In 1996, the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was born from an adult somatic cell in the Roslin Institute in Scotland after 276 tries (Animal Research 2014). Ever since then, human cloning has become a major concern in the science industry. Human cloning refers to a person that has the same genetic makeup as someone else (Human cloning). This issue has divided scientist, politicians and the public from deciding whether this action should be supported or banned. While many people think that human cloning is a major step in our advancement of technology from new medicine to cures for many diseases, others are concerned about opening the doors to a “brave new world” (Human Cloning). It’s a connection that scientists make with the book “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley where people are literally made, they decide the person’s eye color, hair color, whether they are athletic or not, or tall or short etc. People are not born, they are made. Therefore, many people fear or are against human cloning; the only thing that makes us unique is been taken away. With that been said, many scientists are against human cloning while others are in favor, but what are the real ethical concerns for this issue? There are numerous unethical reasons to why human cloning should be banned, for instance some scientists grow cloned human embryos for experimentation only and then they are destroyed. Humans should not be “made” to be used for experimentations only. Another reason is that the exploitation of women would increase, along with a decrease in genetic diversity.
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Human cloning could potentially be used for research to study genetic diseases or to find new cures. Infertility would be one thing that it could help. Many people are not able to conceive a child and this technique would open new doors for those people. Doctors could easily take a cell from one of the parents and differentiate into a sex cell that way they could grow it into an embryo and insert it back into the mother. In addition to infertility, human cloning with the help of gene editing, CRISPR, could also cure many genetic diseases that don’t have a cure yet. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a gene editing technique where you can change, delete or insert a specific piece of DNA with the correct piece of DNA (Brenner 2018). Also, Organ transplant is another advantage that human cloning could result in. This process is called therapeutic embryo cloning where embryos are produced to grow certain kinds of tissue for later to be used on other patients in need of that tissue. Without a doubt, there could be many advantages of human cloning, however, as mentioned before, there are ethical concerns to human cloning along with the scientific research standard that states that no harm should be done until it has been determined that there are no alternative solutions to get the desired outcome (Human Cloning).
Humans should never be made to be specifically used for experimentation. In 1948, representatives from all over the world came together and established the declaration of human rights. One of the things that the declaration states is that every person has the right to LIFE and liberty (Human right). With that been said, once an egg is fertilized it should have the right to live. It’s not ethically right to “make” a human to use as an organ donor or research for another person. You must keep in mind that you are sacrificing a live for another person. Even if you wanted that embryo to grow and live afterwards, there would not be many chances for that baby to live; as you saw with the sheep Dolly, scientists failed 276 times before they were successful with Dolly (Animal Research 2014). The sheep is even less complex than a human, imagine how many lives you would sacrifice before you could completely clone a human. Another ethical concern with human cloning is that the use of women would increase rapidly. The article “Why Human cloning Should be Banned”, mentioned that to manufacture enough cloned embryos to create enough viable stem cell lines, they would have to get huge quantities of eggs from women. In order to do so, women are injected a chemical that causes severe abdominal pain and sometimes it even requires for immediate surgery. Although many women who volunteer know the risks, there are the lower-class women. They are the ones that it would target the most, they would take those risks to better their financial status. Along with all this unethical concerns, genetic diversity in humans would be another issue. Whenever a living thing is cloned, an exact replica of that organism is been made with the exact same genetic makeup. There is one significant issue that this could bring, susceptibility to environmental changes. Anytime there would be an environmental change, humans would be at risk of extinction due to them not been able to accommodate to the environmental change fast enough because they have the same genes to whatever is been changed. So, is it worth it to risk it all like this?
When Dolly the sheep was born after 276 tries in 1996, many scientists were already thinking about the next level which was human cloning, a person that has the exact same DNA as someone else (Animal Research 2014). The ethical question of: is human cloning ethically right or wrong, has divided scientists, politicians and the public in half. The benefits of human cloning such as finding new treatments and cures, are indisputable. However, the bigger picture must be looked at as well. Many scientists are concerned that human cloning will start a “Brave New World”, a world where people will be made not born (Human cloning). The point where parents will decide how they want their children to look like, where they will be able to choose its height, hair color, eye color etc. Many people support human cloning due to its many benefits that it could result in. But despite of all this, there are more serious problems that it could pose such as the destruction of cloned human embryos for experimentation which violates the Declaration of Human Rights, exploitation of women and decrease in genetic diversity. There are other ethical ways to find new treatments and cures for diseases that don’t involve human cloning or sacrificing a life over another.
- Animal Research. 03 November 2014. Accessed on 09 December 2018.
- Brenner, Laurie. Sciencing. 20 July 2018. Accessed on 8 December 2018.
- “Human Cloning: The Need For a Comprehensive Ban.” Accessed on 09 December 2018 at The Center of Bioethics and Human Dignity web.
- “Reproductive cloning Arguments Pros andCons.” Accessed on 08 December 2018 at Center for Genetics and Society (2006) web.
- “Why Human Cloning Must be Banned Now.” Accessed on 09 December 2018 at The Center of Bioethics and Human Dignity web.
- “Human Right”. Accessed on 08 December 2018 at United Nations web.
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