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- Human Cloning Essay
IELTS Human Cloning Essay
This is a model answer for a human cloning essay.
If you look at the task, the wording is slightly different from the common 'do you agree or disagree' essay.
However, it is essentially asking the same thing.
As people live longer and longer, the idea of cloning human beings in order to provide spare parts is becoming a reality. The idea horrifies most people, yet it is no longer mere science fiction.
To what extent do you agree with such a procedure?
Have you any reservations?
Understanding the Question and Task
You are asked if you agree with human cloning to use their body parts (in other words, what are the benefits), and what reservations (concerns) you have (in other words, what are the disadvantages).
So the best way to answer this human cloning essay is probably to look at both sides of the issue as has been done in the model answer.
As always, you must read the question carefully to make sure you answer it fully and do not go off topic.
You are specifically being asked to discuss the issue of creating human clones to then use their body parts. If you write about other issues to do with human cloning, you may go off topic.
Model Human Cloning Essay
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.
Model Answer for Human Cloning Essay
The cloning of animals has been occurring for a number of years now, and this has now opened up the possibility of cloning humans too. Although there are clear benefits to humankind of cloning to provide spare body parts, I believe it raises a number of worrying ethical issues.
Due to breakthroughs in medical science and improved diets, people are living much longer than in the past. This, though, has brought with it problems. As people age, their organs can fail so they need replacing. If humans were cloned, their organs could then be used to replace those of sick people. It is currently the case that there are often not enough organ donors around to fulfil this need, so cloning humans would overcome the issue as there would then be a ready supply.
However, for good reasons, many people view this as a worrying development. Firstly, there are religious arguments against it. It would involve creating other human beings and then eventually killing them in order to use their organs, which it could be argued is murder. This is obviously a sin according to religious texts. Also, dilemmas would arise over what rights these people have, as surely they would be humans just like the rest of us. Furthermore, if we have the ability to clone humans, it has to be questioned where this cloning will end. Is it then acceptable for people to start cloning relatives or family members who have died?
To conclude, I do not agree with this procedure due to the ethical issues and dilemmas it would create. Cloning animals has been a positive development, but this is where it should end.
The essay is well-organized, with a clear introducion which introduces the topic:
- The cloning of animals has been occurring for a number of years now, and this has now opened up the possibility of cloning humans too.
And it has a thesis statement that makes it clear exactly how the human cloning essay will be structured and what the candidate's opinion is:
- Although there are clear benefits to humankind of cloning to provide spare body parts, I believe it raises a number of worrying ethical issues.
The first body paragraph discusses the advantages of cloning humans, and then the second body paragraph looks at the problems associated with this. The change of direction to look at the other side is clearly marked with a transition word ("however") and a topic sentence:
- However, for good reasons, many people view this as a worrying development.
Other transition words are used effectively to guide the reader through the ideas in the human cloning essay: Firstly,.. Also,... Furthermore,...
The candidate demonstrates that they can use a mix of complex structures. For example:
- Due to breakthroughs in medical science and improved diets, people are living much longer than in the past.
- It would involve creating another human and then eventually killing it in order to use its organs, which it could be argued is murder.
- ...if we have the ability to clone humans, it has to be questioned where this cloning will end.
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Benefit Of Cloning
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Is Cloning Wrong
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The Benefits Of Cloning
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Cloning In The Media
Human cloning has been a controversial topic of discussion for nearly two decades. Society is reluctant to legalize cloning because of the immoral implications of cloning. According to the President’s Council on Bioethics, a highly credible team of scientists who work alongside the president explain that this reluctance stems from people’s religious and political views; however, one of the main causes of this reluctance is the media’s inaccurate representation of cloning (The President 's…
Cloning: Is It Right?
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Essay On Cloning
clone: replicating living things isn’t all that bad, is it? Cloning hit the spotlight when Finn Dorset lamb 6LLS, otherwise known as Dolly the sheep, became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. To produce Dolly, scientists used an udder cell from a six-year-old Finn Dorset white sheep. They found a way to ‘reprogram’ the udder cells—to keep them alive but stop their growth—by altering the growth medium. Then they injected the cell into an unfertilized egg cell which had its…
Is Cloning okay in Science? Cloning has been going on since 1952. According to Clonaid, the first human clone (Eve) was created on December 27, 2002. By definition it is the number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. This topic has become very controversial causing the world to become distraught. Later in 2005, the United Nations General Assembly prohibited all forms of human cloning with the Declaration…
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Ethics Of Cloning
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Argumentative Essay On Human Cloning
Persuasive essay on cloning.
Now that we are advancing in technology very rapidly, people are starting to wonder if it would be beneficial to clone humans. Some people say that you can literally save a person's life and create an exact replica of person by cloning. But some people say it’s not humane and it would be weird if there is 2 of the exact same person in the world. People are also concerned because nobody knows how these clones will act. We don’t know if the host will be harmed and we also don’t know if the clones will become evil and destroy the world. I believe that we shouldn’t clone humans simply because we don’t have enough information on cloning.
Inhumane And Ethical : The Pros And Cons Of Cloning
Imagine if you lived in a world where everyone was the same and had no physical differences. Everyone would have the exact same DNA. There would be no diversity within the population. If we continue to clone then this may be a possibility for the future. As of now there have been no cloned humans, but we are not too far away from being able to do so. Scientists have been cloning since as early as 1886, and have been cloning animals since 1996 with the birth of Dolly the sheep. Dolly the sheep was created by using reproductive cloning which is used to produce copies of whole animals (Cloning Fact Sheet NHGRI). Furthermore, there are two other types of cloning; therapeutic cloning and gene cloning. Therapeutic cloning is used to produce embryonic stem cells for medical research (Cloning Fact Sheet NHGRI). Gene cloning is used to produce copies of genes or segments of DNA (Cloning Fact Sheet NHGRI). Cloning should not be allowed because it is inhumane and unethical, results in more failure than it does results, and is unfeasible.
Argumentative Essay On Animal Cloning
Animal cloning is happening in today's society, people are split on either side that it is a big step into human race future, or if it is a part of science that humans shouldn’t be a part of. Cloning is done by removing a cell, then transfer the DNA into the egg of a donor, the animal would then grow up to look like the original. Cloning by humans is not the only way to clone, asexual reproduction is considered cloning used by bacteria. Humans consider the fact that you have a twin means that you have clone. So there are the facts to take in that cloning has been happening for a long time and that it is also done naturally. The big issue on animal cloning is more on the fact that many birth defects can happen to the cloned animal because it is such a high percentage. Clones that have defects such as two heads or extra body parts do have a small chance to live to the adult age. On the other side humans see cloning as a way of survival, with testing done on animals we could look back into the past and bring extinct animals from it. Many home pets have been cloned properly to look like an exact replica of the original, but the personality is the key difference between both. With experiments we now know cloning can be beneficial in some ways, but there is always a draw back. Another con to cloning is that it reduces the diversity in genetics, since cloning is using exact genes it has the potential to limit diversity in the species, there may be a time where organisms will no longer breed naturally. But the con that most people think of is that one day, humans would be able to clone themselves. This scenario is more of a moral dilemma because it is not natural and goes against many people and what they believe in, the fear comes from the movies and books because no human has ever been cloned, and then the wars will start because the fear of death would no longer be there. This is all just one side of the issue, the pro side looks for advancements to benefit humans. Cloning can help produce the best animal population with healthy genes. This could mean that humans can keep endangered animals from becoming extinct, this also means that with the raw material
Cloning Persuasive Essay
While there appears to be many advantages for the continuation of cloning research, there are other drawbacks that may negatively impact the society in the future. Cloning may reduce genetic variability by producing populations that have the same genetic make-up. This population would be susceptible to the same diseases and could potentially be wiped out by a single strain of virus. Such a result could be catastrophic and devastate entire nations. Cloning in human would inevitably lead to testings on human subjects and genetic tailoring of offspring. It is plausible that scientists could alter genetic coding to produce a baby with desirable traits resulting in a ‘perfect human’ with heightened senses and sub-normal intelligence. There have been no occurrences to
Does Human Cloning Kill Individuality?
