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Ethics and Human Cloning


Course: Ethics

Author: Konstantina Mathiozoglou

Teacher: red. prof. dr. Borut Ošlaj

Semester: Autumn

Year: 2017/2018
Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018


1 Introduction ................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.

2 Body: Thesis……………………………………………………………………………………………….………….........4-5

3 Body: Anti thesis .......................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.6

4 Body: Synthesis ......................................................................................................................... 7

5 Conclusion.................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.8

6 Bibliography .............................................................................................................................. 9

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018


In present day, human cloning is not possible in most areas of the world. The reason for
this is currently, any biological experimentation on humans is illegal in most of the world (including
drug tests) unless humans volunteer for them. The debate arose only after the famous Dolly the
Sheep, the first animal clone, was produced in 1996 when the idea that if people could clone a
sheep, they could clone humans started to develop. Several reasons for why this is illegal are
because of the religious and ethical controversies surrounding this issue. Not only that but seeing
as 1 or 2 out of 100 attempts at cloning were successful and because we also have a lack of
understanding regarding human reproductive cloning, it would be unethical to try. Even if the
cloning were to be successful, scientists aren’t sure of the impact it would have on the human
clone’s mind. As mood and intellect aren’t as important to mice and cows, for a healthy human,
these are very important. So as of right now, legal human cloning for us is to the extent of natural-
born twins. Twins are born with same copies of DNA – so technically, they are clones of each other.
Scientists have deemed that at this time, cloning humans are potentially dangerous and
unethically irresponsible. A few years ago, five scientists volunteered their own genetic
information to create five human embryos for human clones. They were made in pretty much the
same manner as all previous clones had been before, but when they were finished, they weren’t
implanted. Instead, they were just left there because at the time, there was a serious debate going
on about whether it would be right to implant the five embryos and allow them to develop. At the
end, the scientists decided to destroy all five embryos and all of the research materials involved in
their creation to end the debate.
We could say that nobody can afford to ignore the progress that is made in science today.
Scientific research gives us knowledge about things that nobody ever thought about just a few
years ago, for example the cloning of humans. In this report I want to focus on this topic with
special regard to the advantages and disadvantages and the social and ethical problems. I will start
with a definition of cloning. Human cloning is creating a genetically human being by copying a
single mature cell. Many scientists describe human cloning divided into to three general
categories: gene cloning: genes are multiplied to generate extra genetic, cell cloning:
differentiated or undifferentiated cells from embryos are multiplied to specific biology, embryo
cloning: nucleus is removed from an ovum and replaced with the nucleus another cell. (Hui, 2002,
p. 238). The next part of the report will be about the beginning of life followed by a listing of
arguments about advantages and disadvantages of human cloning. Furthermore, this report will
involve a look on cloning and science fiction and finish with the economic reasons for cloning
humans. The motivation to talk about this topic is not only that it is crucial for everybody to think
about cloning but in my mind it is also very interesting and exciting to learn more about it. It is a
scientific possibility that has become reality. Maybe cloning and genetic engineering will someday
even affect our lives or that of our children.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018


There are several opinions regarding this question but the only one that is biologically
demonstrable is that life begins with the fertilization of the egg cell. The reason to support this
argument is that with fertilization the genetic identity of the new life is already determined
completely since the mother′s and the father′s genes are fused together. From this point on the
embryo steadily develops and during this process the genetic identity doesn′t change any more.
You could say that the genetic identity is like an instruction for the creation of the embryo, it just
takes nine months till this instruction is realized. From fertilization on the embryo develops as a
human and not to a human.

Some other opinions to the question where life begins are the following:
1) Life begins with birth because before birth the embryo isn′t able to stay alive on it′s own.
It needs the mother’s body to survive and to develop to full maturity.
2) Life begins when a human has the consciousness to live. Supporting this argument one has
to believe that some mentally sick people and coma patients are not living either since they
probably don′t have the consciousness to live.
3) Life begins after the first fourteen days, the first three months, etc. It is easily explainable
why people favor this argument. Many have problems to define a bunch of cells (that′s all a
human is in the very beginning) as living. After some time (for example three months) has
passed one can at least recognize the shape of an embryo.
Argument one has at least a reasoning but the others a hardly acceptable from the biological
point of view as there is no proof for them. The reason why it is important to define the beginning
of life is that with its beginning every human has basic human rights that are unimpeachable. These
rights are granted to every human without regard of attributes like age, race, sex, state of health
or anything else and involve the right of human dignity and the right to live. With cloning we would
hurt these human rights, if one believes that life begins with fertilization. When a scientist takes
stem cells from an embryo for therapeutic cloning and kills the embryo afterwards it is a violation
of the right to live. Furthermore the scientist didn′t respect the human dignity of the embryo
because he uses it like a rat for his experiments and then "throws it away". Some people still
defend therapeutic cloning by saying that this kind of cloning is a very valuable technique for
scientists in order to learn more about certain diseases but that doesn’t change the crucial point
that human dignity is hurt and that’s a violation against the law, at least in industrialized countries
where these human rights belong to the law. Before we can make up our mind on how we feel
about cloning we definitely have to ask us where we see the beginning of life.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018

