Ethics of Human Cloning

Ethics of Human Cloning

It is not possible to clone human beings. There are no guarantees. Despite all the effort made to improve the process, animal cloning continues to fail. This is also evident in the failure of primates to be cloned. Cloning is currently prohibited due to safety concerns. This prohibition was further prompted by the limited success of cloning despite many modifications to procedures and many animals.

Because cloning humans would require hundreds of ova to research and women being treated with hormones that may not be risk-free. This is extremely unethical. Although preliminary animal evidence suggests that human cloning is possible, it would still be experimental. Before approving the cloning procedure, it is important to consider the ethical principles involved in human research.

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The Advanced Cell Technology, Worcester, Massachusetts, reported that they had successfully cloned human embryos using therapeutic cloning in 2001. Six months after the President’s Council on Bioethics had discussed, researched, and deliberated on the topic, the report on human cloning was created.

The council unanimously ruled that reproductive cloning for the purpose of producing children was unsafe and should be prohibited by federal law.

Five major concerns regarding reproductive cloning were identified based on the ethical principles of respecting human dignity, freedom, and equality. These are (Iltis72-73)

  • Cloned children have individuality and identity
  • Perception of cloned kids as objects
  • New eugenics possibilities
  • Family implications
  • Impact on society values

Understanding the motivations behind cloning is essential in order to address the ethical issues. The media is a master at creating confusion and is the catalyst for misinterpretation of the replica of clone. Although there may be good reasons to clone, human cloning remains the most advanced technology. Human cloning is a violation of God’s law.

Cloning is viewed as unnatural and the reason for strong opposition to it. Before cloning, there was a range of medical and technological interventions that revolved around human reproduction. These included segregation of the sexes, sterilization during the 1940s, 1950s, family planning (IVF), and other assisted reproduction technologies. This included pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, surrogacy, contraception, legalized abortion and medicalization of pregnancy and birth (Human genetics Alert 8-8).

These earlier interventions in reproduction are more compatible with and provide solutions to sexual reproduction than cloning, which causes an unnatural event. Cloning is unnatural and conflicts with certain moral and social meanings. This is why it is strongly opposed.

The element of “naturalness” is viewed with positivity while the element of “artificialness” is regarded as inferior. Cloning, which is characterized as artificialness, is therefore met with a negative reception. This is why moratoria were so clearly outlined. Many religious philosophers oppose cloning and claim that it is against God’s creation.

Ethics of human Cloning

Although cloning is unlikely to become a common procedure worldwide, it is recommended for couples who cannot produce sperm or an ovum but still wish to have a child genetically related to them.

Based on the attitudes of people, it is believed that reproduction will continue to be sexual because it is cheaper, easier, and more fun. This is because very needy couples who desperately want a child are more likely to choose this method. Proponents of Cloning don’t see any reason to deny such couples access. Contrary to popular belief, a cloned child could be a joy source for such a couple (Human Genetics Alert 8).

The National Commission for Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research identified a number of ethical principles that will govern the conduct of behavioral and biomedical research. Cloning involves medical procedures and technology. Professional care is required due to the psychological and genetic conditions that can result. It falls under the medical umbrella.

Many embryos generated by nuclear transfer do not undergo normal development, as was the case of Dolly who had 277 attempts. This process has a success rate of around 5%. The success rate of most experiments is less than 1%. It has been proven difficult to clone dogs and primates, regardless of how many attempts (Human Genetics Alert 2).

Lone embryos will usually die in the early stages of embryonic growth or abort spontaneously before the full gestation period. This paper has shown that, despite being cloned, most clones die within a few hours of birth. This is due to the many physiological and anatomical differences between species.

Scientists believe that reproductive cloning has some advantages. One benefit is that reproductive cloning can be used to produce animals with unique qualities. This could allow for the study of human diseases through mass production of drugs-producing animals and animals with modified genes. Reproductive cloning is also used to repopulate endangered species and animals that have breeding problems.

Gaur, a wild ox, and an endangered species was recognized as the first endangered animal to have been created. This was 2001. Scientists in Italy created a healthy baby mouflon (an endangered sheep species) that year. While there are obvious benefits to reproductive cloning, ethical concerns surrounding it are equally important.

Cloning is a serious problem that affects many aspects of society, such as religion. There are rules and regulations that govern the right to life and creation. Life is precious, and it should not be treated as property or an item that can easily be sold.

