population with same traits. This population would be vulnerable to same traits. This population would be population with same traits. This population would be vulnerable to same diseases and one disease may devastate the entire population. Cloning may cause people to settle for the best existing animals. In this way cloning would interfere with natural evolution as it does not allow improvement of specie. cloning is completely wrong as it will involve hundreds of damaged pregnancies to achieve one single live cloned baby. Evidence suggests that clones are unhealthy and often have a number of built-in genetic defects which lead to premature ageing and death and is likely to result in unscrupulous dealings as people might be cloned unwillingly.
Lastly, the dignity of human life and genetic uniqueness we all have would be attacked if cloning become commonplace. (Goodnough, 2003).
Religious beliefs: the Catholic Church and various traditionist religious groups oppose all form of cloning on the ground that life begins at conception. (Cole-Turner, 1997). Most Christians feel cloning is like “playing God” and interfering with the natural process. Christians believe that only God has the power to create living creature and for man to create life is blasphemous. Creation of life is a reverse for God and humanity should not trespass. Again cloning is an attempt to bring immortality which is wrong. Are scientists challenging God?
Legal implication: the USA president (Clinton) shortly after Dolly was born, gave instruction that no federal funds were to be used for cloning of human beings. He also introduced a bill in to congress known as the cloning prohibition bill. May be due to the legal implications of cloning which include; inheritance of property, for instance, suppose that ‘P’ makes a will leaving all of his property to the children’ and then a child ‘K’ is cloned from ‘P’. Is ‘K’ P’s child? Yes. But then K will also be the child of ‘P’s’ own parents, who may well have made a similar will and whose estate may by now have been distributed. Or what if ‘P’ and his wife ‘L’ enter in to mutual wills and agree to leave everything to our children. But ‘K’ is lot ‘L’s child? Again, to what extent should contracts to cloning be legally enforced?
Medical errors: Reproductive cloning is highly inefficient. The embryos do not always survive and more than 90% fail to produce viable offspring. Cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of tumor growth, infections and other disorders. Japanese studies have proved that cloned mice live in poor health and die earlier. In analyzing more than 10,000 liver and placenta cells of cloned mice researcher in 2002 (Whitehead institute,Massachusetts) discovered that 4% of genes function abnormally. These and other risks exist.
Those who are for cloning say that cloning is a technological conversion of a natural process, but such a stance goes against what is morally and religiously acceptable. With cloning, man oversteps the boundary and is blasphemous to God. An infertile couple producing a clone of themselves is seen as a pro but the clone may not like the fact that he/she wasn’t born naturally like others. The idea of a man being a creation of man may not go down well with such a creation. It also nullifies the role of God.
Reproducing of superior like Einstein may not be good anymore as the clone may not have exact characteristics and even if he did, science has advanced and he may not be of help any more. Lastly, this reduces diversity and creates monotony. Who likes monotony?
1) How can those for cloning resolve the legal issues of cloning such as mentioned above?
2) Why should we endeavor in creating an unhealthy person?
3) Is man trying to challenge God? Or doing away with Him?
4) Are we justified to kill tens of lives to create one life?
5) What if cloning can result in a monstrous child who can be a threat?
Closing argument: Cloning has the potential of being a means to his suffering just like other cases of advancement and development. We cannot per se term cloning as good since as we have seen reproductive cloning has a whole list of negative socio-moral implications. Insisting on cloning depicts one as insensitive and out of his wits.
1. Cole-Turner, (Ed) (1997). Human cloning: religions response:Louisville,KY: West minister John Knox press.
2. Dudley, W (2001). The ethics of human cloning.San Diego,CA:
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3. Goodnough, D. (2003). The debate over human cloning: a pro/con issue.
Einslow publisher Inc 2003
4. Kass, L, R. & James, Q. W.(1998). The ethics of human cloning .Washington;
the AEI press,