Cloning kills individuality. What if human cloning was allowed? Would you still feel special and unique? I certainly wouldn’t but many people believe human cloning will not compromise human individuality. Those people would accept them as another part of human society according to the article, “Arguments for and Against Creating Human Clones”. Even if people did
Essay on Cloning: How Far Should We Go?
Six years ago, an event in genetic history changed our perspective on "reproduction" and added to our conscience a new element in the study of biology. On February 23, 1997, the world was introduced to Dolly, a 6-month-old lamb that was cloned from a single cell taken from the tissue of an adult donor. Ever since the birth of this sheep, a question that never before existed now lingers in the mind of many: should human cloning be a part of our society?
The Controversy Of Human Cloning
The controversy of human cloning has contemplated the reasons it should or shouldn't be allowed. Human cloning is the reproduction of human cells and tissue by creating a genetical copy artificially. Clones contain original characteristics of the individual or cell. There are many dangerous risks and great benefits to human cloning. Many people have an extraordinary reaction to cloning because it creates all sorts of images. Cloning is a medical breakthrough that can help millions of people if it is scientifically proven to be 100% safe. Is science really ready to officially clone a human?
The Cloning Controversy Essay
A mad scientist stands in one part of a double-chambered machine, leaving the other empty. As he presses a button, gears begin to whir and smoke. A bright light flashes, and out of the empty chamber steps a perfect replica of the scientist, complete with clothes and command of the English language.
Cloning: Is It Ethical? Essay
While some believe cloning to be acceptable others feel equally strongly that human cloning is completely wrong. With the state of the science as it is at the moment it would involve hundreds of damaged pregnancies to achieve one single live cloned baby. What is more, all the evidence suggests that clones are unhealthy and often have a number of built-in genetic defects, which lead to premature ageing and death. It would be completely wrong to bring a child into the world knowing that it was extremely likely to be affected by problems like these. The dignity of human life and the genetic uniqueness we all have would be attacked if cloning became commonplace. People might be
Cloning Speech : Cloning And Cloning
Cloning is an issue now and will be in the in the future,animals are cloned all the time.Does the human race want to have a copy of itself. We need to understand what is happening to the cloned animals and what could possibly happen to us if we were to be cloned.
How To Write A Diagnostic Essay
Now with progresses with technology, cloning has become something that can happen and something that has worked. In 1996 the first successful clone was done. A sheep named Dolly was brought upon us to prove many people wrong. According to an article published by sciencedaily, Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned from an adult sheep. She lived 6 long year and has some children as well. Dolly is great example of what could happen in human form. To all those couple who wish to have children but sadly can't this can make them parents and give them life's greatest joy. For this reason and many other reason is why I support cloning.
Legal And Ethical Issues Of Human Cloning
- 3 Works Cited
The first problem that human cloning encounter is it is one of unethical processes because it involves the alteration of the human genetic and human may be harmed, either during experimentation or by expectations after birth. “Cloning, like all science, must be used responsibly. Cloning human is not desirable. But cloning sheep has its uses.”, as quoted by Mary Seller, a member of the Church of England’s Board of Social Responsibility (Amy Logston, 1999). Meaning behind this word are showing us that cloning have both advantages and disadvantages. The concept of cloning is hurting many human sentiments and human believes. “Given the high rates of morbidity and mortality in the cloning of other mammals, we believe that cloning-to-produce-children would be extremely unsafe, and that attempts to produce a cloned child would be highly unethical”, as quoted by the President’s Council on Bioethics. Since human cloning deals with human life, it said to be unethical if people are willing to killed embryo or infant to produce a cloned human and advancing on it. The probability of this process is successful is also small because the technology that being used in this process is still new and risky.
The Opposition to Human Cloning: How Morality and Ethics Factor in
- 10 Works Cited
If a random individual were asked twenty years ago if he/she believed that science could clone an animal, most would have given a weird look and responded, “Are you kidding me?” However, that once crazy idea has now become a reality, and with this reality, has come debate after debate about the ethics and morality of cloning. Yet technology has not stopped with just the cloning of animals, but now many scientists are contemplating and are trying to find successful ways to clone human individuals. This idea of human cloning has fueled debate not just in the United States, but also with countries all over the world. I believe that it is not morally and ethically right
The Pros and Cons of Human Cloning Essay
The cloning of humans is now very close to reality, thanks to the historic scientific breakthrough of Dr. Ian Wilmut and his colleagues in the UK. This possibility is one of incredible potential benefit for all of us. Unfortunately the initial debate on this issue has been dominated by misleading, sensationalized accounts in the news media and negative emotional reactions derived from inaccurate science fiction. Much of the negativity about human cloning is based simply on the breathtaking novelty of the concept rather than on any real undesirable consequences. On balance, human cloning would have overwhelming advantages if regulated in a reasonable way. A comprehensive ban on human cloning by a misinformed public would be a sorry
Essay about Argument Against Human Cloning
- 9 Works Cited
In 1997, the first clone of a sheep named Dolly was created. This embryo had a success rate of one to four percent. When applied to humans, this percentage may decrease and become lower and more unpredictable. With lives at stake, is it worth the risk of the embryos involved in the unstable process? Although cloning may allow for new medical procedures and research of diseases and cures, it takes away from the natural biological order of life, and allows humans to "play God" while creating a margin of error which could result in many defects.
Ethics of Cloning Essay
Animal cloning became recognized as a commercial venture in 2001, with the intention to improve the quality of herds. It is one of the many ways in the field of genetics that has been used to improve and advance the quality of life. However, serious scrutiny from several advocacy groups considers the venture as a violation against fundamental environment and ethic principles.
‘Dolly’ was a sheep and the first living organism to be cloned, in 1997 in Scotland by Ian Wilmut and colleagues. This invention was associated with scientific and ethical implications hence, raised a lot of interest and concern from the public. The University of Hawaii subsequently came up with a process through which mass cloning could occur, while using mice. In both cases, somatic cell nuclear transfer was used. Scientists coined the term cloning in reference to duplication of biological material.
It is important to understand that, contrary to what the media reports on cloning, with a focus on reproductive cloning, there are a variety of cloning technologies besides the production of genetic twin of an organism. This paper will give insight into the various technologies behind cloning, will help in understanding what animal and human cloning are all about, and subsequently present an exhaustively argued out ethical stand.
The cloning of Dolly was received with great attention, and was seen as a theoretical possibility of human cloning. However, it was a shocking revelation that led to the proposal of various bans on human cloning.
Some scholars have taken up a balanced approach based on the pros and cons of cloning and have argued out that cloning should be regulated rather than banned. This regulation would be based on one’s intention of using the cloning process because, one cannot ignore the fact that cloning is a solution for infertility, as well as, protecting endangered species (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe 4-5).
It is important to understand that cloning is not associated with the production of a clone that has the same size and age as its donor, but rather, it is a form of twinning referred to as ‘delayed twining’. One great misunderstanding associated with a clone as we shall see is that which states that a clone is an exact replica of the donor, while in actual sense, this is not the case.
Various types of Cloning
To start with, there is recombinant DNA technology or DNA cloning, gene cloning, or molecular cloning (U.S. Department of Energy Genome Program’s Para 3-4). This refers to the movement of the selected DNA segment from one organism, to a genetic factor characterized by self-replication, such as bacterial plasmid (picture below). Bacterial plasmids often play a great role in the production of multiple and similar copies of a particular gene. This helps in generating enough material for a detailed study.
Reproductive cloning, the popular one and which continues to be a contentious topic, is a kind of cloning that involves generating an animal that has got the same nuclear DNA as its host (the donor animal). The process used is referred to as somatic cell nuclear transfer, and it was the method used to create Dolly (U.S. Department of Energy Genome Program’s Para 3-5).
Chemicals and electric current are used to ensure that cell division takes place. The uterus is used as the medium for gestation for a cloned embryo, once it reaches a certain stage. While in uterus, gestation continues until the clone grows and develops into a full-term fetus for birth. The cloning of both humans and animals through reproductive cloning has not been accurate enough and is at the experimentation stage. Until now, there is no one successful human clone that has been created.
