In the modern society, cloning has been described as the man-made, genetic duplicate of another living form (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2005). Cloning of mammals has been a far-fetched idea to some scientists for a very long time. However, in 1997, Dr. Ian Wilmut, along with his team, successfully cloned a lamb from a mature ewe (Kass & Wilson, 1998). This announcement has caused a lot of positive and negative responses from medical and non-medical communities.
Protests from religious groups, bioethicists, humanitarians, and the general public led former President Clinton, the United States president of that time, to form the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) (Campbell, 1997). This committee then published a report and concluded that human cloning was morally unacceptable. It was then that government funds have been forbidden to be provided for human cloning research, making it illegal (Kass & Wilson, 1998). Critics of human cloning dispute that human cloning provides a number of medical risks that may harm the clone and the progenitor (Huang, 2001).
Ninety percent of failure rate and high mortality rates in animal cloning have been reported. Dolly, the first lamb clone, was euthanized for developing old-age diseases despite her young age (Kass & Wilson, 1998). To create one successful clone, a huge number of unsuccessful embryos also have to be sacrificed. This concept has resulted in outrage among the critics of cloning for killing innocent clones for the benefit of one (Kuppuswamy, Macer, Serbulea, & Tobin, 2007). Apart from the medical risks of cloning, human reproductive cloning may also weaken the concept of kin and human reproduction (Kass & Wilson, 1998).
A successfully cloned child would also have to face psychological problems such as personal identity and individuality. Designer babies and human enhancements will also be provided by reproductive cloning. Babies with perfect features and desirable characteristics will be available to high class societies because of the high-priced value of making them. Low class societies, on the other hand, will not be able to afford these babies, thereby creating a new form of discrimination that would further increase the gap between the rich and poor (Piercy, 1999).
With human enhancements available, diseased and disabled people could be categorized as the “undesirables. ” This implies that the lives of such persons are not worth living (Quick, n. d. ). In the society today, life is promoted and extended as much as possible. Discrimination is frowned upon and despised by all. Such ethical issues and many more are still being argued because of human reproductive cloning. Until these ethical issues are resolved, human cloning will still be morally unacceptable in the society. References
Campbell, C. (1997). Cloning human beings: Religious perspective on human cloning. Retrieved from http://bioethics. georgetown. edu/nbac/pubs/cloning2/cc4. pdf. Huang, N. (2001). The ethics of human genetic cloning. MURJ, 4, 69–75. Retrieved from http://web. mit. edu/murj/www/v04/v04-Features/v04-f6. pdf. Kass, L. , & Wilson, J. (1998). The ethics of human cloning. Washington, CD: AEI Press. Kuppuswamy, C. , Macer, D. , Serbulea, M. , & Tobin, B. (2007). Is human reproductive cloning inevitable: Future options for UN governance.
Yokohama, Japan: United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies. Retrieved from http://www. ias. unu. edu/resource_centre/Cloning_9. 20B. pdf. Piercy, E. (1999, December). Human cloning scientific, ethical and regulatory considerations relevant to cloning of human beings. Retrieved from http://www. aph. gov. au/house/committee/laca/humancloning/sub240. pdf. Quick, S. (n. d. ). Stem cell research and cloning—Science and ethics (Rev. ed). Retrieved May 27, 2010, from www. ethicalhealthcare. org/articles/quick_scr_cloning_ethics. pdf.