AGAINST HUMAN CLONING 1
The cloningtechnology dates back to 1975 when Dr. John Gurdan reported havingsuccessfully cloned a frog (Morrison, 2013). Unfortunately, the frogdied prematurely undermining the possibility of cloning a mammaleither from fetal or adult tissues. However, Dr. Ian Wilmut in1997successfully cloned a sheep (Morrison, 2013). Since then, thepossible adoption of the cloning technology in human beings hascreated a heated debate. The debate revolves around the potentialbenefits and detriments of the use of human cloning. The proponentsof human cloning view the technology as a possible solution to manyailments affecting people. On the other hand, the opponents maintainthat the negative effects of the technology outweigh any possiblepositive outcomes. This paper maintains that human cloning hasnegative implications on the resultant children, morals, and socialvalues hence it should be outlawed.
First, humancloning is an unsafe experiment. 98% of clones are either malformedor die immediately after birth (Onion, 2015). This means that thepossibility of developing a perfect clone is low. Additionally, ittook scientists more than 200 attempts to develop the first clonedsheep (Onion, 2015). Besides, according to Ehlers (2011), since thesuccessful cloning of the sheep, the technology has not beenperfected hence its application on human beings will result in manyfailed attempts. Hence, before a perfect human clone is developed,many fetuses and babies will die, and this will be a society-approvedmurder. Human life is valuable to the extent that no child`s lifeshould be put at risk. Also, even if scientists claim that it ispossible to produce cloned children, it is not clear the uniquediseases a cloned child will face (Ehlers, 2011).For example,according to Onion (2015), although cloned mice do not show geneticflaws, they reveal difficulties in expressing their seemingly normalgenes. A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology found that embryonic stem cells used to clone mice tend tobe unstable which give room for genetic expression. This shows thateven though the cloned children may appear normal, they possessnumerous undetectable genetic abnormalities. Already scientists haveencountered some abnormalities in the cloned sheep and mice.According to Onion (2015), the first sheep to be cloned wasinexplicably overweight. Similarly, research shows that cloned miceare extremely overweight in addition to having abnormally large lungsad hearts. According to Ehlers (2011), even if cloning`seffectiveness and safety is established with animals, numerousstudies will have to be conducted to know whether or not the samepositive outcomes can be replicated in human beings.
The majorrisk of cloning children is their immediate death long before the lawor human beings consider them to be individuals with legal or moralprotection against being killed by other people (Brock, 2014). Besides, apart from dying during implantation or before birth, it ispossible for a cell set for cloning to have undergone mutationspredisposing a child to diseases such as cancer or other conditionsof aging. Also, even if the scientists succeed in producing clonedchildren, the environment is the strongest determinant of personalityand attitudes. This means that unless the cloned children areconfined in a laboratory, they may end up not following the path ofthe person from whom they inherited their genome (Morrison, 2013).
More so, thecloning technology does not ensure diversity which is crucial inproviding a pool of variation needed for a robust human variations.The rationale behind human cloning is to develop offsprings who donot have certain undesirable traits. As such, human cloning reducesthe diversity in gene pool which in turns weakens the natural barrierthat shields people from attack by infectious diseases such asmalaria (Heimbach, 2011).Certain diseases such malaria are known toconstantly mutate in search of the vulnerabilities in the population.This means that if a certain condition that affects people withcertain genetic qualities strikes, it can terminate all the cloneswho share the same genome. In the long-run, cloning will expose theentire population to the risk of dying from certain mutatinginfections (Heimbach, 2011). Additionally, the risks of certaingenetic disease such as cancer increase with biological age. Thismeans that obtaining a mature stem cell from an adult could increasethe cloned children`s chances of developing cancer. Also, humancloning increases the likelihood and severity of birth defects incase cloned persons begin marrying nearly identical genetic relatives(Heimbach, 2011).
Besides,there are certain socio-political dangers associated with humancloning. If the human cloning technology is approved, it is prone toabuse by certain people for individual reasons. For example, thedominant race will constitute the largest number of clones because itis perceived as having a larger proportion of desirable qualitiescompared to their minority counterparts (Morrison, 2013). Also,criminals may use the technology to develop doppelgangers or createtheir own duplicates to confuse detectives in case they end upcommitting crimes (Heimbach, 2011). Besides, warlords can alsoproduce an army of genetically superior persons which they may use toestablish dominance over the whole world. According to Heimbach(2011), although most of the sociopolitical effects of human cloningare largely documented in films, this does not trivialize theargument that the technology is prone to abuse by people to servetheir own selfish (Heimbach, 2011).