There is another kind of cloning known as therapeutic/embryo cloning and this is the type of cloning where human embryos are produced for research purposes. This cloning process is apparently similar to reproduction cloning, but in this case, the embryos are not implanted into a uterus/womb, rather, they are used to produce stem cells that are useful for studying human development and treatment of diseases. Therapeutic cloning involves the use of stem cells, whose purpose is well known in relation to organ/tissue transplant.
Since this paper intends to focus on human and animal cloning, it will therefore talk about reproductive and therapeutic cloning because they both seem to cover the actual purpose of this paper: human and animal cloning.
Cloning of animals is a relatively new technology, whose role is to breed elite animals, and replace dead ones. Even though animal cloning was previously exercised, it only managed to catch the public’s attention in 1997. Animal cloning in the US is far more established compared with any other nation hence, the reason why the FDA recommends consumption of products from cloned animals (The Foods Standard Agency 4).
In 2002, Dolly (seen in the picture below) appeared healthy and had given birth to six healthy lambs. It is presumed that it was during the very same year that Dolly radically suffered from lung cancer and arthritis.
One of the scientist involved in producing Dolly said that a problem during the cloning process might have led to her development of arthritis in the hip and knee of her left hind leg at such a tender young age. According to the BBC news, most of the cloned animals had died before birth, or had been born with severe deformities.
It is because of these kinds of revelation that concerns over the health of animal clones that appear healthy, yet, may be having underlying genetic abnormalities have come up. In the case of Dolly, contrary to a sheep’s normal lifespan of 10-16 years, Dolly is said to have suffered an unforeseen and premature death. Some research says that Dolly might have been vulnerable to premature ageing (BBC News para 1-10).
Dr, Dai Grove-White of the Faculty of Veterinary science at Liverpool University said that arthritis was not a common ailment in sheep, and neither was it well recognized. According to Professor Ian Wilmut, more research and data on animal cloning is required because the case with Dolly cannot be used to make a conclusive judgment.
Currently, there are few quantitative studies to give a detailed analytical assessment of the health and welfare of cloned animals during their lifetime as productive organisms. Several confounding and causal factors are thought to have interfered with the assessment process for the reported studies. It has been concluded that cloning is an inefficient process, associated with high failure rate with fatal outcomes (BBC News para 1-10).
Farm animals, especially sheep and cattle, are mainly cloned for the purpose of preserving the breeding capacity of genetically elite animals. In addition, this ensures that loss against valuable genetic and characteristic features is insured. It is the males that are normally cloned. Sheep and cattle, followed by goat, rabbits, pigs and horses were among the first mammalian species to be cloned. Their economic importance, as well as, the well-developed assisted reproduction techniques made this possible.
Pig cloning, which entails the use of worthwhile boars, helps in artificial insemination, and in evaluating the genetic quality of the pigs through a detailed analysis of the carcass. In European farms, animal breeders indulge themselves in the business of selecting parents of highest quality for the next generation by choosing from a diverse and distinct European livestock, where the market is highly competitive.
Despite the fact that there is no practical benefit at present associated with cloning at the farm level, breeding companies are using it at the forefront of worldwide research and development (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe 5). Cloning can be expected to be a valuable process with time in as far as, the production of high value breeding lines that are useful in broadening the elite pedigree stock are concerned.
The escalation in value may be agricultural, encompassing increased performance with regard to food conversion and growth rate; ameliorated health and welfare characterized by resistance to infectious disease and lowered incidence of non-infectious diseases such as mastitis; good conformation marked by reduced prevalence and incidence of disease, and aesthetic value (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe 1-8).
Animal cloning is seen as a means of pet replacement, where owners can easily replace their pet animals. The use of animals or cloning however calls for respect for their intrinsic or inherent value to avoid inflicting too much suffering on them. As at the beginning, humans were given the responsibility of ensuring that they care for the animals, and this is what they ought to ensure they abide by, even during cloning (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe 6).
There are no certain results that show that it is technically feasible to clone humans. The continued low success rates associated with animal cloning regardless of the tremendous effort put forward to alter the procedures suggest this. In addition, the failure to clone primates also proves this. Safety problems are the reason for the current prohibition on cloning. The limited success despite numerous modifications on procedures for each species, and involving many animals, has further led to this prohibition.
This is because, for the cloning process to be successful with humans, it would involve producing hundreds of ova for research, and treating women with hormones that are not risk-free, and this is highly unethical. Even though preliminary animal evidence would prove to be successful, the first attempts at human cloning would be experimental. As an experimental research process, the ethical principles of human research should be looked into, before endorsing the cloning process.
In 2001, a breakthrough in human cloning was realized when the Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Massachusetts reported to having successfully cloned human embryos through therapeutic cloning. The report on human cloning was developed six months after the President’s Council on Bioethics discussed, researched and deliberated on it.
Unanimously, the council decreed that reproductive cloning aimed at producing children was not safe, and in accordance with the stipulated ethical principles of human research hence, should be banned by federal law.
On the basis of the ethical principles of respect for human freedom, dignity and equality, five major categories of concern with regard to reproductive cloning were identified. These are (Iltis 72-73)
- Identity and individuality of cloned children
- Perception of cloned children as objects
- Prospects of new eugenics
- Implication on family
- Implication on societal values
In addressing the issue of ethical principles, there is a need to understand the reasons behind cloning. Unfortunately, the media is very good at creating misunderstanding and is the facilitator for the misunderstanding on replica of a clone. Despite the fact that good reasons for cloning may be laid down, human cloning is the height of technologies. Creation of man by another man is an insult to God and for this simple reason alone, human cloning will always be opposed.
The strong opposition towards cloning mainly rests on the notion that cloning is unnatural. Prior to cloning, there were medical and technological interventions revolving around human reproduction that entailed segregation of sexes and sterilization in the period of state eugenics, artificial insemination during the 1940s and 1950s and family planning, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and related assisted reproduction technologies that included pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and surrogacy in the 1980s and 1990s, and contraception, legalized abortion, medicalization of pregnancy and birth in the 1960s and 1970s (Human genetics Alert 5-8).
Compared with cloning which forces the occurrence of an unnatural reproduction event, these earlier interventions in reproduction work with, and offer solutions to sexual reproduction. The unnaturalness of cloning, conflicts with a given set of moral and social meanings thus, is strongly contested against.
The element of ‘naturalness’ is perceived with positivity, while the ‘artificial’ element is considered inferior. As such, cloning, which characterized by artificialness, receives a negative attitude and reception. It is because of this very same the reason that moratoria were articulately outlined. Most of the religious philosophers have stated their opposition against cloning, claiming that it is wrong to interfere with God’s creation.
Ethics in Cloning
Despite the fact that cloning may never become a globally used procedure, it is hypothetically recommended for couples that cannot either produce a sperm, or an ovum, but wish to have a child that is genetically related to either one of them without having to use sperm or ovum donors.
Basing on people’s attitudes, reproduction is thought to continue being sexual, as this is much cheaper, easier and more fun. Very needy couples, those who are desperate for a child, are likely to use this method and proponents of cloning do not see the need of denying such couples this process. This is because, contrary to a majority of people’s beliefs, the cloned child would be a source of joy for such a couple (Human genetics Alert 8).
The National Research Act (Pub. L. 93-348) was endorsed in 1974 as a way of protecting human subjects for use in biomedical and behavioral research.
Various ethical principles were identified by the National Commission for Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research to govern the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research. Since cloning utilizes medical procedures and technology, whose implication requires professional care due to the genetic and psychological conditions that result from such procedures, it is said to fall within the medical umbrella.
The ethics of research as stipulated by the National Research Act should be carefully evaluated, and especially the role of physicians in practice. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs is charged with the responsibility of determining whether; physicians should participate in human cloning, as well as the legality of the process (Office of Human Subjects Research para 1-2).
The many embryos created by nuclear transfer fail to undergo a normal development process as seen Dolly’s case where 277 attempts had to be carried out. The highest published success rate of this process has been at around 5%. In a majority of experiments, the success rate is usually less than 1%, and irrespective of the many attempts, dogs or primates have been difficult to clone (Human Genetics Alert 2).
loned embryos will mainly die at the early stages of embryonic development, or spontaneously abort before the full gestation period has been attained. As has been evidently discussed in this paper, despite the fact that a clone is born, most of the clones are abnormal and die almost immediately after birth, due to the various physiological and anatomical problems that vary from one species to another.
