Arguments against human cloning essay

Free Essay: In , the first clone of a sheep named Dolly was created. This embryo had a success rate of one to four percent. When applied to humans, this.
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As philosopher Patrick Hopkins has pointed out, media conceptions about what human cloning entails, and the type of offspring that will arise from cloning, employ the tacit premise that clones are nothing but copies. The predominate belief that fuels this conception is that genetic determinism is true, i.

If a person were to believe that genetic determinism is true, then it follows that she believes that a cloned person would be psychologically identical with her genetic predecessor because they are almost genetically identical.

In , Hans Driesch cloned a sea urchin through inducing twinning by shaking an embryonic sea urchin in a beaker full of sea water until the embryo cleaved into two distinct embryos. In , Hans Spemann cloned a salamander embryo through inducing twinning as well, using a hair from his infant son as a noose to divide the embryo.

In , Spemann successfully cloned a salamander using nuclear transfer.


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This involved enucleating a single-celled salamander embryo and inserting it with the nucleus of a differentiated salamander embryonic cell. Because embryonic cells are undifferentiated, and therefore extremely malleable, it was not too surprising that transferred embryonic nuclei produced distinct embryos when inserted into an enucleated oocyte. However, inciting differentiated nuclei to behave as undifferentiated nuclei was thought to be impossible, since the conventional wisdom at the time was that once a cell was differentiated e. It was for this reason that, for a long time, creating a cloned embryo from adult somatic cells was thought to be impossible — it would require taking long-time differentiated cells and getting them to behave like the totipotent cells cells that are able to differentiate into any cell type, including the ability to form an entirely distinct organism found in newly fertilized eggs.

In , Dr. Ian Wilmut and Dr. Keith Campbell successfully cloned two mountain sheep, Megan and Morag, from embryonic sheep cells. In other words, Wilmut and Campbell were able to take a fully differentiated adult cell and revert it back to an undifferentiated, totipotent, state. This was the first time the process had been accomplished for mammalian reproduction. Furthermore, they were able to create a viable pregnancy and produce from it a healthy lamb however, there were failed attempts before Dolly was created, which, as it will be discussed below, creates concerns over the safety and efficacy of the procedure.

Additionally, she suffered from arthritis. Before she died, she produced six healthy lambs through natural reproduction. Some examples are deer, ferrets Li et al. One possible use of reproductive cloning technology is to help save endangered species Lanza et al. In , two endangered gray wolves were cloned in Korea Oh et al.

The successful cloning of household pets holds special significance in that, when discussing the circumstances that led to their cloning, we can begin to discuss the ethical issues that arise in human reproductive cloning. In , the first feline created via somatic cell nuclear transfer was born. What is most striking about CC is not simply her mere existence, but also that CC does not look nor act like her feline progenitor, Rainbow.


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Whereas Rainbow, a calico, is stocky and has patches of tan, orange, and white throughout her body, CC barely resembles a calico at all. Not only is she lanky and thin, she has a grey coat over a white body and is lacking the patches of orange or tan typical to calicos. Although Missy died before she was successfully cloned, Hawthorne banked her DNA in the hopes of ultimately succeeding in this endeavor.

All this has incited some pet owners to pay large sums of money to clone their beloved deceased pets. Alan and Kristine Wolf paid thousands of dollars to have their deceased cat, Spot, cloned from skin cells they had preserved. In other words, the Wolfs and the woman who cloned Nicky were willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money to clone their pets not just in order to receive another pet, but to, rather, receive what was, in their eyes, the same pet that they had lost Masterson, This allows us to begin exploring the ethical issues in the reproductive cloning debate.

Some questions that arise are: Why did these individuals regard the recreation of the same DNA to equate to the recreation of the same entity that had died? Will these expectations transfer over to human cloning, where people will regard cloned children as the same individuals as their genetic predecessors, and therefore treat them with this expectation in mind? Are such concerns grave enough to permanently ban reproductive cloning altogether? Procreative liberty is a right well established in Western political culture Dworkin, However, not everyone is physically capable of procreating through traditional modes of conception.

Cloning may be the only way for an otherwise infertile couple to have a genetically related child. For example, a couple may be able to generate only a few embryos from IVF procedures; cloning via artificially induced twinning would increase the number of embryos to a quantity that is more likely to result in a live birth. In another case, the male partner in a relationship may be unable to produce viable sperm and, instead of seeking a sperm donor, the couple can choose to use SCNT in order to produce a genetic copy of the prospective father.

Since the prospective mother would use her own ova, they would both contribute genetically to the child albeit with a different proportion than a couple who conceived using gamete cells. Or, perhaps one of the prospective parents is predisposed to certain genetic disorders and, in order to completely avoid their offspring inheriting these disorders, they decide to clone the other prospective parent. A single woman may want to have a baby, and would rather clone herself instead of using donated sperm.

Cloning | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Also, cloning may give homosexual couples the opportunity to have genetically related children this is especially true for homosexual women where one partner provides the mitochondrial DNA and the other partner provides the chromosomal DNA. These are a few examples of how cloning may provide a genetically related child to a person otherwise unable to have one. Because cloning may be the only way some people can procreate, to deny cloning to these people would be a violation of procreative liberty Robertson, One response is to distinguish between a positive right to procreate and a negative right to procreate Pearson, , and argue that reproductive liberty can be fully respected in the latter sense, and only conditionally respected in the former sense.

This conditional respect may support the permissibility of prohibiting human cloning for reproductive purposes. A negative right to x means that no one has the prima facie right to interfere in your request to fulfill x. If you possess a negative right to x, this entails only one obligation on the behalf of others: the obligation to not obstruct your obtainment of x.