Additionally,cloning disregards human dignity and is against morality. Unlikeother organisms, human beings are not just molecules and genes.According to Ehlers (2011), human beings are embodied spirits with aninnate sense of dignity. Consequently, every child has a right to beaccorded his/her dignity at the time of his/her birth. This can onlybe guaranteed if no child is born a clone. Besides, Ehlers (2011)adds that cloning emphasizes on making a child instead of begettingone. As such, the technology is not like other techniques used inassisting childless couples to get offsprings such as in vitrofertilization. On the contrary, the technology allows scientists tomake children to fit their own wants instead of allowing theoffsprings to live their lives the way they see fit. Besides, thecloned children will be viewed as products instead of cherishedgifts. Cloned child will be denied the benefits that come with havinga combination of genes from both the father and mother. The knowledgethat a person has both a mother and father gives him/her a sense ofgenetic identity (Ehlers, 2011). A cloned child will live in theshadow of his/her predecessors. The child will be expected to be asgood as his/her predecessor, and this will subject him/her to unfaircomparison and an unwanted level of scrutiny (Ehlers, 2011). Besides,the knowledge of the path taken by one`s predecessor may havenumerous psychological effects. For example, a cloned child canforesee his/her fate by observing or hearing stories about whattranspired to his/her earlier twin. Also, even if the cloningexercise will adhere to a high level of confidentiality, it ispossible that the identity of the resultant child may become publicknowledge. It would be traumatizing for a person to know that he/sheis a duplicate of another individual. Besides, the first few cloneswill have to be constantly watched by scientists, meaning that theywill never be able to live a normal life (Ehlers, 2011).
It is evidentthat even though the cloning technology could have positive impactsin terms of finding a cure for the many diseases plaguing the humanrace, the technology has devastating effects on the resultantchildren and the society at large. As such, just like othertechnological developments, human cloning should be evaluated withinthe moral, social, and scientific context. To ensure that no child isborn a clone, proper legislations are needed to prevent the use ofgenetic modification technology on human beings. Scientific researchplays a crucial role in enhancing the welfare of the human beings andthe society at large. Currently, human beings live longer as a resultof the many scientific inventions that have been carried out acrossthe world. This notwithstanding, the government has the mandate ofplacing limitations on scientific researches that have potentiallydetrimental effects on the human race (Ehlers, 2011). Additionally,the studies that use animals, instead of people, should be encouragedin the search for a cure for the many diseases plaguing the humanrace (Ehlers, 2011). Currently, the cloning technology is being usedto produce animals with specific proteins for the treatment ofcertain human disease. Besides, in the light of the many moral andethical concerns raised regarding the use of human embryos forresearch purposes, scientists need to explore the use of direct adultcells to develop specialized cells for transplantation to thepatients` bodies" (Ehlers, 2011). This should be encouragedinstead of cloning human beings directly.
Inconclusion, the successful cloning of a sheep named Dolly in 1997 byDr. Ian Wilmut raised some pertinent questions. For instance, is itpossible for the same technology to be replicated with human beings?The debate surrounding the issues of human cloning seeks to unearththe health risks and moral repercussions of using the technology toproduce children. However, it is evident that the cloning technologyposes huge risks to the resultant children. This is because noconclusive research has demonstrated that the technology is 100%successful and safe to be applied to human beings. Besides, it tookscientists more than 200 attempts to finally develop one clonedsheep. If this happens with human beings, the lives of hundreds fetuswill be cut short. Additionally, earlier research shows that clonedanimals have numerous deformities such as being overweight and havingenlarged hearts. There is also the issue of producing instead ofgiving birth to children. This will erode the dignity of thesechildren since they will not get a chance to live their lives the waythey want. This is because they will be unfairly compared with theirpredecessors. It is also possible for the level of confidentialityexpected in human cloning experiments to be compromised meaning thatthe resultant child will be labeled a "clone" by thesociety. Also, the human cloning technology is subject to abuse bywarlords, criminals, dominant races, and dictators to further theirown selfish interest.
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Heimbach, D.R. (2011). Cloning humans: dangerous, unjustifiable, and genuinelyimmoral. Val. UL Rev., 32, 633.
Morrison, E.E. (2013). Health care ethics: Critical issues for the 21st century.Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Onion, A.(2015)."Study: Clones have Hidden, dangerous Flaws."Accessed on November 14, 2016.http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98360&page=1