The large offspring syndrome is the main problem, where clones are much larger than normal, and are mainly delivered through caesarean section. Successfully cloned animals like Dolly, are apparently healthy and capable of reproducing healthily and normally. Unfortunately, there seems to be some subtle problems that prevail in these successfully cloned animals, and that are caused by disturbed gene expression, which is likely to manifest itself as the animals continue to age (Gicquel 1338-1341; Jaenisch para 2-6).
Scientists claim that reproductive cloning is associated with some benefits. For one, reproductive cloning could be used to create animals with special qualities. In this sense, mass production of drug-producing animals or animals whose genes have been modified could act as avenues through which human diseases could be studied. In addition, repopulation of endangered species, as well as animals with breeding difficulties is achieved through reproductive cloning.
The gaur, a wild ox and an endangered species, gained recognition as the first endangered animal to be generated and this was in 2001. During the same year, a healthy baby mouflon, an endangered sheep species, was successfully created by scientists in Italy (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe 5). It is obvious that reproductive cloning is not without some benefits, but the ethical issues surrounding it are equally significant.
According to a recent survey in America, 64% were against the idea of cloning, and 63% said that they would not consider buying cloned food albeit safe. As indicated above, it is obvious that cloning is associated with so many benefits. However, this does not mean that cloning can be ethically approved.
Cloning is a very serious issue revolving around various aspects in society like religion, which is defined by certain rules and regulations that cover the right to life, and creation. Life is precious and should not be perceived as a property or item that can be easily owned and sold.
This is actually what cloning is about, since it involves objectification and co-modification of animals and humans, thereby treating them as mere machines that can be easily manufactured. Cloning is also considered to exacerbate problems affecting animals (Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production para 11-15).
Reports made by the media on the advances involved in cloning, imply that cloning is a means of manufacturing “armies of programmed killers, copying academic geniuses or sport stars, and recreating loved ones that are already dead” (Kass 23-60). The highly held perception of human clones is that they are the exact replica of the donor organism. It is unarguably true that human clones are identical is as far as nuclear genes are concerned.
However, when it comes to twinning as is the case with natural monozygotic twins, other confounding factors apart from mere identical genes are involved. A clone is different from its donor in terms of personality and character as a result of environment, and circumstances that define its life. In human cloning, there is no sharing of genomes to produce a hybrid organism and this may be fatal if the donor organism is susceptible to a certain disease as it only means that the clone will suffer from the same.
Cloning therefore should not be considered an alternative to mortality or terminal illness, because terminal illnesses are passed down to the clone. The natural process of procreation as established during creation is enough to establish a balance within the ecosystem (Kass 23-60). The ethical issue in this approach is that the clone is deprived of its autonomy. People think that a clone is the same as the cloned individual and therefore, is linked to giving the donor individual a second chance to life, while in the actual sense, this is not the case.
No one person can be entirely replaced by another once he/she dies, and it is precisely for this very reason that sport stars and academic geniuses cannot be replicated through generation of clones. Despite the fact that cloning is characterized by persistence of certain genotypes and resultant phenotypic traits, it does not bring about replication (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
Creation of a genetic twin, whose form of demarcation is an element of somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning is said to be troubling and fascinating. As indicated by Schwartz (195-206), various cultures throughout the world and as dictated by history, have enjoyed the intrigue derived from the phenomenon of identical twins.
The reason for the fascination is quite easy. If a person witnesses the experience with the identical twins, it is evident that it clearly demonstrates how different these twins are, in person, as well as in personality. Observation of identical twins on the other hand makes one intrigued by the resemblance, expecting that the two identical individuals would have the same abilities and personality since according to the human intuition, body and personality are always intertwined (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
Reproductive cloning is linked to a scientifically inaccurate and instinctive fear of multitudes of similar bodies, where each body houses personalities that are considered to be somewhat “less unique, less than distinct, and less autonomous than the normal” (Schwartz 195-206).
Identity and Individuality of Cloned Children
Cloning of humans violates the freedom of uniqueness of an individual. An individual, who feels that he/she is a genetic copy of another person, may undergo intense compelling pressure to become like, or distinct from its progenitor (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
The risks that are linked to developmental abnormalities in cloned organisms have led to the preclusion of cloning for the time being. Even with homozygous twins, who share the same genes, they are distinct and not identical and therefore, each person has the right to a unique unrepeated genome.
Lack of autonomy is associated with limited life choices resulting from constrain from self, and expectation from others (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641). There is a strong fear that human cloning is associated with a less-than-autonomous child. This is because; creation of cloned soldiers has led to a diminished physical individuality and psychological autonomy.
The misplaced belief of cloning has actually made people to believe they can determine behavior and personality hence are able to produce “armies of co-operative workers, beatific saints, or crazed soldiers” (Kass 3-17). Human cloning is feared to be more or less like an art because the total genetic blueprint of cloned individuals is pre-selected and pre-determined. In this light, human cloning disregards God’s status as the creator and the process of creation is seen, as another man-made activity.
The ideal idea of parenting is that which appreciates both the differences and similarities between the parents and their children. This kind of parenting is associated with care and teaching, which leads to general, as well as serendipitous developments in their children.
When someone seeks a clone, his mentality of a child is misplaced since the parent-clone considers the child-clone as an exact copy of him/herself and will not appreciate the distinctness that comes with it. As opposed to good parenting which is characterized by a strong parent-child relationship, cloning is fundamentally at odds with unconditional “love, acceptance and openness, all of which are characteristics of good parenting” (Kass 23-60).
It is evident that parenting exercises some form of control over off springs through varied means such as contraception, but reproductive cloning on the other hand is seen to have total specific control over not only a child’s development, but his/her genome as well. This makes the reproduction cloning process to be seen as a manufacturing process.
Cloned children are generated based on the donor’s choice and purpose, hence are synonymous to manufactured objects which are produced to serve an intended purpose. On the other hand, procreation gives rise to very unique beings with certain skills that are special to every individual. Despite the fact that cloning may act as a solution to childless parents, the cloned child can never measure up to a child that is as a result of procreation.
Human and animal cloning, are not in accordance with the natural law of creation. Human beings have taken it upon themselves to create, which according to religious ethical decree, is not acceptable. God is, and will always be the sole creator. Critics of cloning believe that cloning is a means of playing God. According to Kass’ argument, genetic novelty and uniqueness that is apparent with sexual reproduction is very crucial.
This is because; a sexually produced child is free from various setbacks revolving around a cloned child such as societal discrimination, and a feeling of being misplaced in the society. The sexually produced child on the other hand demands respect and equality from other people, and is not seen as some objects that should function as expected (Kass 17-26).
Human cloning is considered to bring about psychosocial harm to individuals in relation to their autonomy. A clone from an individual with known genetic ‘predispositions and conditions’ is perceived to possess the same ‘predispositions and conditions’ (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641). Unfortunately, what people do not realize is that this is a mere hypothesis that cannot be supported by factual evidence. Gilbert Meilaender (Meilaender cited in National Bioethics Advisory Commission 631) commented that:
Our children begin with a kind of genetic independence of us, their parents. They replicate neither their father nor their mother. That is a reminder of the independence that we must eventually grant to them and for which it is our duty to prepare them. To lose even in principle this sense of the child as gift will not be good for children.
Cloning is associated with predicted genetic disposition based on the parent’s genetic predisposition as indicated by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (630) and this being the case, various questions concerning the autonomy and best interests of the child born are felt unanswered.
A clone-child is able to see what is expected of him/her if raised by the clone parent and as such, experiences great pressure that forces him/her to live up as per expectations. This deprives the clone child of its freedom and uniqueness in becoming what he/she is, since he/she seeks to become what the world perceives him/her to be. In an example of cloning a sports star, the cloned sports star would hope that his/her clone would be a reflection of his/her characteristics (Kass 23-60).
When such a clone-child does not live up to what is expected of him/her as a sports star, he/she is considered a failure, who has not capitalized on his/her genetic gift. Despite the fact that some clone-children feel confident about their inherent abilities, others may experience limitation on their genetic lot. Failure to perform certain tasks binds the clone-child to the abilities of their clone-parents, and this results in interference of the clone-child’s perception of self and subsequently results in escalated external pressures.