Cloning involves the objectification and co-modification (or modification) of animals and people, which makes them appear to be mere machines that can easily be manufactured. Cloning can also be thought to worsen animal welfare problems (Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production para 11.15).

Media reports on the advancements in cloning suggest that it is a way to create “armies of programmed murderers, copy academic geniuses and sport stars, as well as recreating loved ones who are already deceased” (Kass 23-60). Human clones are believed to be identical to the donor organism. As far as nuclear genes go, it is undeniable that human clones look identical.

Twinning, as with monozygotic natural twins, involves more than just identical genes. The environment and the circumstances in which it lives make clones different from their donors. Human cloning does not allow for the sharing of genes. This could lead to the creation of a hybrid organism.

Cloning should not be considered a substitute for death or terminal illness. Instead, cloning can pass on terminal illnesses to the next generation. The ecosystem is balanced by the natural process of reproduction as it was established at creation (Kass 23-60). This approach has the ethical problem that it takes away the clone’s autonomy. Although people believe that a clone can be used to give a donor an opportunity to live again, it is not true.

One person cannot be replaced completely by another after he/she has died. This is why academic geniuses and sports stars can’t be reproduced through the generation of clones. Despite the fact that cloning can be characterized by persistence in certain genotypes and resultant phenotypic characteristics, it doesn’t allow for replication (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).

The creation of a genetic twin, whose demarcation is an element in somatic cell nuclear cloning, is described as both fascinating and troubling. Schwartz (195-206) explains that identical twins have been a fascinating phenomenon in many cultures around the globe. History has also shown that there is much intrigue in the phenomenon.

It is easy to see why people are fascinated by them. It is easy to see the differences between identical twins if you witness their interaction. Observing identical twins, on the otherhand, makes you curious about their resemblance. One would expect that they would share the same personality and abilities, since personality and body are always intertwined according to human intuition (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-64)

Reproductive cloning can be linked to an instinctive and scientifically incorrect fear of many similar bodies. Each body contains personalities that are somewhat “less distinct, less unique, and less autonomous than the usual” (Schwartz, 195-206).

Individuality and Identity of Cloned Children

Cloning humans is a violation of the individual’s freedom to be unique. Individuals who feel they are cloned from another person may feel intensely compelled to be like them (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-64)

Cloning has been stopped due to the risks associated with developmental abnormalities in cloned species. Even if homozygous twins share the same genes they are different and not identical. Therefore, each person is entitled to a unique, unrepeated genome.

A lack of autonomy can lead to limited life choices due to constraint from oneself and expectation from others (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641). It is possible that human cloning could lead to a less autonomous child. Because cloning soldiers has resulted in a loss of physical and psychological autonomy.

Parenting should be a way that recognizes the similarities and differences between parents and children. This type of parenting involves teaching and caring, which can lead to both general and unexpected developments in the children’s lives.

If someone is looking for a clone of their child, it’s misplaced. The parent-clone sees the child-clone like a copy of himself/herself and doesn’t appreciate the uniqueness that comes along with it. Cloning, which is not a good form of parenting, is fundamentally opposed to good parenting, which is characterised by strong parent-child relationships.

While parenting has some control over the offspring through various means, such as contraception and birth control, reproductive cloning is seen as having total control over the development of a child as well as his/her genome. The reproduction cloning process can be considered a manufacturing process.

The purpose and choice of the donor determines how cloned children are created. They are therefore synonymous with manufactured objects that are made to fulfill a purpose. However, procreation creates unique and special beings with specific skills that are unique to each individual. Although cloning can be a way to help childless parents, a cloned child will never be the same as a child born from procreation.

Cloning of animals and humans is not allowed by the natural law. According to religious ethical decrees, human beings have created. God is and will always remain the only creator. Critics of cloning argue that it is a way to play God. Kass’ argument is that sexual reproduction creates a genetic novelty and uniqueness which is crucial.

Psychosocial Harm

Cloned children can see the expectations of their parents and are subject to great pressure to perform to those standards. The clone-child is deprived of his/her freedom and uniqueness to become the person he/she believes he/she should be. If cloning a sports superstar is an example, the cloned star hopes that his/her clone will reflect his/her character (Kass 23-60).

Cloning of human embryos would result in the destruction of natural procreation. It would also psychologically reduce the potential for new humans and increase the desire to have children (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).

It is an ethical concern that human clones may be created from cells taken from people who have not consented. If informed consent is not given, it means that the physician isn’t respecting an individual’s privacy and reproductive freedom rights (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Opinion 8.08). This ethical principle dictates that cloning should never be performed without the consent of the individual.