For example, if I have a negative right to life, what this entails is that others have an obligation to not kill me, since this obstructs or hinders my right. Another way to regard it is that a negative right only requires passive obligations the obligation to not do something or to refrain from acting. A positive right requires more from obligation-bearers; it requires that active steps be taken in order to provide the right-bearers with the means to fulfill that right.

If I have a positive right to life, for instance, it is not just that others have an obligation to not kill me; they have a further obligation to provide me with any services that I would need to ensure my survival. That is, the obligation becomes an active one as well as a passive one: an obligation to not destroy my life and also to provide services that enable me to preserve my life. Keeping this distinction in mind, it is possible to deny that the right to reproduce is a positive right in the first place. That is, while we ought not to prevent anyone from procreating, we are not required to provide them with any technology whatsoever in order to enable them to procreate if they cannot do so by their own means.

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Hence, limiting access to certain types of assisted reproductive technologies to an otherwise infertile couple would not necessarily infringe on their negative right to procreate Courtwright and Doron, Some have argued the opposing side, however, and have maintained that respect for procreative liberty not only entails access to artificial reproductive technology, but also the right to employ gamete donors and surrogate mothers Ethics Committee of the American Fertility Society, Another possible response is to stress that, even if there is a positive right to procreate, the right is a prima facie , rather than a categorical, one and it is not the case that any step taken to combat infertility is in itself ethical McCormick, Therefore, determining what types of services can be offered to infertile couples must be tempered with certain considerations, e.

If a particular type of reproductive technology poses a health risk to the resulting children, this is grounds enough to prevent the use of that technology Cohen, In other words, even granting that individuals have a positive right to procreate, it does not follow from this alone that they should be provided with any means necessary for successful procreation.

They may not be entitled to the use of a certain technological advancement e. That is, in order for advocates of this objection to be consistent, they should be equally willing to ban other forms of reproductive technology that may result in harm to potential offspring. What is new is that cloning would ensure that the new child is an appropriate match for the existing ailing person, since they would be genetically identical. Permitting cloning, therefore, would allow for a more expedient means of creating a savior sibling, since the alternatives using preimplantation genetic diagnosis to screen embryos to determine which are genetically compatible with the sibling, implanting into a womb only the ones that are a match and discarding the others, or creating an embryo through natural reproduction and terminating the pregnancy if it is not a genetic match are more involved and more time consuming.

Of course, the rights of the new child would have to be respected; tissue, organs, or bodily fluids should only be removed given her consent although this would not apply to umbilical cord blood banking, since the infant lacks the capacity for giving consent Robertson, Such a prospect raises concerns that cloning would facilitate viewing the resulting children as objects of manufacture, rather than as individuals with value and dignity of their own.

The prospect of creating a child, solely to meet the needs of another child and not for her own sake, reduces the created child to a mere means to achieve the ends of the parents and the sick child. While it is admirable that the parents wish to save their existing child, it is not ethically permissible to create another child solely as an instrument to save the life of her sibling Quintavalle, Creating a child for the sole purpose of saving another child violates the formula of humanity because the child is created specifically for this end.

It should be noted, however, that such an objection would apply to any method that is used to create a child for similar reasons, including any other type of reproductive technology or even natural procreation.

Human Cloning : An Argument Against Human Reproductive Cloning

It is the intention with which a child is created that is in question here, not the method that is used in order to create the child. A chemist, who was presenting her views in support of reproductive cloning, read a letter by a father grieving the death of his infant son. Murray recounts as follows:. Eleven days ago, as I awaited my turn to testify at a congressional hearing on human reproductive cloning, one of five scientists on the witness list took the microphone. Cloning would provide such an opportunity to grieving parents. Like many of the arguments against reproductive cloning listed below, this argument in favor of cloning, despite its emotional appeal, erroneously assumes that genetic determinism is true.

The tacit implication here is that cloning is desirable because it somehow presents a way to cheat death. It is through cloning that his son could be, in some sense, resurrected. Given that individuals have sought to clone their deceased pets, the idea that grieving parents would seek to clone a deceased child is not far-fetched. Thomas Murray continues his article by disclosing that he too is a grieving father, having suffered the death of his twenty-year-old daughter who was abducted from her college campus and shot.

Murray goes on to stress that, due to varying other influences outside of genetic duplication, a clone would not, in fact, be a mere copy of its genetic predecessor. One interesting point is that both detractors of cloning e. Both assume that cloning recreates identity, and they differ only as to the desirability of that consequence.

Yet, given that we have evidence that the robust form of genetic determinism these arguments assume is false Resnik and Vorhaus, ; Elliot, , both detractors and supporters of cloning who rely on it produce faulty arguments. No child should have to bear the oppressive expectation that he or she will live out the life denied to his or her idealized genetic avatar…. Dan Brock further supports the contention that cloning in order to replace a deceased child is misguided Brock, It should be stressed, however, that this response targets a particular use of cloning one based on faulty assumptions , not the actual cloning procedure.

Human cloning laws, human dignity and the poverty of the policy making dialogue

Although SCNT is used to create embryos for therapeutic cloning, there is no intent to implant them in order to create children. Rather, the intent is to use the cells of the embryo in order to further research that may ultimately lead to treatments or cures for certain afflictions. Therefore, a categorical ban on SCNT affects not just the prospect of reproductive cloning, but also the research that could be done with cloned embryos. The first response maintains that, because therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning both implement SCNT, allowing the procedure to be perfected for therapeutic cloning makes it more likely that it will later be used for reproductive purposes Rifkin, ; Kass, The second response applies not just to therapeutic cloning, but to any type of embryo experimentation.