Human cloning would therefore lead to destruction of the natural balance that result from natural procreation since it would psychologically diminish the unlimited potential of new human beings, and in turn exacerbate disturbing intentions for having children (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
The probability that some of the human clones are created from cells obtained from individuals, whose permission has not been sought, is a great ethical concern.
If such a probability became a reality, the moral foundations of therapeutic relationships based on personal respect, trust and the physician’s fiduciary responsibility to benefit a patient would be violated. According to Opinion 8.08 of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs on informed consent, the council has stipulated that a patient should make his/her own decisions regarding the kind of treatment to be used, where procedures for reproduction are part.
When informed consent is not exercised, then it only means that a physician does not respect an individual’s right to privacy and reproductive freedom (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Opinion 8.08). It is because of this ethical principle that cloning should not be carried out without first receiving the consent of an individual.
Reproductive cloning is a mere invention, which is at logger-heads with almost all of the ethical principles defining human research. In human cloning, there are two parties involved, the donor, and the clone.
Therefore, it is important that both parties are content with this cloning process, far from the highly held and appreciated natural process of procreation. This being the case, the effect of human cloning on a child should be evaluated. Critics of human cloning are of the view that the legal and social status of cloned children has not been clearly defined.
The disparity between the child’s genetic blueprint and its social identity is a threat to family stability because it is not clear as to whether the cloned child is qualified for reference as a sibling to a child born through the natural way of procreation. The cloned child’s identity is entirely endangered, since he/she is not aware of his/her identity as well. In addition, the society may undermine the clone-child and this would be an additional torture to the psychological status of this cloned child.
Cloning is associated with potential for physical harm. Despite the fact that there are convincing cases that favor reproductive cloning, the fundamental principle of injunction as defined by medical ethics and political philosophy should be achieved. The Hippocratic canon and the Nuremberg code, 1946-49 indicate this.
However, substantial risks, to the fetus and physical well being of a child that are as a result of reproductive cloning are far much more weighty, compared with the benefits associated with it (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
The Dolly reproductive technique became successful in 277 attempts. The use of this technique in humans is marked by hormonal manipulation of the ovum donor, which is a potential risk factor. The outcome on the other hand can be very serious and fatal, resulting in developmental abnormalities and multiple miscarriages. As noted by John Robertson (Robertson 810-813), a Law professor, before NBAC on March 13, 1997:
The first transfer (into a uterus) of a human (embryo) clone will occur before we know whether it will succeed. Some have argued therefore that the first transfers are somehow unethical because they involve experimentation on the resulting child and no one knows what is going to happen, and one is possibly leading to a child who could be disabled and have developmental difficulties.
According to latest research on mammalian cloning, various defects that normally occur during reprogramming of an egg will not be seen until much later in life of the produced animal clone. The incidence of Dolly is one example; she had been suffering from lung cancer and crippling arthritis before her death (Will We Follow the Sheep 69, 70-72). In other cases, the defects are hideous and go unnoticed, resulting in spectacular and unanticipated deaths.
Techniques used for cloning pose as potential hazards to developing individuals. According to the Human Embryo Research Panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1994 (1-2), the transfer of embryos into a woman’s uterus should be permitted only when, there is guarantee that no harm will be inflicted on the yet to be born child.
Currently, there is no guarantee that this harm does not exist and therefore, the transfer of embryos into women’s uterus in not permitted. A lot of deaths have been witnessed among amphibian, lamb and mouse fetuses, and these show just how this technology does not provide certainty in as far as long-term safety is concerned.
Human and animal cloning is not ethically justifiable because it violates most of the social and ethical considerations that individuals should consider when dealing with animals/people. Cloning does not respect human life, rather, based on the processes and procedures involved; it treats life like an object. In support of Zoloth’s conclusion, reproductive cloning would be abused by people since they would seek to produce a copy of their selves rather than play the crucial role of parenting a stranger to whom life has been given as stipulated by God, the divine creator.
Every living being should be unique in its own special way but apparently, human and animal cloning violates this principle. This is attributed to disregard for diversity and ecosystem survival by this technology. As opposed to the established natural relationship between humans and nature, cloning fosters the split up from evolution, a natural process that is known to ameliorate the survival instincts of living organisms through diversity, and makes them stronger.
Human cloning encourages destructive processes towards the ecosystem by deepening the alienation between two sets of species. An example is the continued destruction of the environment with the assumption that scientists would instigate the perpetuation of cloned trophy species in zoos (Andra para 5-8).
Human cloning treats women as mere biological functions that provide ova and womb. This process destroys the basic relationships that are associated with the natural process of conception and delivery. The definition of parentage will totally change once human cloning becomes a success and as such, the bonds of parenthood will be radically ruptured.
The element of human dignity is destroyed by human cloning. This is attributed to change in treatment and perception of humans from human beings to variables for experiments and test subjects that can be easily created, manufactured and destroyed (Andra, para 2).
As stipulated in the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights, human cloning is a violation against these rights. Reproduction of human beings should be a natural sexual process involving two factors (a male, and a female). However, with the invention of human cloning, it has become an asexual means of reproduction involving only one factor. This change is believed to stir up greater debate as it is feared that human cloning would reduce sexual reproduction to a manufacturing process.
Human cloning does not have respect for human life, if it is to be assumed that human life begins at conception. Lawrence Nelson, an adjunct associate professor of philosophy at the Santa Clara University, supports this predisposition by implying that extracorporeal embryos are entitled to respect by the mere fact that they have life. Too many human embryos would be created and destroyed in the search for a successful clone.
In such a case, disregard for human life is unethical as it is considered to endanger human life. However, Nelson suggests ways through which ethics can be applied in such a case. According to Nelson, respect to human embryos can be portrayed by, using the embryos as the last option for research; using the embryos for research if they have not attained the gastrulation stage by the time they are being used in research studies; not regarding the embryos as mere property, and not destroying them to pleasure (Andra para 7).
In addition, the search for a successful clone in turn would not be a guarantee for a successful life since the clone is susceptible to numerous diseases that eventually result in the clone’s death. Implication on the Family
Human cloning is perceived to affect the family. If a wife produces a clone of herself as a daughter, this distorts the relationship between the father and the daughter. The introduction and endorsement of cloning therefore, is seen to interfere with the family unit. One philosopher wrote that cloning proved to be a major violation of the human nature characterized by “embodied, gendered, and engendering beings- and of social relations developed from this natural ground” (Kass 23-60).
Human cloning would give rise to issues revolving around marital eligibility. In addition, courts would face difficulties trying to solve problems related to assisted reproduction. There is one particular example where a “court found a child conceived using assisted reproductive technologies to have no parents despite having eight individuals from which to choose” (In re Marriage of Buzzanca).
Implication on Social Values
If human cloning would be permitted across the globe, this would mean disruption to the interconnected web of “social values, institutions, practices” that offer support for the healthy growth and development of children (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
Human cloning would change the attitude of value towards one’s children as it would shift towards the ability of a child to meet parental expectations. Parents would love their children based on this ability, rather than for who they are. Love, loyalty, nurturing, and steadfastness are the values, which define natural parenthood and with a world of cloning, they would be replaced with avarice, vanity, and narcissism (Kass 23-60).
The ability of man to produce/create living things would render him omnipotent, contrary to the highly held religious values that acknowledge God as the only omnipresent being. Human cloning would escalate the issue of scarce resources because, cloning makes use of the limited researchers and clinicians, who would be better positioned in handling more serious social and medical needs.
Treating Individuals as Objects
It is feared that cloned children would be perceived as mere objects. As a mere object, one is not free to reach their full potential as individuals since they are governed by pressures resulting from other people’s desires and expectations. While talking about objectification of human beings, the paper refers to objectification as the tendency to disregard an individual’s desires or well-being. Rather, it is the control over an individual instead of engaging him/her in a mutual and respectful relationship.
