Human Cloning Is a Controversial Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

(Weiler, 1998)

Weiler states that in relation to the offspring the following must be examined closely:

1) a single parent (genetically) of the offspring which is at the same time a genetic sibling. This issue parallels the non-zygotic fertilization;

2) Multiple twinship. Cloning a number of brothers or sisters from the same cell is similar to the case of twins only more extreme due to the intervention occurring in the process of creating this particular "twinship" if we regard human clones as siblings in every sense, should we forbid them sexual relations? Will it be necessary therefore to maintain a strict register of all clones?; and 3) the psychological and social identity of cloned offspring will not be like that of children born without cloning. (Weiler, 1998)

The work of Dixon (1998) entitled: "Reasons Against Cloning" relates the following disadvantages to cloning:

1) Health risks due to mutation of genes - Dixon states: "an abnormal baby would be a nightmare come true. The technique is extremely risky right now. A particular worry is the possibility that the genetic material used from the adult will continue to age so that the genes in a newborn baby clone could be - say - 30 years old or more on the day of birth. Many attempts at animal cloning produced disfigured monsters with severe abnormalities. So that would mean creating cloned embryos, implanting them and destroying (presumably) those that look imperfect as they grow in the womb. However some abnormalities may not appear till after birth. A cloned cow recently died several weeks after birth with a huge abnormality of blood cell production. Dolly the Sheep died prematurely of severe lung disease in February 2003, and also suffered from arthritis at an unexpectedly early age - probably linked to the cloning process;

2) Emotional Risks - a child grows up knowing her mother is her sister, her grandmother is her mother. Her father is her brother-in-law. Every time her mother looks at her she is seeing herself growing up. Unbearable emotional pressures on a teenager trying to establish his or her identity. What happens to a marriage when the "father" sees his wife's clone grow up into the exact replica (by appearance) of the beautiful 18-year-old he fell in love with 35 years ago? A sexual relationship would of course be with his wife's twin, no incest involved technically. Or maybe the child knows it is the twin of a dead brother or sister. What kind of pressures will he or she feel, knowing they were made as a direct replacement for another? It is a human experiment doomed to failure because the child will NOT be identical in every way, despite the hopes of the parents. One huge reason will be that the child will be brought up in a highly abnormal household: one where grief has been diverted into making a clone instead of adjusting to loss. The family environment will be totally different than that the other twin experienced. That itself will place great pressures on the emotional development of the child. You will not find a child psychiatrist in the world who could possibly say that there will not be very significant emotional risk to the cloned child as a result of these pressures; and 3) Risk of abuse of the technology - what would Hitler have done with cloning technology if available in the 1940s? There are powerful leaders in every generation who will seek to abuse this technology for their own purposes. Going ahead with cloning technology makes this far more likely. You cannot have so-called therapeutic cloning without reproductive cloning because the technique to make cloned babies is the same as to make a cloned embryo to try to make replacement tissues. (Dixon, 1998)

SUMMARY & CONCLUSION

Clearly there are many considerations regarding human cloning and just as clearly there are extremely positive and extremely negative possible outcomes in human cloning. While the medical advances enabled by human cloning are high impact in nature as well the drawbacks to human cloning are just as grave for consideration. Furthermore, there are various layers to this debate, which includes religious, social, emotional, mental, physical, and other life aspects that human cloning is likely to affect. The possibility that this technology will be abused is highlighted in this study and is an area which research should focus upon in the area of human cloning and the ongoing debate of whether human cloning should be allowed or whether human cloning should be outlawed and banned from use.

Bibliography

Morioka, Masahiro (1999) the Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life - in Heiner, Roetz (ed), Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: The Example of Human Cloning. Rodopi, Amsterdam, the Netherland, (2006), pp.1-16.

Weiler, Yael (1998) Israel Faces the Issue of Human Cloning: A Discussion of the Ethical and Social Implications Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 8 (1998), 10-12.

Dixon, Patrick (1998) Reasons against Cloning. Future. Online available at http://www.globalchange.com/noclones.htm

Human Cloning: Ethical Issues (2005) UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC and CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)

Johnson, Judith (2002) Human Cloning CRS Report for Congress 25 Feb 2002. Congressional Research Service. The Library of Congress

Byrne, J.A. And Gurdon, J.B. (2002) Commentary on Human Cloning- Journal of Differentiation (2002) 69:154-157 Blackwell Wissenchafts-Verlag 2002. Online available at http://www.reproductivecloning.net/cloning.pdf

Johnson, Alissa (2002) Human Cloning - Genetics Brief Issue No. Viii. June 2002. Online available at http://genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu/resources/HRSAmeeting2002/humancloning.pdf

UNESCO (2005)

Johnson, Alissa (2002) Human Cloning - Genetics Brief Issue No. Viii. June 2002. Online available at http://genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu/resources/HRSAmeeting2002/humancloning.pdf

Dixon, Patrick (1998) Reasons against Cloning. Future. Online available at http://www.globalchange.com/noclones.htm

Morioka, Masahiro (1999) the Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life - in Heiner, Roetz (ed),…

Online Sources Used in Document:

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