Reproductive cloning, while a new invention, is incompatible with nearly all the ethical principles that guide human research. There are two parties in human cloning: the donor and the clone.

Harm

Cloning can cause physical harm. Although there are compelling cases supporting reproductive cloning in some instances, it is important to uphold the principle of injunction as defined medical ethics and political philosophy. This is evident in the 1946-49 Nuremberg code and Hippocratic canon.

Reproductive cloning poses significant risks to the foetus as well as the physical well-being of a child. :

Before we can know if it will succeed, the first transfer (into the uterus of a human embryo) will take place. Some argue that first transfers are unethical as they involve experiments on the child. No one knows what will happen and it could lead to a child with developmental disabilities and/or disability.

Recent research into mammalian cloning has shown that there are many defects that can occur in reprogramming an egg. These defects will not be apparent until the later years of the animal clone’s life. Dolly was a prime example. She had suffered from lung cancer and severe arthritis prior to her death. (Will we Follow the Sheep, 69-72). Other cases are more dramatic and unexpected deaths due to hidden defects.

Each living thing should be unique. However, animal and human cloning seems to violate this principle. This can be attributed to the technology’s disregard for ecosystem survival and diversity. Cloning, contrary to the natural relationship between humans, nature and the environment, encourages the separation from evolution. This natural process is known to improve the survival instincts and make living organisms stronger.

Human cloning views women as merely biological functions that give birth to ova and womb. This destroys basic relationships that were associated with natural conception and delivery. Once human cloning is a success, the definition of parentage will change dramatically. The bonds of parenthood will also be drastically altered.

Human cloning destroys the element of dignity. This can be attributed to a change in the treatment and perception of human beings, which has been transformed into variables for experiments and subjects, that can easily be manufactured, destroyed, and created (Andra para 2).

Human cloning violates these rights, as stipulated by the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights. Reproduction of human beings should only be natural and involve two factors: a male and a woman. Human cloning has made it an asexual method of reproduction that involves only one factor. This is likely to spark more debate, as it is feared human cloning will reduce sexual reproduction to a manufacturing process.

If it is assumed that human cloning begins at conception, then human cloning doesn’t have respect for human lives. Lawrence Nelson, adjunct associate professor of philosophy from Santa Clara University supports this predisposition. He suggests that extracorporeal embryos have the right to respect simply because they are alive. In the quest for a successful clone, too many embryos of human beings would be created.

Impact on Social Values

If human cloning is allowed around the world, it would disrupt the interconnected web “social values and institutions, practices” that support healthy growth and development of children. (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).

Human cloning could change how one views their children. It would make them more aware of the child’s ability to live up to parental expectations. This ability would be the basis of parents’ love for their children, not who they are. Natural parenthood is defined by love, loyalty, nurturing and steadfastness. In a world that is cloned, these values would be replaced by avarice, vanity and narcissism.

The man’s ability to create living things would make him omnipotent. This is contrary to religious beliefs that believe God to be the only omnipresent Being. Cloning of human beings would increase the problem of limited resources. Cloning uses a small number of researchers and clinicians who are better equipped to handle more complex social and medical issues.

Treating Individuals As Objects

Cloned children could be viewed as objects. Because they are subject to the desires and expectations of others, they cannot be free to achieve their full potential as individuals. The paper describes objectification of human beings as the tendency to ignore an individual’s needs or wants. It is an attempt to control someone rather than engage in a mutually respectful relationship.

Human cloning, on the other hand, makes the clones into commodities. They can be bought, sold or traded in a marketplace. Cloning is not intended to benefit the child cloned, but the nucleus donor. Another factor that makes a cloned child an object is its reduced physical uniqueness.

Eugenic Concerns

Eugenics was considered a step toward selective breeding in agriculture. Eugenic programs simplify the role of genes as it relates to determining traits and characteristics in humans. However, limited information is available on the relationship between genes and the behavioral characteristics that lead to rewarding and successful lives.

The minuscule amount of information available suggests that a combination between genes and the environment is crucial for successful and rewarding characters. This is not due to genes only as indicated by eugenic programs. While cows are bred for increased yields, sheep are bred so that they produce sheep with soft fleeces. However, it would not be ethical to breed superior humans.

This would reveal mankind’s indifference to human life and God’s creator role. Producing a superior human being according to science fiction is a serious problem. The American public is well-known for its eugenic ideas. These were created by scientists and politicians, but became a real threat in Nazi Germany (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-664).