Should Cloning Be Encouraged?
Cloning, also referred to as asexual reproduction, is the process of creating genetically modified copies of biological matter such as cells and tissues. Cloning has been implemented and practiced on human beings, animals, as well as plants. However, the debate is often as to whether human cloning should be encouraged. Previous studies have asserted that plant and animal cloning has been successful. On the other hand, there has been controversial debate regarding human cloning. Cloning is perceived as the most tremendous medical breakthrough in the contemporary age. However, it has presented insurmountable concerns, both ethical and biological, especially with regard to cloning of human beings.
Biological concerns are that there will be no diversity if cloning is practiced since these human beings would be the same. This automatically transgresses nature. Therefore, this would amplify the risk of pathogens spreading and affecting all cloned human beings. There are innumerable health risks that emerge from human cloning. For example, the mutation of genes during the process of cloning has a high risk of resulting in an abnormal child. Therefore, this directly means that cloning is dangerous and risky. With the myriad of unknowns surrounding this procedure, any attempt to clone humans at this time would be exceedingly dangerous and ethically irresponsible; those clones born alive suffer from debilitating conditions and others die prematurely (Ashcroft, 2007).
Cloning arouses different social issues. The subject of cloning continues to elicit diverse views around the globe, especially with regard to the ethics of cloning. One of these views is based on the obstacles prevalent in developing human clones. For example, it is reported that cloned sheep died before or soon after birth, while some become malformed. It would be totally unacceptable to use methods which risk producing a malformed human child (Beckett & Gallagher, 2001). In addition, human clones that were intended to replace certain persons would face immense psychological pressure to live up to the expectations and reputation of the person they replaced. It is for this reason that cloning would be discouraged, since it can potentially cause an imbalance in society.
Human cloning does not give any regard to the importance of other human relationships and attachments except that of reproduction. Human child clones are not carbon copies of their parents, hence may lack an emotional component in them. In practice, parents of clones may not regard their cloned children as unique individuals since the basic concept of family would be lacking. One of the reasons why many people are so concerned about cloning is that it seems a threat to our identity and uniqueness as individuals (MacKinnon, 2000). In addition to this, cloning is inhumane and unethical to the entire human race since it presents people as objects who can be altered at any point in time of their life.
Other social issues prompted by cloning are the immoral aspect of “playing God,” and the limit of social justice. For example, would it be viable to waste public resources on human cloning, or, rather use the money to develop the quality of human life?
In conclusion, cloning may be a tremendous breakthrough towards fighting many diseases. However, its demerits override its intended purposes since it has been rendered clinically unsafe. For example, cloning can result in copies of parents who lack the basic component of individual personality, hence the temptation to treat cloned children as products. In addition, cloning increases health risks as a result of mutation of genes. Therefore, in this regard, scientists in this discipline should abandon the idea of human cloning.
Ashcroft, R. E. (2007). Principles of health care ethics (2nd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Beckett, B. S., & Gallagher, R. (2001). Biology: for higher tier (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
MacKinnon, B. (2000). Human cloning: Science, ethics, and public policy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.