To Clone, Or Not To Clone Essay, Research Paper
When someone gets the cold, they seek medicine. When someone gets cuts and bruises, they seek medical attention. When someone breaks up with a lover, they seek another lover. In each of these situations, the person is able to find ways to compensate for their pains and sufferings through various techniques, therefore, curing that person of the problem. However in some cases, problems aren t always as easy to alleviate, sometimes it s the lack of proper technology that keeps the problem from being solved, and sometimes, it s scientific advancements and breakthroughs that are the key to all the problems. When someone is in a critical health condition in need of an organ, they will indeed seek for an organ transplant so that they are able live on. Cases like these aren t always guaranteed to have successful consequences. One of the most controversial issues is on the ethics of human cloning. Human cloning has been looked down upon, the issue has had its share of negative perspectives. Of course for every argument there are pros and cons. The issue at hand of whether or not medical practices such as human cloning should ever exist has remained the same: Should human cloning be allowed?
This controversial and global widespread argument concerning human cloning started since the successful triumph of cloning Dolly, a lab created sheep in Scotland. Ever since the achievement of Dolly, there has been an onslaught of many moral and ethical concerns regarding the medical risks of cloning as well as the threat to human rights, self-respect and individualism. This debate however has the greatest significance not as in the failures of cloning but rather the consequences of its success. This is what is being quarreled about. It is being argued that what would happen if clones became a reality and how would one be able to track or control the clone in case something happens. This new knowledge doesn t only come with risks, costs and benefits, but also the intricate degree of complexion and it also needs critical and careful considerations since results could last eternally and or alter the entire natural evolution.
Like most scientific developments, genetic-engineering biotechnology
is neither intrinsically evil nor inherently good. How this new knowledge
is applied is what matters. It cannot be applied, however, without
consideration of bioethical principles. And it cannot be objectively
evaluated in isolation from the various contexts in which it will be
applied (Fox 160).
The talk about human cloning is vast among the critics and medias point of view, which are mostly targeted on the danger side of the issue. The majority of the public perceive human cloning and research as an immoral matter, but they also have fear for the new and unknown.
Most popular discussions about cloning a human assume the worse
possible motives in parents, but why on earth make such assumptions?
Without evidence? If someone assumes that every person he meets is a
secret racist or anti-Semite, we say he is paranoid, or a misanthrope, or
warped. Why assume the worst motives when we are thinking about
morality? (Pence 65).
Not only has the idea of cloning humans been ridiculed, but as well as other scientific ideas and laws of nature and now the open vision of human cloning has begun to challenge society s values in relation to reproduction, as well as life. Prior to the modern day disputes of cloning, people have always thought about human cloning as mere science fiction, and now every time when the word cloning appears, most people think of just the harmful effects and all the bad things that human cloning can lead to such as cloning a swarm of mini Hitlers , or evil dictators such as Saddam Hussein might abuse human cloning and try to take over the world by constructing a super army of super soldiers.
There are many people who still think that cloning Hitler will also
mean repeating what he did. Scientists reassure the public that this is not possible, as for such historical events to be repeated, all the circumstances
that allowed Hitler to be what he was would have been repeated as well.
If Hitler was cloned and brought up in a well-to-do, happy family which
he enjoyed being in, this clone will not follow the footsteps Hitler as his background is no longer the same. However, he might become one who
can speak incredibly well and eventually become a well-respected leader
This isn t science fiction. If one person can be cloned, an army can be so produced (Lester & Hefley 58). Cloning particular individuals such as Einstein, Gandhi and Beethoven, would produce individuals with the same genetic inheritances, but is not possible to replicate their environments or the historical contexts in which they lived and their greatness flourished (Nussbaum & Sunstein 149). Human behavior is a function of genetic endowment interacting with social and environmental forces (Nussbaum & Sunstein 271).
So where does morality and ethical principles stand in this issue? It has been mentioned and pointed out countless times that human cloning and research is not the way to go because it violates individual rights.
In thinking about originating humans by cloning, we should not think of such origination as being a moral issue unless someone is harmed, not assume that traditional moral rules are always right because the problems they address may change, not assume the worst motives in parents, and not let predictions about slippery slopes make us fear change (Pence 70).
Moral and ethical beliefs and arguments must be evaluated and analyzed since many people have their own personal values, viewpoints and beliefs on human cloning.
On one hand, some opponents claim that human cloning would violate fundamental moral or human rights, while some proponents argue that its prohibition would violate such rights . On the other hand, both opponents
and proponents also cite the likely harms and benefits, both to individuals
and to society, of the practice (Nussbaum & Sunstein 142).
However a few questions may arise when thinking about the rights and wrongs of human cloning such as Is there a moral right to human cloning? Or Is there a breach of moral rights if human cloning were to actually happen?
Even if a moral right to reproductive freedom protects the use of cloning,
that does not settle the moral issue about human cloning, since there may
be other moral rights in conflict with this right, or serious enough harms
from human cloning to override the right to use it; this right can be thought
of as establishing a serious moral presumption supporting access to human cloning (Nussbaum & Sunstein 145).
