Ethical issues of Human Cloning
Although there are some promising results, it is not clear that it is possible to clone people. Despite the immense effort to modify the processes, the low success rates of animal cloning suggest this. The failure to clone primates further proves this. Cloning is prohibited because of safety issues. Despite numerous modifications and the involvement of many animals, there has been limited success in cloning.
Because the cloning process would require producing many ova for research and treating women with hormones not safe. Even though animal evidence is promising, human cloning will be an experimental process. Before supporting the cloning process as an experimental research procedure, it is worth looking into the ethical principles of human cloning.
2001 saw a breakthrough in human Cloning when Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts announced that it had succeeded in cloning human embryos via therapeutic cloning. The President’s Council on Bioethics reviewed, researched, and approved the report on human Cloning six months later.
The council unanimously declared that reproductive cloning with the intent of creating children was unsafe. Federal law should prohibit it.
Five main categories of concern regarding reproductive cloning have been identified on the basis of the ethical principles that respect human dignity, freedom and equality. These are (Iltis72-73)
- Cloned children can have their own identity and individuality
- Perception of cloned babies as objects
- Potential for new eugenics
- Family Implications
- Implications on societal values
It is important to understand the reasons for cloning before we can address ethical principles. Unfortunately, media are adept at creating misunderstandings and facilitate the confusion around replicating clones. Human cloning, despite the fact that there are good reasons for it, is still the highest technology. The creation of man by another person is an insult to God. Human cloning will continue to be opposed for this reason.
It is believed that cloning can be unnatural. This is the main reason why there is strong opposition to cloning. Before the advent of cloning there were many medical and technological interventions that involved human reproduction. These included sterilization and segregation in the 1940s and 1950s as well as family planning and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Other assisted reproductive technologies included pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and surrogacy in 1980s and 1990s. Contraception was legalized in the 1960s and 1970s.
These interventions are compatible with sexual reproduction and offer alternatives to cloning. Cloning forces the occurrence a non-natural reproduction event. Cloning’s unnaturalness conflicts with a set of moral and sociological meanings, which is why it is strongly criticized.
The element of naturalness’ is seen with positivity, while that of the ‘artificial element’ is considered inferior. Cloned, which is artificial, receives a negative response and attitude. Moratoria were formulated precisely because of this. The majority of religious philosophers are against cloning. They claim it is wrong to interfere in God’s creation.
Ethics of Cloning
Cloning may not be a widely used procedure. However, it is possible for couples who are unable to produce sperm or ovum and wish to have a child with a genetically related parent without the need to use sperm donors or ovum donors.
According to people’s attitudes, reproduction continues to be sexual. This is because it is easier, cheaper, and more enjoyable. People who need children, or are very desperate, will likely use this method. Cloning advocates don’t believe it necessary to stop such couples from using cloning. This is because, contrary the majority of people’s beliefs (Human genetics Alert 8, 8), the cloned baby would be a source to joy for such a happy couple.
To govern biomedical and behavioral research, the National Commission for Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research has identified a variety of ethical principles. Cloning is considered medical technology and requires professional care because of the potential psychological and genetic consequences.
Nuclear transfer can cause many embryos to fail to develop normally. This was evident in Dolly’s case, where 277 attempts were required. This procedure has had a success rate around 5%. A majority of experiments fail to achieve cloning success rates of less than 1 percent. Regardless of numerous attempts, it has proven difficult to clone primates or dogs (Human Genetics Alert 2).
Loned embryos are most likely to die during the embryonic stages or spontaneously terminate before reaching the full gestation. As this paper clearly shows, even though a clone is created, most of them are not normal and die shortly after birth. This can be due to various anatomical and physiological problems that differ from one species to the other.
Scientists have claimed that reproductive cloning can bring some benefits. Reproductive cloning could be used for the creation of animals with particular qualities. Mass production of drug-producing or genetically modified animals could serve as a means to study human diseases. Reproductive cloning can also be used to repopulate endangered animals and animals with breeding problems.
Gaur, an endangered wild ox species and a first endangered animal, was created in 2001. Italian scientists created a healthy baby mouflon in 2001, which is an endangered species of sheep. Although there are some advantages to reproductive cloning it is also important because of the ethical concerns.
Cloning can be a serious matter that involves many aspects of society such as religion. These rules and regulations cover creation, the right to live and death. Life is precious and should not ever be considered a possession or an item that can be easily sold.