Finally, the inevitable question. Is it possible to clone humans? Actually, the question is
unanswerable. Until Dolly (the sheep, the first mammalian clone, born in 1996) came along no
mammal had been cloned by transferring a nucleus into an egg. Quite considerable efforts had
been made over several years to clone mice in order to understand how gene activity changes
during embryonic development. None met with success and it was acknowledged that cloning
mice was not going to be straightforward. One reason why sheep, a far less well understood and
less used experimental animal than mice, should have proved easier to clone may relate to
differences in the very earliest stages of mouse and sheep embryonic development. The
unfertilized eggs of all mammals accumulate a supply of proteins, and the means of making more
protein, as they mature in the ovary of the mother. In this way, the egg brings with it a larder for
the embryo to make use of until the embryo's own genes become active and it can supply these
things for itself. The sheep embryo makes good use of this store and does not start to depend on
its own genes until the sixteen-cell stage, four cell divisions after fertilization. In contrast, the
mouse embryo gets off to a very quick start, becoming reliant on the activity of its own genes after
just the first division when the fertilized egg becomes two cells. Therefore, a foreign nucleus
introduced into a sheep egg has a bit of breathing space to adapt to its new role before it has to
start running the show. On the other hand, a nucleus introduced into a mouse egg has to
acclimatize very fast for its genes to be able to direct embryonic development within one cell
division. Perhaps there is just not enough time in the mouse for the extensive re-programming of
gene activity that is required. The human embryo is thought to rely on its own genes after three
cell divisions, when it comprises eight cells. This might or might not provide time enough for a
foreign nucleus to feel at home. However, were we to understand the nature of the re-
programming that has to take place then there is every likelihood that both mice and humans
could be cloned, although probably still with a very low success rate. For now it is merely
unanswerable because is it not yet tested by some scientist, human cloning was somewhat
possible but can destroy us in different way or in any way.
In human cloning of course there some of advantages of how they can benefit us
technologically and physically. Like for example, they replace cancer affected organs with new
cloned organs, create more population if needed, good for metro sexual people , it can be a
solution of infertility, provide organs for transplantation, provides treatment for variety of disease,
cloning can eliminate all the worrying regarding the child’s health. Scientist can alter the genes to
ensure a healthy child. For example, if a mother has given birth to 2 children which suffered from
Down’s syndrome. Doctors can manipulate and balance out the number of chromosomes in the
embryo to give the mother a normal and healthy child. Scientists and ethicists who favor human
cloning research argue that cloning may provide a better understanding of the nature of genetic
diseases and aid in the production of embryos from which cells could be obtained to grow various
organs for organ transplant. The cloning of genetic modified animals can have certain medical,
agricultural and industrial applications. For example, genetically modified cattle can produce milk
with certain drugs inside in mass production.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018

There are many things to be cautious about when considering whether or not to clone
humans. Diversity in genes is beneficial to our society. Adaptation in genes allows human beings
to strengthen the Cloning would limit this ability severely. Copying something generally weakens
it, and scientists have found this true of cloning. All cloned animals have died early, of diseases or
genetic issues. The cloning of human body tissue also brings up several ethical questions. Who will
own the tissue? The carrier of the DNA, or the scientists who create it? Will the monetary costs of
cloning be worth the final result? Finally, there are those who worry that cloning allows man to
"play God." Is it really a good idea for one human to be able to create another human?
Science fiction gives rise to many misconceptions about cloning. Some common
misconceptions include the idea that people who are cloned would be exactly like their genetic
donor. This is not true, because our environment and experiences shape who we become. Others
think that cloned people would be perfect, that all imperfections would be "weeded out." Again,
this is not scientifically possible. Others think that clones would go "crazy," as in the movie "Jurassic
Park," where cloned dinosaurs escaped and went on a rampage. Some think that cloning means
humans would no longer believe in God, and that society as a whole would go downhill as a result.
All of these are misconceptions, rumors, or wild theories.
There are a lot of ethical considerations that would cause most people to protest. One of
these ethical concerns is that cloning is unnatural, and considered “playing God.” Another concern
is the treatment of clones. Clones would have the same needs as non-clones of their species.
Humane treatment guidelines would still apply.
There is always a risk of cloning technology being abused. One of the main disadvantages
of cloning is that the technology would have to be kept closely monitored. For example, imagine
what a corrupt dictator could do with cloning. There will always be someone looking to use cloning
for their own personal use, and many feel that the best way to prevent this is to not pursue cloning
at all.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018