Another dilemma with morality is the possibility of creating soldiers to help fight to win should a war occur. Would it be ethical to produce a power like that as a form of disposable assistance?
A broader bioethical framework is urgently needed in order for society
to transcend technological enchantment, so that the fruits of scientific
research may be realized for the benefit of the entire life community of
the planet (Fox 160).
Since this issue is a complex one, there are many opinions from both sides of the debate of whether or not human cloning should be legalized. There are those who are in complete favor of human cloning because they realized the full benefits and the potentials that human cloning and research can bring about. The most common benefit use of human cloning and research is that it can have remarkable medical breakthroughs where many feared and life-threatening diseases and cancer can be avoided.
Human cloning would solve the problem of finding a transplant donor
whose organ or tissue is an acceptable match and would eliminate, or
drastically reduce, the risk of transplant rejection by the host
(Nussbaum & Sunstein, 147).
Another thing is that parents worry about their child being born with defects or abnormalities, but can be solved due to human cloning and research. cloning is actually genetically safer than normal sexual reproduction because it by passes the most common form of birth defect having the wrong number of chromosomes (Kolata, 237-238). If a child inherits an altered form of the parent s genes, then the child will become sick but Cloning, once again, avoids this cause of birth defects because it starts with a cell from a healthy adult (Kolata, 239). Some diseases are inborn and cause permanent defects on an individual. This suffering may end soon if this new cloning technology is permitted. Another source of problem in the kind of genetic birth defects is genetic disease, which is caused when each parent has a single copy of a gene, which in result causes a disease. Sources of these cells are cloned embryos. Cloning also has the power to cure infertility. Infertile men are made to fee like they are not not holding up their part of the bargain, while women are made to feel as if they are useless barren vessels. Modern options for infertile couples are agonizing, expensive and inefficient. Many couples run out of time and money without successfully having children. This would be an excellent method of providing couples with a clone made that would have their own genetics, instead of relying on someone else to provide the necessary items. But the clones would likely be in risks such as social, physical or even psychological effects. The potential of cloning would virtually eliminate all diseases that are now on top of the death list.
Terminally ill patients in hospitals are waiting for a solution to end their suffering. For example, leukemia patients need a healthy bone marrow
that matches their bodies, or they will die. AIDS and other diseases are
still incurable. Many doctors and scientists see cloning as a very conceivable
way of solving these problems and freeing these suffering people soon
There have been high hopes in the development of cloning, which would provide new cures and treatments for serious medical conditions and needs if it were allowed. The achievable and potentials and values of human cloning far exceeds the disadvantages. Another valuable and unbelievable benefit from human cloning involves fixing the organ shortages for those who need transplants. The line in need of organ transplant today is much longer than the supply of available donor organs for transplant and many of these patients have suffered and died before they get the transplant they need. With this advancement and development, those many of lives that are on the waiting list for transplants would be saved. For those few fortunate ones who live long enough for transplants, the operations are sometimes unsuccessful for the reason that the organ was not a close enough match.
Not everyone, however, is fortunate enough t have someone who is willing
and able to donate an organ, and must depend on the availability of cadaveric organs. Although currently the demand for such organs exceeds the supply, Americans are becoming more aware of the need to donate (Scully & Scully 124).
One of the big question as regards organ transfer is who gets the organ should it become available. Many places have argued and even made certain rules that the medically needed and sickest patients should first receive the organ, whereas other places such as the U.S. uses first come, first serve regardless of age, sex, race or any other standards. In Great Britain, transplants are not performed on older patients, on the ground that the precious gift of life should be given first to those who can make the most use of it the young and otherwise strong (Finn & Marshall 74).
Nevertheless the ones who oppose and contradict human cloning have voiced their disapproving arguments. Arguments like saying that cloning is unnatural, cloning will be used to create armies or slaves or cloning is another method to deny death. Anti-cloning groups from all over have tried to pass laws to ban cloning and research. A 1994 National Institutes of Health panel declared that human cloning is unethical and should not be allowed, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization said this week that it should be prohibited by law. (Libertarian Party 1). In Rome, Pope John Paul II sought Tuesday to lay down moral guidelines for medical research in the 21st century, endorsing organ donation and adult stem cell study but condemning human cloning and embryo experiments (The Times of India Online 1). A number of nations across the world and several states in the United States have taken the first steps banning cloning humans or research that could eventually lead to human cloning. Even president Clinton responded to the whiff of crisis first by imposing a temporary ban on federal funding of cloning research (Nussbaum & Sunstein 263). But that doesn t mean funding and research won t take place since if any research is to occur, it has to be privately funded and have complete no relation to the federal government.
With the appearance of Dolly, this matter at hand has been taken to a whole new level. The dispute still continues of whether or not human cloning and research and its procedures are to be permitted and legally performed. Since there is a ten-year ban on human cloning and research, the time that is given is to be used to create specific legislation to protect cloned individuals from probable abuses. Only time will really help determine the final verdict, but for now this new knowledge is progressing and it now seems more likely that human cloning will become more feasible. Cloning is no different from the scientific and technological advancements in the past simply people have always refused to accept the limits set by nature.
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Nili, Sean. Cloning the Human Race: The Importance and Advantages of Cloning
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