Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Issue of Human Cloning Essay Example for Free

The Issue of Human Cloning Essay INTRODUCTION Human cloning has been a favorite subject in science fiction stories, but has in recent years, it has become front page news. Anytime that a new scientific debate is born, many details about the topic itself is muddled with many inaccuracies. The problem is: do people understand enough of the science to predict whether cloning will be acceptable or not ethically and/or legally? Does it make sense to bring new people in the world whose origin is drastically different than the majority of people? This short review will focus first on arguments for cloning human beings based on scientific arguments and second on arguments against human cloning from the book by Leon Kass â€Å"The Ethics of Human Cloning. † REPRODUCTIVE AND RESEARCH CLONING Cloning is done in adult animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer. In the case of sheep like Dolly, the nucleus of a cell from a sheep is placed inside the cell of another sheep that has been emptied from its nucleus. However, contrary to the popular belief, the cloned sheep will not be 100% genetically identical to the donor sheep. The enucleated cell still has some DNA inside in organelles like the mitochondria that will be different than the donor’s DNA. The main arguments for cloning deal with the potential medical as well as scientific benefits that would be conferred upon humanity if adult humans could be cloned. The first reason is that cloning humans would bring forth medical breakthroughs for curing diseases like cancer. The rationale is that cloning involved in the differentiation of a cell may be an advantage that could help in the comprehension of how a cell differentiates and divides. Cancerous cells are multiplying without restraints since the cellular mechanisms for regulating cell division and cell growth are non-functional. Usually, unrestrained division and growth in normal cells do not continue because the cell has safety mechanisms that will induce death or apoptosis to stop this uncontrollable process. Other ideas about the benefit of cloning are cloning organs that could replace defective ones like heart, kidneys, and liver. This type of cloning is called research cloning contrasting with reproductive cloning. Another argument deals with infertility and reproduction. Many people cannot have children. Reproductive cloning would not only give them a child, but an ideal child in terms of genomic inheritance, implying that a clone could have its genome altered based on the parent’s disease history. This would guarantee a healthy child or some kind of twin to the parent. In essence, identical twins are clones of each other since their genome is identical. Cloning also happens all the time in nature. So, why not in humans too whenever it is wanted? ARGUMENTS AGAINST CLONING Leon Kass in his book â€Å"The Ethics of Human Cloning† analyzes the reasons why human cloning should never be used in our society. Dr. Kass expresses a fundamental distrust of human cloning based on the fact that human intervention is involved in the process. In effect, he draws a parallel between artificial insemination and cloning since both are in vitro processes in the beginning, being transferred to a host in vivo at the end. The problem with â€Å"human hands† is that ‘good intentions pave the way to Hell’ as the saying goes. We can start as wanting the best child, better health, and more intelligence, but in any case, we are not very far from eugenics. Eugenics have a strong opposition because it relies on selecting people based on genetic traits that are changed in order to bring about a specific characteristic in an individual. Eugenics may be the start of a socially unacceptable bias or discrimination based on the fact that the majority of mankind is naturally not fit genetically to qualify as persons almost physically and mentally perfect. In a world where only the most perfect humans would be chosen to survive, no room would be left for ‘inferior’ people. A past historical event connected with this idea is the Holocaust during which, people were gassed in order to get rid of their races or experimented upon in order to find out what physical perfection meant in order to improve the superior race. In addition, Dr. Kass deals with the traditional way of reproduction. Humans reproduce by sexual reproduction and have done so since the beginning of times. Since the announcement about cloning the first sheep, people have been upset about it because they feel that developing the technique further opens the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Will cloning affect our human dignity or our human nature? Moreover, based on the assumption that cloning humans would be accepted, he asks what status a clone would hold in our society. Past historical experiences with slavery and racism have troubled society till today. In fact, the general human population alienates who is different. It has been our nature people to ostracize others who are not judged normal. What would be the place of a clone in our society? What about a social status? What about legal perspectives concerning the rights and connections to their family? Dr. Kass also explains that science has more and more meddled with human reproduction, which he finds troublesome. He believes that there is an excess of consideration of what science in general can do to solve problems. In fact, by remedying one problem, it always creates new ones. In conclusion, cloning seems to possess multiple challenges to its establishment in society. The majority of humans feel that it is an attack on their human nature (reproduction and morality), which they hold sacred. The supporters of cloning are mainly concerned with what cloning can do for mankind in terms of acquiring scientific knowledge to cure diseases like cancer. Time will tell if cloning will bring doom or a better lot in life for humans.

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