Alternatively, human cloning commodifies the resulting clones by treating them as commodities that can be easily bought, sold, or exchanged in a market place. Cloning, as opposed to other practices, such as genetic screening, or gene therapy, is intended to benefit the nucleus donor and not the cloned child. The other factor that makes the cloned child to be regarded as an object is due to its diminished physical uniqueness.
The use of eugenic was seen as a step towards selective breeding in agriculture. Eugenic programs oversimplify the role of genes in as far determining human traits and characteristics is concerned, yet, there is limited information on the correlation between genes and behavioral characteristics of successful and rewarding human lives.
Furthermore, the minuscule information that is available indicates that an interaction between genes and the environment is essential for the development of successful and rewarding characters, and not merely due to genes as indicated by the eugenic programs. Cows are bred to increase yields, while sheep are bred to produce sheep with softer fleece, but, it would be unethical to breed superior humans.
To start with, such a practice would only reveal, mankind’s lack of respect for human life and God’s role as the creator of the universe. Production of a superior human being as dictated by science fiction is something that is associated with serious consequence. The American public is renowned for its eugenic ideas, which were engineered by scientific and political leaders, but whose menace became a reality during a grotesque fashion in Nazi Germany (National Bioethics Advisory Commission 629-641).
This paper has said it all, and it is obvious that the risks outweigh the benefits. It is because of this great imbalance that we do not support cloning. The main objective benefits associated with cloning are solving infertility issues, and for transplantation. On the other hand, it is evident that it is incommensurate with almost all of the ethical principles.
As human beings charged with the responsibility of taking care of the environment, where animals are part, we should see to it that the animals are not subjected to intended pain. An evaluation of cloning, being among the many laboratory procedures involving animals, has led us to believe that it is ethically and morally wrong to clone animals, considering reproductive cloning, and therapeutic cloning. Dolly, being the first animal to go public in relation to cloning, was also the reason for the stirred up debate about ethics of cloning.
Physical endangerment is among the various health and safety concerns that arose from this debate. It is true that technology improves our standards of living, and quality of life, but it is also worth noting that it should not be at the expense of other creatures, the embryos, which even though undeveloped, should not be subjected to intended pain. The fact that animals cannot speak does not give humans the right to treat them in a cruel manner either.
It is important to understand that technology is something which is readily accepted and embraced, but when it tends to produce something that is entirely different from the usual, it is then that it faces resistance, as is evident in this case of cloning.
It is because of this very reason that cloning has stirred up strong feelings and has become such a contentious debate. We are of the opinion that cloning is associated with serious risks, which not only affect the clone but the donor as well. The case of Dolly, even though is considered inconclusive by some scientists, shows the challenges associated with cloning.
To start with, too much life is wasted in the numerous attempts carried out. This proves just how cloning disrespects human life. Furthermore, the eventual birth of a clone does not guarantee absence of genetic mutation, which can be very fatal in the long-run. The birth mother on the other hand may suffer from miscarriages, and the ovum donor may suffer from ovum donor hormonal manipulation. A cloned individual is not free, because this element has been indirectly deprived from him/her due to expectations from society.
The various issues raised by cloning makes it impossible for this technology to sail through. It is only until when the benefits of cloning will outweigh the risks associated it that it will be appropriate for physicians to participate in human cloning. As at now, it is not safe to reproduce children through human cloning because of the highly risky procedures involved as have been discussed in the paper.
Regardless of resolved techniques and procedures, weighty concerns will continue to linger around the use of this technology on society and the individual due to anticipated negative effects. Despite the need for more research, it is impossible to imagine that ethical principles will continue to be greatly violated, because for accurate results to be finally obtained, life will not be accorded the respect it deserves. In addition, the society perception of a clone may be difficult to change.
As the final word with regard to cloning, it is an extra-ordinary kind of technology that can be considered to be the epitome of man’s intellectualness. However, it is important to realize that it is not right to compete with God for one because; this technology is seen to mimic God.
Worse is the fact that human cloning will transform creation into a manufacturing process, and violate all the principles that are associated with it. The IVF procedure has already played a very essential role in addressing infertility issues. We think that human cloning will destroy many values that have been amongst us since time in memorial. Therefore, it will only be fair if a continued ban on it prevails.
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Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. Animal Cloning . Brussels: FVE, 2009.
Gicquel, Christine, et al. “In vitro fertilization may increase the risk of Beckwith- Wiedemann syndrome related to the abnormal imprinting of the KCNQ1OT gene.” American Journal of Human Genetics 72.5 (2003): 1338-1341.
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- Concept of Utilitarianism Theory
The advantages and disadvantages of cloning humans as well as the ethical and social problems involved in it!
Pre-university paper, 2002, 14 pages, grade: 2+(b), sabine reinhold (author).
Free online reading
I think nobody can afford to ignore the progress that is made in science today. Scientific research gives us knowledge about things that nobody ever thought about just a few years ago, for example the cloning of humans.
In this essay I want to focus on this topic with special regard to the advantages and disadvantages and the social and ethical problems. I will start with a definition of cloning. The next part of the essay will be about the beginning of life followed by a listing of arguments about advantages and disadvantages of human cloning. Furthermore my essay will involve a look on cloning and sciene fiction and finish with the economic reasons for cloning humans. My motivation to do the essay about this topic is not only that it is crucial for everybody to think about cloning but in my mind it is also very interesting and exciting to learn more about it. It is a scientific possibility that has become reality. Maybe cloning and genetic engineering will someday even affect my life or that of my children. I hope that I will be able to learn enough about cloning by writing this essay so that I can make up my mind on how I feel about this topic.
1 The word cloning originated from the greek and means sprout or branch.
Cloning is an asexual kind of reproduction. In order to understand the technique we first have to know how sexual reproduction basically works.Every human body cell has a set of 46 chromosomes 2 and every gamete, which is the man’s sperm cell and the woman’s egg cell, has 23 chromosomes. The gametes have only half of the chromosomes a body cell has because during sexual reproduction the egg cell and the sperm cell come together and create a new life which then has a complete set of chromosomes (46) in every body cell again, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. If gametes would have complete chromosome sets, too, the number of chromosomes in the body cells of the following generations would continue to grow.
Cloning works kind of similar but since the goal is to create something which is genetically identical to one model the fertilization process has to take place with the chromosomes ( the hereditary material) of only one person or thing. This can only be done by scientists in the laboratory (asexual). It works like this: One body cell from the model is taken and the core of the cell is removed (the core contains the whole hereditary material which is on 46 chromosomes). The core of this body cell is then implanted into an “empty” egg cell (empty because the core from the egg cell with the hereditary material on 23 chromosomes has to be removed as well). The fertilized egg cell then contains 46 chromosomes like it contains after sexual fertilization but with the difference that these 46 chromosomes are from one person and not from two, the man and the woman. What happens with this fertilized egg cell next depends on what kind of cloning is to be practised, either therapeutic cloning or reproductive cloning.
2.1 Therapeutic cloning
If therapeutic cloning is practised, the fertilized egg cell is harvested. When the cell has itself a few times divided, the valueable embryonic stem cells can be taken from the developing embryo, hereby the embryo is killed. These embryonic stem cells are so valueable because they can only be won from umbilical cord or from embryos and they are crucial for scientific research. The purpose of therapeutic cloning is to clone things such as organs and tissue for patients in need (see advantages and disadvantages of human cloning).
2.2 Reproductive cloning
If reproductive cloning is practised the fertilized egg cell is implanted into the womans womb where it is able to develop to full maturity like a “normal” sexually fertilized egg cell. Therefore reproductive cloning has the purpose of actually producing a human that is genetically identical to somebody else.
3. When does life begin?
3 There are several opinions regarding this question but the only one that is biologically demonstrable is that life begins with the fertilization of the egg cell. The reason to support this argument is that with fertilization the genetic identity of the new life is already determined completely since the mother’s and the father’s genes 4 are fused together. From this point on the embryo steadily develops and during this process the genetic identity doesn’t change any more. You could say that the genetic identity is like an instruction for the creation of the embryo, it just takes nine months till this instruction is realized. From fertilization on the embryo develops as a human and not to a human.