This is what cloning actually is. It involves objectification and comodification of animals, humans and plants, thus treating them as machines that can be easily made. Cloning can also be considered to increase problems that affect animals (Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production para 1-15).
According to media reports, cloning can be used to make “armies or programmed killers,” copy academic geniuses or sports stars, and resurrect loved ones who have already died (Kass 23-60). It is widely believed that human clones are identical to their donor organisms. Human clones can be identical in terms of nuclear genes. This is undisputed.
When it comes to twinning, such as the case with natural monozygotic twins (or twinning), there are other factors that can cause confusion than mere identical genes. Clones are different from their donor in terms personality and character due to the environment and conditions that have shaped their lives. There is no sharing of genomes in human cloning. This may prove fatal if the donor is susceptible to certain diseases.
Cloning is not an option to death or terminal illness. The clone can be passed on to other people. The ecosystem can be balanced by natural procreation, as established during creation (Kass 23-60). The ethical issue with this approach is the deprivation of autonomy for the clone. While it may seem that cloning is synonymous with giving a donor a second chance at life, the truth is that this is not the case.
After a person dies, no one can replace them all. It is precisely because of this that academic geniuses as well as sports stars cannot be duplicated by the creation of clones. Despite the fact cloning is characterized in persistence of certain genotypes, and resultant phenotypic attributes, it does not allow for replication (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 627-941).
It is both troubling and fascinating to create a genetic sibling, whose demarcation is part of somatic cell nuclear transcloning. Schwartz (195-206) indicated that many cultures, as outlined by history have enjoyed the fascination derived from identical twins.
The fascination is very simple. The fascination is simple. Witnessing identical twins in action will show how different they are in personality and person. Observing identical twins makes one curious, as one expects that the identical individuals will have the same abilities and personalities. According to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641, the human intuition states that body and personality are always intertwined.
Reproductive cloning has been linked to a scientifically inexact and instinctive fear for multitudes of identical bodies. Each body holds personalities that are less distinct and autonomous than the norm (Schwartz 195 to206).
Individuality of Cloned Children
Cloning people violates an individual’s right to their own uniqueness. A person who believes he/she is a genetic duplicate of another person can feel intensely compelling pressure to conform to the same or different standards as its progenitor (National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 629-641).
Cloning was stopped because of the potential for developmental abnormalities in cloned cells. Even homozygous siblings who share the same genetic code, they are distinct and unique and each person can have a unique and unrepeated gene.
Limited autonomy is linked to limited life choices resulting in constraint from self and expectation of others (National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 629-641). A strong fear exists that human cloning may result in a less-than-autonomous baby. This is because cloning soldiers to create clones has led to diminished psychological autonomy and physical individuality.
A parenting philosophy that appreciates both the similarities and the differences between parents, children and spouses is the ideal way to parent. This kind of parenting includes teaching and care, which results in both positive and negative outcomes for their children.
A parent-clone is a person who seeks to clone a child. This is because the child-clone views the child-clone just like him/herself, and does not recognize the difference. Cloned parenting is fundamentally different from good parenting. It is marked by unconditional love, acceptance, and openness.
Parenting exercises some control over offsprings via various methods such as contraception. However, reproductive cloning, on the other hand, is believed to have complete control over a child’s genetics and development. The reproduction cloning procedure can therefore be seen as a manufacturing step.
Cloned children are born based on the purpose of the donor. Therefore, they are often referred to as manufactured objects. Procreation, on the other hand, creates very special beings with unique skills that are specific to each person. While cloning may be an option for childless parents, a cloned baby will not measure up to one that has been conceived through procreation.
Cloned animals and human beings are not in line with the natural laws of creation. The creation of human beings by humans is against religious morality. God is the creator and will remain so. Critics of Cloning claim that it is a method of playing God. Kass’ argument states that the uniqueness and genetic novelty of sexual reproduction are very important.
Cloned-childs can see what is expected and feel pressure to meet those expectations. Because the world sees him/her as a clone, this restricts the child’s freedom and independence in being who he/she is. The cloned athlete would want his/her clone to reflect his/her traits (Kass 23-60).
The psychological effects of human cloning could lead to the loss of the natural balance of procreation.
There is a high chance that human clones could be made from cells from individuals who have not given their consent. This raises serious ethical concerns. It is a sign that a doctor does not respect an individual’s right to privacy and reproductive liberty. This ethical principle explains why cloning should be done only after consenting to it by the individual.
Reproductive Cloning is an invention that is not in line with the ethical principles of human research. Two parties are involved in human cloning. The donor and the recipient.
