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Brent Waters, in discussing the ethical debate of stem cells and how scientists retrieve them, considers the most important aspect of the argument is not doing the research but how cells are obtained. He draws a distinct line between sacrificing human tissue to save human being but that an embryo is more than human tissue. If the embryo is a fellow human being, "we should not kill one person to save another" (Waters 78). He claims that human beings are "simply not available to cut into parts, no matter how useful" (78). Arguments stem from what people consider an embryo. Many admits that the embryo is more than tissue but not yet a person. If there is no distinction between the tissue commonly referred to as an embryo, then retrieving the human tissue should be able to be retrieved from another source. In other words, if the fetus tissue is not a human life and not "special," then we should look for other sources that foster cloning. Admitting the fetus is something other than tissue, removes the foundation for the argument that it is not life.
The evidence does not stop there. The Human Genome Project realizes the risks involved with human cloning are great. They report, "Physicians from the American Medical Association and scientists with the American Association for the Advancement of Science have issued formal public statements advising against human reproductive cloning" (HGP). Their site maintains, "Due to the inefficiency of animal cloning (only about 1 or 2 viable offspring for every 100 experiments) and the lack of understanding about reproductive cloning, many scientists and physicians strongly believe that it would be unethical to attempt to clone humans" (HGP). They even break the statistics down, claiming:
Not only do most attempts to clone mammals fail, about 30% of clones born alive are affected with 'large-offspring syndrome' and other debilitating conditions. Several cloned animals have died prematurely from infections and other complications. The same problems would be expected in human cloning. In addition, scientists do not know how cloning could impact mental development. While factors such as intellect and mood may not be as important for a cow or a mouse, they are crucial for the development of healthy humans. With so many unknowns concerning reproductive cloning, the attempt to clone humans at this time is considered potentially dangerous and ethically irresponsible. (HGP)
These statements explain why so much is wrong with human cloning.
We must also understand why people want to clone. Many view cloning as a contest to see who can reach the finish line first without seriously considering the repercussions. Some scientists simply want the notoriety involved with the process. For example, Richard Seed claims that "cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God" (Seed qtd, in Levine 123). This statement reinforces man's egocentric attitude and his willingness to overlook risks to achieve some sort of perceived greatness. There is nothing wrong with wanting to succeed in life but some individuals involved with cloning are wanting to do it for their own good and not the good of anyone else -- including the cloned being. Such arrogance should not be tolerated in the arena of cloning because the risks are too great.
Let us face it, the idea of human cloning is romantic and mystical and we look at the process as something great and magnificent. However, when we allow ourselves to look at the issue through rose-colored glasses, we are missing the most critical aspects, which are darker and more debilitating. The failure rate of the process is so high that it makes no sense to conduct experiments because the amount of eggs needed would be too great to meet the needs of all who wanted to clone a human being for one reason or another. In addition, we must think of what it means to clone. We must also consider the cloned individual and what they be feeling and experiencing as such. Finally, we must ask why. Human cloning is not essentially necessary for medical breakthroughs. Those racing to the finish line are probably more concerned with their legacy than they are with the human being that is cloned, which should never be overlooked by those curious about the issue. As Bush said, "As we seek what is possible, we must always ask what is right, and we must not forget that even the most noble ends do not justify any means" (Bush). The most important thing to do in cases like this is the right thing to do. Halt human cloning before it destroys life in ways that we cannot imagine.
Bush, George. "Both Human Reproductive Cloning and Therapeutic Cloning Should Be Banned." Contemporary Issues Companion: Cloning. 2006. GALE Resource Database.
Information Retrieved April 26, 2009.
Human Genome Project. National Institute of Health Online. Information Retrieved April 26,
Kass, Leon. "Human Cloning Is Unethical." Opposing Viewpoints: Biomedical Ethics. 2008.
GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 26, 2009.
Levine, Aaron. Cloning. New York: Rosen Publishing. 2009.
Smith, Wesley. "Therapeutic Cloning of Human Embryos Should Be Banned." At Issue: Human
Embryo Experimentation. 2007. GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved April
Utah. "What are the Risks of Cloning?" Information Retrieved April 26, 2009.
Waters, Brent. God and the Embryo. Washington: Georgetown University Press. 2003.
Woodward, John. The Economist. "Reproductive Cloning Is Immoral." At Issue: The Ethics of…[continue]
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Cloning has become a very contentious subject. The issue of cloning has moved from the scientific arena into the cultural, religious and ethical centers of debate, for good reasons. The scientific implications of cloning affects a wide range of social and ethical concerns. The theory of cloning questions many essential areas of ethical and philosophical concern about what human life is and raises the question whether we have the right
Legal costs might also haunt governments that allow cloning research. To prevent complications related to direct government investments in cloning research, legislation could open the door for privately-funded cloning research projects while at the same time banning federally- or state-funded research projects. However, most opponents of cloning cite the ethical costs involved in cloning legislation. Opponents of stem cell research sometimes "argue that permitting nuclear transplantation would open the door
Experiments in the late nineteenth century on frogs provided the groundwork for cloning (McKinnell 9-10). The method used a decade ago for the successful nuclear transplantation in amphibians required that the egg be enucleated, which meant removing the maternal hereditary material contained in the egg nucleus. Other hereditary material contained in the nucleus from a body cell would then be placed in the enucleated egg, and the resulting clone would
Cloning is no longer the stuff of science fiction, but is a reality that has become a serious subject of hot debate around the globe. At issue are the ethical, scientific, moral and economic implications of cloning. In October 2004, David Stevens, Executive Director of the Christian Medical Association confronted scientific duplicity and specifically challenged the International Society for Stem Cell Research asking to stop misleading the public and the media
Cloning is among the feats in science that many of us, as part of our childish character, ideas, and imaginations, have only visualized before. We used to say in our mind, "what would happen if we create someone who is an exact duplicate of ourselves?" Again we say, "how convenient it would be to have that someone do the things we don't want to do." Or, "have that someone face the
Thinkers and writers like Jeremy Rifkin, author of the Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World, voice their opposition to cloning. He and others are concerned that cloning with provide unethical incentives. "...we believe that the market for women's eggs that would be created by this research will provide unethical incentives for women to undergo health-threatening hormone treatment and surgery." (Statement in Support of Legislation to Prohibit
against human cloning. The writer explores both sides of the issue and comes down against its use or possibility of its use. There were four sources used to complete this paper. Over the past few decades, medical advances have made life better than ever before. People are living longer, their health is better and their quality of life is above any previous standard. Today, people can be cured of illnesses