Some other opinions to the question where life begins are the following:
1) Life begins with birth because before birth the embryo isn’t able to stay alive on it’s own. It needs the mothers body to survive and to develop to full maturity. 2) Life begins when a human has the consciousness to live. Supporting this argument one has to believe that some mentally sick people and coma patients are not living either since they probably don’t have the consciousness to live. 3) Life begins after the first fourteen days,the first three months, etc. It is easily explainable why people favor this argument. Many have problems to define a bunch of cells ( that’s all a human is in the very beginning) as living. After some time ( for example three months) has passed one can at least recognize the shape of an embryo. Argument one has at least a reasoning but the others a hardly acceptable from the biological point of view as there is no proof for them.
The reason why it is important to define the beginning of life is that with its beginning every human has basic human rights that are unimpeachable.These rights are granted to every human without regard of attributes like age, race, sex, state of health or anything else and involve the right of human dignity and the right to live. With cloning we would hurt these human rights, if one believes that life begins with fertilization. When a scientist takes stem cells from an embryo for therapeutic cloning and kills the embryo afterwards it is a violation of the right to live. Furthermore the scientist didn’t respect the human dignity of the embryo because he uses it like a rat for his experiments and then “throws it away”. Some people still defend therapeutic cloning by saying that this kind of cloning is a very valuable technique for scientists in order to learn more about certain diseases but that doesn’t change the crucial point that human dignity is hurt and that’s a violation against the law, at least in industrialized countries where these human rights belong to the law.
Before we can make up our mind on how we feel about cloning we defenetly have to ask us where we see the beginnig of life and we have to know the different advantages and disadvantages of cloning that I will discuss on the following pages.
4. Advantages and disadvantages of human cloning
Although this part of my essay has the title “advantages and disadvantages of human cloning” you will see that I didn’t clearly define every single fact as an advantage or disadvantage. Instead of doing this I wrote down all my knowledge about this fact and left it up to the reader to decide whether he sees it as an advantage or disadvantage. I think this is something that everyone has a different opinion about. I can hardly give one definition and claim this to be right.
4.1 The reversion of the aging process
5 We can reverse our own aging process by using cloning. It works like this: Each cloned body cell is a brand new cell. It is the exact copy from an existing cell but is has the advantage that it is not as old as the model 6 . If a person would copy/ clone his 7 body cells and have these cells inplanted into the body when he is older, this person could renew his body. Someday this technique could allow humans to live to any age they want.
On one hand “this would eleminate fear of old age an death” 8 but on the other hand realising the dream to live forever brings a lot of new problems. We already have the problem that there are too many old people and not enough young people to pay for their pension. This problem would get even bigger. Also old people may be physical healthy but we have no medicine or technique to renew their mind. For some people with mental illness this artificially prolonged life might not be worth living.
4.2 The production of organs
Many people need organ donors but there are often not enough available and the risk that the body rejects the new organ is high. Many patients with an implanted organ need to take a lot of medicine with side effects each day for the rest of their lives to make sure that their body accepts the organ. These side effects lower their life quality.
It is possible to harvest embryonic stem cells and therefore it would be possible to grow organs or tissues, too. Everybody could clone his own organs. The clone shares identical genes to the model and hereby “the chances of rejection are nullified” 9 . It is even possible to grow skin for burn victims by using the victims own skin cells and cloning them. Up to today it is a big problem to help a burn victim. At present the only solution is to take skin from a “less important“ part of the body and put it where it is needed ( e.g. when a persons face is all burned he could use skin from the leg to cover the burned parts ).
4.3 The chance to have children for infertile couples
Cloning could help infertile couples if they want to have children. At the moment those couples have a harsh time. They have to “go through physically and emotionally painful procedures” 10 which are not only expensive and take a lot of time but which are also “estimated to be less than 10 % succsessful” 11 . Current infertility treatments don’t seem to improve soon because “being infertile is not considered a ‘real medical problem’ “ 12 in people’s attitudes.
The solution is called “in vitro fertilization”: One single egg cell has to be taken from the woman’s ovary and put into a dish where it is fertilized with a sperm cell of the man. The fertilized egg cell is than placed into the woman’s womb. It’s guaranteed that this technique is successful.
Seen from the couples point of view using cloning in order to have children is a brilliant idea but what about the ethical views? Cloning children will probably lead to the designer baby since the fertilized egg cell ( which is to be an embryo soon ) could also be enhanced with extra genes for special traits such as musical or athletic talent.
Furthermore the egg cell could be tested for special heriditary diseases. If they don’t excist, the egg cell can be implanted into the woman’s womb, otherwise it will be annihilated. This technique is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (pgd).
Maybe the parents want only a boy or a girl. Then, using a procedure called sexing, scientists separate the sperm cells and choose the sex of the planned child.
There are several critical points that have to be considered when talking about those embryo selecting techniques 13 :
1) Choosing one child over another is immoral. By doing this industrialized countries are no better than Third World countries who favor boy babies and often kill girl babies soon after birth. The only difference would be that we “kill“ the egg and not the born baby. At this point we have to get back to the question “where does life begin?“ If it begins, in your opinion, with fertilization, it would make no difference. 2) It is wrong to mess with the natural order. Some people believe that there is a “predetermined goal for the evolution of humankind” 14 . 3) The medicine is misused. Its purpose in the general sense is to heal. 4)Embryo selection will put a lot of pressure on couples who want to have children. First of all if they don’t test their embryo for certain heriditary diseases for example and their child gets sick later, people may reproach them that they could have prevented this. As a consequence every couple is forced to test their baby, even if they don’t want to. Furthermore insurance companies or state regulations could make the condition to only provide health coverage to children who were embryonically screened for the absence of certain diseases.
4.4 The improvement of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery
15 Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery could be improved with the help of cloning. Up to today cosmetic surgery can be risky because the used materials are foreign to the body. Silicone breast implants may cause immune disease, for example. Doctors would have the ability to manufacture bone, fat and connective tissue that matches the patient’s tissues exactly. Every person could change his appearance riskless.
4.5 The curing of diseases that are still uncurable
Cloning can be used to cure currently uncurable diseases. Diseases such as cancer are a “major killer throughout the world” 16 .We may be able to cure cancer if we learn how “cells differentiate into specific kind of tissue and how cancerous cells loose their differentiation” 17 . We could learn about this and then we may be able to develop an effective gene therapy to help sick people. Another example of a currently uncurable disease is Tay-Sachs disease. We could manufacture the enzyme hexoseaminidase A which is calling for the disease when it is absent. Tay-Sachs disease causes an unpreventable death by the age of five 18 .
Using cloning to inquire after such diseases can save many lives.
On the other side we would destroy the natural evolution process (see “The threat to genetic diversity and evolution”).
4.6 The replacement of dead people
Before discussing this topic a big misunderstanding has to be pointed out. Cloning can only produce genetically identical humans but it can’t ensure that the personal beliefs or goals will be similar to the model, too. This means for example that even if somebody would have a baby whose embryo was enhanced with genes for musical talent it isn’t guaranteed that this baby will someday become a famous pianist. The child may have musical talent but what he makes out of these talents, if he uses them or not, is up to the child. If it is not interested in taking piano lessons for example the talent will stay undiscovered. The problem is the same when somebody would try to replace a loved one. Unrealistic expectations on how the character will be might lead to frustration. Of course the outward appearance of the clone will be exactly the same but the personality will be probably different and that’s the critical point here. The clone can never really be a substitute for another person.
Also we have to ask us if it is justifiable from the ethical side. Cloning people to replace others is somewhat similar to have another baby just to create a perfect donor for the already existing sibling that is sick. How would you feel if your parents someday tell you that you were only born for your brother or sister and that you wouldn’t be here now if your sibling wouldn’t have needed your help or wouldn’t have died?
4.7 The threat to genetic diversity and evolution
Clones are genetically like brothers and sisters. Therefore genetic diversity is more and more destroyed by cloning and diseases can easier be spread under equal people. That’s the reason why nobody is allowed to have a sexual relationship with a family member. Humans already destroyed the natural evolution process by inventing all kinds of medecine. In consequence, even if that sounds cruel, people who were chosen to die by nature are still living because we can heal them or at least enable them to live with their illness by using unnatural chemicals (what most of the medecine is). With cloning we would also create people that wouldn’t have been created by nature. That is something revolutional but the question is if humans are allowed to play god and control the evolution process.
