Human Cloning: Pros and Cons
The question of human cloning arose after the first cloning of an animal, namely the sheep Dolly. Since that time, scholars and scientists became interested in cloning of people. Human cloning could make fundamental changes in the development of transplantology and reproductive medicine. It may help infertile or unisexual couples create real families and have children. Moreover, single men or women could have genetically related descendants. Further, with the aid of cloning, scientists may create organs for people who need transplants. In addition, animal cloning could help produce new medicines and methods of treatment of serious diseases. However, many people argue that human cloning should not be allowed because of the negative consequences, which the cloned individuals would face. First, clones may run health risks and hazard of early death. Second, clones may feel like they are not unique and are only the copies of a human. Third, many people argue that cloning is immoral and unacceptable because person cannot create other humans in an artificial way. Though human cloning is of high importance for the evolution of science and medicine, it can be allowed only for creating transplants but not for producing people on account of ethical and moral principles.
Human cloning should be prohibited since it may be dangerous because of possible mistakes and deflections. For example, animal cloning had taken 277 tries to produce one cloned sheep (Ehlers 525). The first attempts ended with failures and defections. If to consider human cloning, the main victims of the experiments will be the children. In his article “The Case against Human Cloning,” Vernon J. Ehlers writes the following, “There would be a loss of many fetuses, and some babies would die shortly after birth” (525). It means that almost every initial experiment would end with failure. In such case, people have no right to hazard human’s health and life, even if they are sure that the risk is small. Nevertheless, there are those who would say that danger and risk are not the reasons for prohibiting human cloning. For instance, in the article “Cloning and the Preservation of Family Integrity,” David Orentlicher tells that such objections are temporary and cannot be the cause of banning the human cloning (1021). The author affirms that scientists would not allow cloning until they know that it is safe. However, one can argue that there could be unscrupulous doctors who would hide the information about the possible risks. Human cloning would always be connected with potential hazards. Nevertheless, there exists another thought that human cloning could be useful.
Some scientists consider that cloning would help people who cannot give birth to children but want to have a genetically related child (Robertson 618). Human cloning is the best way to solve the problem of infertility. However, there are other methods, which are used in reproductive medicine and provide a natural process of birth. Among them are artificial fertilization, surrogate maternity, using of sperm or oocyte donors. In the last resort couples can adopt children. If all these methods are not acceptable, cloning could help but only in several cases. However, if it is allowed for some individuals and prohibited for others, discussions will arise. For this reason, cloning cannot be allowed.
There is one more reason for cloning. Many people could use clones for personal purposes such as producing a cloned baby for using his or her bones for their living child. Besides, some scholars could create clones and sell their organs. Of course, one cannot assert that it will necessarily happen; however, people are not perfect, and there would always be greedy and amoral individuals. Thus, if human cloning is allowed, the experiments can take too many lives, and it is unacceptable. In spite of possible advantages and benefits of human cloning, it cannot be allowed because the risks are too big, and people’s lives cannot be endangered, no matter whether they are born naturally or in an artificial way.
Human cloning should be forbidden because clones may suffer from the problem of non-identity. It means that cloned children may feel that they are different and not unique. They would not be born in a natural way like other children but would be produced with the help of cloning their parents’ or other people’s cells. Such children may be harmed by others at school; in turn, it may lead to various psychological and physical problems. They may become unsociable and the fear of ignorance may appear. The cloned children may be afraid of not knowing their origin and absence of genetic ties with one of their parents. Besides, cloned people may be discriminated because of social prejudices. They may feel like they are defective or worse than others. Nevertheless, David Orentlicher argues that people do not prize identity, and adolescents often suppose that it is “‘cool’ to look and be like their peers” (1023). Moreover, the scientist contends that it cannot be harmful to a child to be born as a non-identical individuality if the only alternative is not to be born at all (Orentlicher 1023). On the contrary, in their article “Human Cloning and Child Welfare,” Burley and Harris write that a clone will not have a life that is fully his or hers (110). They will live a life in the shadow of those who created them. Besides, a cloned person may feel guilty or dependent on their parents because owing to them, he or she came into this world. Some would say that children who were born naturally can have the same problems. However, one cannot compare a natural process of birth and artificial one. On the one hand, people who do not want children would not clone them, unlike those who have unwanted pregnancies, but on the other, parents could create children for personal purposes. The state would not be able to control the process of cloning and creating families with cloned children. That is why human cloning is not the best way to solve the problem of reproduction. Though social and psychological issues, faced by clones, are not as horrible as possible health problems, well-being of a person should be of a high priority.
The last and the most important reason to prohibit cloning is its immorality and interference in natural processes. Human beings are not Gods, and they cannot create other people as if they produce robots. Religious opponents believe that “there is a taboo against human beings possessing God’s power to create human life” and “cloning violates the sanctity of human life” (Shapiro, Long, and Gideon 26). Besides, human cloning may seem unmoral and unfair regarding other people. Human cloning may have a negative influence on the social structure. Ehlers writes, “I imagine that most of us are uncomfortable with the notion of our friends and neighbors creating designer children” (526). Many persons would agree with him because people are envious by nature, and they may judge others because of this feature. In addition, human beings may have prejudices against cloned people. They may consider clones to be defective or abnormal. Furthermore, another aspect emerges, i. e. some scholars argue that the problem of overpopulation or appearing a new “super race” may arise (Orentlicher 1026). However, Orentlicher denies this concern telling that it is impossible to create a new race of people because it will need at least twenty years of time and require many women to be surrogate mothers (1026). On the other hand, there is no assurance that scholars would not be able to make this process faster. If they were allowed to begin experiments with human cloning, they could do everything possible to get some benefits of it. Nevertheless, any intervention in nature may lead to unexpected results.
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Cloning could be an essential part of science and medicine development; however, human cloning is unacceptable in the view of ethics and morality. The attempts to clone animals showed that it is not safe, and that many problems and deflections can appear during the experiment. Nevertheless, animal cloning could help investigate new remedies and treatments for humans. From this perspective, cloning may be allowed, but only animals may be cloned. Human cloning should be prohibited because it contradicts the principles of morality. Every society should value human life and protect it from the risky experiments. If human cloning is not safe and can cause unforeseen outcomes, it must be forbidden. On the other hand, if scientists and scholars could use cloning for creating transplants, it may save lives of thousands of people. Taking into account the evidence mentioned above, the answer to the question whether to clone people or not may be contradictory. Thus, human cloning seems to be immoral, but when used in transplantology, it can be helpful for the doctors to save patients’ lives.
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