On the downside, cloning has many negative affects it could have to life. The technique of
nuclear transfer is also early in its developmental stages. Therefore, errors are occurring all the
time when scientists carry out the procedure. This is the main reason science is holding out on
cloning humans. If the scientists who do this for a living take such a long time in accomplishing this
feat, with so many errors, obviously further advancement would be needed before serious
consideration was taken for cloning humans. I believe we should not attempt nuclear transfer to
produce an adult human until the technique is perfected, and also because there are many ethical
issues that are still unsolved.
Ethical issues are yet unanswered, if we clone humans, is that considered taking nature
into our own hands? Would the government place regulations on human cloning or animal
cloning? In fact, Great Britain and many other European nations have already passed congressional
legislation to regulate the use of cloning, both for humans and animals. Many religious
organizations consider nuclear transfer to cause men to be reproductively obsolete, because they
are not used in the process. Religious groups also claim that cloning defies the rule or their belief
that humans have souls. They also consider cloning unnatural, and say we are taking the work of
God into our own hands. People question when we will draw the line for getting involved in natural
events. There is also a debate as to the moral rights of clones. One could see how we would not
receive clones with such excitement as a child of a couple that conceived naturally, even though
if natural reproduction were to occur, genetic variation would occur. They say cloning would
deprive someone to have any perception of uniqueness. I believe this to be true, because although
a clone would be identical in every way, his/her personality would be different in every case,
depending on how the person was raised, and the surrounding environment.
Equally important, women who are single could have a child using cloning instead of in-
vitro fertilization. Nuclear transfer could also provide children who need organ transplants to have
a clone born to donate organs. Cloning could also provide a copy of a child for a couple whose
child had died, but there is a line to be drawn here.
There are many advantages to cloning, such as the chance of curing certain diseases and
being able to breed ideal stock for research and consumption. However, the disadvantages of
cloning are seen by many to far outweigh any benefits that might be seen. Because of the risk
taking involved in cloning, it is a technology that many experts say may be better left alone, at
least until it is better understood. As what my clinical instructor states that “technology can help
us, but otherwise can destroy us”. We need to consider cloning as ethical issue which is
unresolved, many professionals still debate for its significance, benefits and its environmental
results for us humans.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018

In the end cloning is here to stay. Cloning may benefit the world and it might destroy it. But
it is not just going to go away just by a few people stopping the funding of cloning. Cloning was
science fiction. But now it has become science fact. This as said before is scaring people. They think
if one science fiction idea can come to life what will stop more science fiction ideas from coming
out. So no matter how much people fight it, cloning is heard to stay no matter if it is good or bad.
Because it is an idea, and there is no person in history that has been able to stop an idea.
Human cloning can be brought within a moral right to reproductive freedom, but the
circumstances will have significant benefits appear at this time to be few and infrequent. It is not
a central component of a moral right to reproductive freedom, and it serves no major or pressing
individual or social needs. On the other hand, contrary to the pronouncements of many of its
opponents, human cloning seems not to be a violation of moral or human rights. But it does risk
some significant individual or social harm, although most are based on common public confusions
about genetic determinism, human identity, and the effects of human cloning. Because most
moral reasons against doing human cloning remain speculative, they seem insufficient to warrant
at this time a complete legal prohibition of either research on or later use of human cloning.
Legitimate moral concerns about the use and effects of human cloning, however, underline the
need for careful public oversight of research on its development, together with a wider public
debate and review before cloning is used on human beings. (Brock, 2005, p. 20-21).
At this point, I therefore conclude that we should not use cloning. However, if we venture
more into cloning we must make many precautions, and I think the best way to be aware of these
precautions is through more research. Research that involves human cloning is the hardest of the
ethical and moral dilemmas to resolve. Currently, even in the case of animal cloning, the extreme
inefficiency and cost of the procedures inhibit the true benefits that make it worthwhile. If the
ethical issues of cloning included resolving the lack of respect for the lives of animals and humans,
it would be more acceptable to allow technology to advance in this promising area.

Mathiozoglou Konstantina : Ethics and Human Cloning 2018

6. Bibliography

Brock, D. W (2005). Cloning human beings: An assessment of the ethical issues pro and con.
Brown University.
Hui, E. C. (2002). At the beginning of life: Dilemmas in theological bioethics. InterVarsity Press:

Human Genome Project Information website.

Cloning News Website with a Resource to Cloning information in the World