4.8 The chance for lesbians to have children
Like all ethical questions the question if being homosexual is considered “normal” or not is one that everybody has own answers and opinions to. It wouldn’t bring us any further to argue about it here. If you accept it or not, technically it is possible to create a baby with the hereditary material from two mothers. They would both have to donate an egg cell. The hereditary material in both egg cells is then separated from the egg cells.Now the egg cell from one mother is fertilized with the hereditary material from the other mother. The fertilized egg cell could then be implanted into either one of the mothers. Of course their baby will later look exactly like the mother who donated the hereditary material.
By the way: that’s how Dolly the sheep was cloned, too, only that the sheep had three mothers. One donated the egg cell, the other donated the hereditary material. The fertilized egg cell was then implanted into the third mother who carried the sheep out. By using cloning for this purpose, Lesbian couples have the possibility to create a family like all other couples, too, but this will probably evoque a lot of protest in society among those who don’t feel that they should have these rights because they don’t accept homosexuality.
4.9 A society that is broken into two classes
If someday many people have been cloned there will consequently envolve two classes of humans: the gene-enhanced and those who were “created” naturally. Of course the gene- enhanced will have a lot of advantages in life since they were given special talents. It is logical that those gene-enhanced people will be the rich ones because only rich parents have the possibility to afford the techniques to enhance their baby with special genes. These rich gene-enhanced people can probably get better jobs than the others because of their special talents so they will get even richer. Rich people often have a lot of authority. If one continues to think this through the rich gene-enhanced people could someday be the most powerful ones and rule over the others.
Also people with hereditary diseases are likely to be excluded from society and to become outsiders because their parents could not afford to test their baby for those diseases before it was born.
5. Cloning and science fiction
19 Now, after you are informed about the cloning of humans in general and it’s advantages and disadvantages (the realistic possibilities that human cloning brings with it), I want to show the unrealistic expectations of cloned humans as well.
We often find these unrealistic expectations in books from science fiction authors and in science fiction movies.These fantasy products tell us horror stories about armies of clones that want to kill humans or the creation of a second Hitler. I want tu use these two examples to demonstrate how unrealistic such horror stories are.
First of all these armies of clones are often described as armies of robots without feelings that are programmed to kill others by their creator and this is not possible. As I already wrote earlier in this essay clones are not much different from other humans except thet they were created by asexual reproduction thus having feelings like “normal” humans, too. The second question is: why would a person create such an army of clones if he would at least have to wait fifteen to twenty years till he could use this army for his interests? Clones can’t grow and develop faster than other humans.
A third problem is that this person would need several women that carrie each clone out and women that are willing to do that may be hard to find.
The idea that a second Hitler could be created is another unrealistic science fiction phantasy. I already mentioned earlier in this essay that one could enhance a person with extra genes for special traits but the clones own will and his surroundings contribute to his character and beliefs as well. Hitler could get so powerful because of the german history. He used the bad situation of Germany and convinced people that he would improve it. A clone of Hitler probably wouldn’t have the possibility to do the same thing at present, the circumstances are not given.
The most important aspect one has to keep in mind when he isn’t sure if something he heard is really possible or just a fictional story is that clones are normal people of flesh and blood, no robots or machines that have no feelings and can be programmed to do certain things. Even if it would be possible to create clones for a certain purpose it probably wouldn’t be allowed since all humans, which involves clones as well of course, have basic human rights and cannot be anyones property.
6. Economic reasons for cloning
20 As you can imagine there probably will be people who try to profit from cloning. I found out some possibilities that people could use. I want to point out that the first two of those are rather unrealistic as they are a violation against human rights and they are hard to realize.
6.1 Information retention
A cloning firm could buy DNA from a top ability worker and produce the clone of this person in another part of the world.When the clone has grown up the cloning firm tells him that he is the clone of a top ability worker but not who is his model. Of course the clone is eager to know who the model is and is probably willing to pay a lot of money to get this information.
6.2 Extract rents from clones via education
Top ability people have greater returns to higher education and top schools get high rents from the top ability people who visit their school. If some top schools would get together and invest in the cloning of top individuals they would make their own future students and get a lot of rent from them later.
6.3 Patents for certain techniques
If a big firm would develop a technique to produce organs for transplantation, for example, and then have this patented it could make a lot of money because all the people who want to use this technique, in this example this would be people who are in need of an organ, would charge this firm.
I want to start by pointing out that the thing I learnt best while writing this essay is that this topic is very extensive. You can’t really discuss every detail in a little essay like this one. I hope I managed to give an objective overall view. In my opinion you can’t think either just negative or just positive about cloning. Many things that cloning makes possible have their advantages as well as disadvantages to them. Lets take for example the reversion of the aging process: Many people would like to “live forever”. On the other hand, this will evoque the pension problem (see “advantages and disadvantages of human cloning”).
To my mind the scientific progress today goes really fast and that’s a big problem. We have the possibility to do these big things that nobody has ever done before like cloning but we also have the responsibility for what we do. The question humankind asks today is not “Do we have the possibilty to do it?” but “Do we have the right to do it? Are we ready to stand up for the consequences of our deeds?” Technically it is already possible for a long time to clone humans. Many scientists are eager to try all of the techniques out that they know about but the problem is that the government doesn’t allow them to do it yet. Especially the german government is very strict.
I think that we should allow only therapeutic cloning since this could really help people. But we should have strict regulations. The production of organs and tissue by using therapeutic cloning, for example, should, in my opinion, only be practised when there is absolutely no donor organ for the patient who needs it and he would have to die without the organ. To my mind it would be murder if we know how to manufacture an organ but the patient still has to die because we didn’t use our knowledge. I think it is also justifiable to help infertile couples with cloning but without using embryo selecting techniques.
I reject reproductive cloning though. In my judgement it has no sense to create an identical twin of somebody, especially because the character of the clone is probably different than the character of the model anyways. The special thing about humankind is that everybody is different, why should we want to destroy this multiplicity?
Last but not least I want to say that those parts of my essay which are titled “Advantages and disadvantages of human cloning” and “Economic reasons for cloning” are just speculations. They are not unrealistic but it is important to realize that it hasn’t happened yet. Who knows what the future brings.…
1) Mc Kinnell, Robert Gilmore, Cloning - Leben aus der Retorte, Karlsruhe 1981
2) Silver, Lee M., Remaking Eden, New York 1997
3) Saint - Paul, Gilles, The Economics of Human Cloning, in: IZA Discussion Paper No. 231, pages 3 and 4
Hiermit erkläre ich, dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit selbstständig und ohne fremde Hilfe verfasst und keine anderen als die im Literaturverzeichnis angegebenen Hilfsmittel verwendet habe.
Insbesondere versichere ich, dass ich alle wörtlichen und sinngemäßen Übernahmen aus anderen Werken als solche kenntlich gemacht habe.
1 I got this knowledge from my biology class.
2 Chromosomes carry the hereditary material.
3 Compare http://www.solidaritaet.com/neuesol/2000/35/col1.htm and http://cloning.ch/cloning/doku/doku_ewig.html
4 Genes are little units on the chromosomes that carry the hereditary information.
5 Compare http://www.humancloning.org/publish/posts/142.html
6 The model is the person or thing that donates the hereditary material in order to clone it.
7 I decided to use only the male grammatical forms like “he”, “his”, because the essay is easier to read this way, of course the women are meant as well when I talk about “persons”.
13 compare point 1), 2) and 3) to “Remaking Eden”, pages 255-257
14 ”Remaking Eden”, page 256
15 compare http://www.humancloning.org/publish/posts/142.html
18 compare “Remaking Eden“, page 251
19 compare “Cloning-Leben aus der Retorte“, pages 94-98
20 compare “Extract rents from clones via education” and “Information retention” to “The Economics of Human Cloning“, pages 3 and 4.
Ms. Awesome work :)
Thanks Alot :D. Hi Thankyou For Your Advice On Cloning Up There, It Has Really Helped Me On My Coursework At School I Was Stuck Then I Found Your Website To Help Me And I Got A B+ For It Thanks Again X
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