Cloning has the potential to cause bodily harm. Even though there are many compelling cases in favor of reproductive cloning, the fundamental principle if injunction should be applied as per medical ethics and political philosophy. This is evident from the 1946-1949 Nuremberg Code and Hippocratic Canon.
The risks associated with reproductive cloning pose a significant risk to the foetus, and the child’s physical health. :
Before we know whether the embryo clone will succeed, it will be the first transfer (into a woman’s uterus). Some people argue that these first transfers are un-ethical since they involve the experimentation of the resulting child. Nobody knows what the outcome will be, and one could possibly lead to a child who is disabled or has developmental difficulties.
Research on mammalian Cloning shows that many defects which are common in reprogramming eggs will not be observed until much later in the life of the animal clone. Dolly’s death was an example of this. Dolly had been suffering from crippling arthritis and lung cancer before she died (Will We Follow the Sheep 70-72). Sometimes, the defects are so severe that they go unnoticed and cause unanticipated and shocking deaths.
Every living creature should be unique. But, apparently, animal and human-cloning violations this principle. This is due to the disregard for biodiversity and ecosystem survival that this technology causes. Instead of the established relationship between humans and nature, the cloning process fosters the division from evolution. This is a natural process known to enhance the survival instincts in living organisms through diversity and makes them more resilient.
Human cloning considers women to be biological functions, providing ovary and womb. This process disrupts the fundamental relationships that are connected to the natural process of conception, and delivery. When human cloning succeeds, the definition of parentage is going to change fundamentally. As a result, the bonds of parenthood are radically broken.
Human cloning has destroyed the human element of dignity. This is due to the change in how humans are treated and perceived. Human cloning can create, modify, and destroy test subjects and human beings (Andra, para. 2).
Human cloning, as stated in the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights is a violation of these rights. Reproduction of human beings must be a natural sexual process that involves two factors (a male and female). With the advent of human cloning, however, it has been made an asexual way of reproducing with only one factor. This debate is expected to grow as it is feared that human Cloning could reduce sexual reproduction to an industrial process.
Human cloning is not a respectable practice. It can be assumed that human embryos are created at conception. Lawrence Nelson, an adjunct professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University, supports the predisposition. He implies that extracorporeal eggs are entitled to respect just because they have life. To search for a successful embryo clone, it would take too many human embryos to create and destroy.
The Implication of Social Values
If human cloning was allowed to be done around the globe, it would cause disruption to the interconnected web (National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 629-641).
Human cloning will change the way we view our children. We will see a shift in value to the ability of our children to fulfill parental expectations. Children would be loved by their parents based on their ability and not for who they were. These values are what define natural parenthood. With a world of cloning they will be replaced with avarice and vanity (Kass 23-60).
The fact that man can create/produce living things would render him omnipotent. This contradicts the religious values which acknowledge God as the only omnipresent entity. Cloning humans would only increase the problem with scarce resources, as it makes use of a limited number of clinicians and researchers, who would be better able to address more severe social and medical problems.
Treating Individuals like Objects
Cloned children may be seen as objects. One cannot live up to their full potential as an individual if they are treated as a mere object. They are bound by the expectations and desires of others. The term objectification refers to the tendency to ignore or disregard the individual’s wishes and well-being. Instead, it’s the act of controlling an individual rather than engaging in a mutually respectful relationship.
Alternatively, human cloning makes the clones a commodity by making them available for sale, purchase, or exchange in a market. Cloning, unlike other practices such as gene therapy or genetic screening, is meant to benefit the nucleus donor, not the cloned children. Cloning is also considered an object due to its diminished physical uniqueness.
Eugenics were considered to be a step in the direction of selective breeding in agricultural agriculture. Eugenic programs simplify the role genes play in determining human traits and character. Yet, little information exists about the link between genes and success and fulfillment in human life.
Additionally, it is clear from the scanty information that the interaction of genes and the environment is critical for the development and enjoyment of rewarding and successful characters. It is not just due to the genes that are indicated by the eugenic program. Although cows are bred in order to increase their yields while sheep are bred with a softer fleece to produce sheep, it is not ethical to breed superior humans.
This practice would first reveal humanity’s disregard for life and God as creator of the universe. The creation of superior human beings as dictated in science fiction is a dangerous thing. The American public is known for its eugenic ideas. They were engineered by scientists and political leaders. However, their threat became a reality in Nazi Germany during a grotesque fashion (National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 629-641).