Should we clone human beings in order to improve mankind?

Group 4

There are two types of human cloning which are reproductive and therapeutic. Reproductive cloning is the production of personas that are identical to the original individual. It involves the implantation of cloned embryos into a surrogate mother. Meanwhile, therapeutic cloning is when stem cells are extracted from a cloned blastocyst. This is created by inserting a cell nucleus (usually from the skin) into a fertilized egg with a removed nucleus. Cloning has always been one of the most controversial themes in this fast-paced technological world which pose various ethical and moral issues that need to be pondered.

Cloning creates life- literally and metaphorically

Extracting tissue from aborted foetuses already exists for the purpose of medical research and treatment such as  Parkinson’s disease and hold promise treatment for other diseases as well. Some countries believe that abortion is ethically wrong, however, abortion may also be justified as a form of birth control or the mother’s concern. Lots of people want children but cannot have them such as infertile couples, same-sex couples etc. In the United States, there are no current federal laws that ban cloning completely. A person does not come into existence legally unless through birth. With reproductive cloning, there is a chance people could beat these biological boundaries and have children no matter their age, health or sexual orientation. We could eliminate pregnancy which some women may be happy about, in case of traumatic foetal loss and the birth of abnormal

offspring. Fatal genetic illness can be avoided, hence producing a child who would be unaffected by that illness in later life.

In September 2017, Miya had cloned her dog Billy Bean. The cells were sent to ViaGen Pets, a Texas company that does cloning. The cloned embryos were transferred to a canine surrogate and produced a puppy after two months. She said that they share tactile and spiritual connections together. Therefore, rather than destroying millions of spare embryos, we could use them as a source of human tissue.

In terms of therapeutic cloning, the process is believed to be able to aid in several medical breakthroughs. One major problem that healthcare providers have been constantly facing worldwide is the shortage of organ donations. In 2019 alone, the NHS has reported that 400 people died while waiting for a transplant. This leads to organisations such as the British Medical Association voicing out their support for the debatable technology. As the patient’s own stem cell is used, therapeutic cloning also eliminates the problem of immune rejection as the tissues produced are genetically identical with the original part. 

Megan Reagan, a sufferer of endolymphatic hydrops wrote a heartfelt message to Human Cloning Foundation as awareness to those who oppose cloning. Initially rejecting the idea of cloning herself, everything changed when she was diagnosed with the incurable disease that has triggered major challenges in her daily life. “…healthy people who are against cloning would no doubt change their minds if placed in my position or in other people’s positions who see the great need of this technology.”

Care ethics recognizes the needs of every individual in an ethical affair and strives to maximise them with the basis of compassion. Implementing care ethics enables us to regard the needs of people like Megan who depends on innovation like cloning to live a better quality of life. 

The violation of ethics and human rights

Some people would wish their dead-loved ones to return to life, therefore, they turn to cloning to achieve this. However, to grow a full-grown human body through reproductive cloning, not only would lead to problems but also would raise ethical issues. 

According to Robin Lovell-Badge, a developmental biologist, most of the embryos that were being developed did not manage to get through to the next phase successfully. Should they be able to survive, they would have been facing a series of severe abnormalities. For instance, Dolly the sheep had to be euthanized due to the fact of many health problems such as obesity and distorted limbs that she was under. Ethically, the whole process of reproductive cloning is against utilitarianism theory, as it would impose a huge risk on everyone involved and could cause distress for them if it fails. 

Humans are moulded since they are in the mothers’ wombs and the environment that they are raised in plays an important role in forming their personalities. Humans are just beyond genes, meaning cloning will not be able to make up an individual’s phenotype, traits that shape our characters and personalities. Consequently, if there were successful clones alive, they might have not been able to be as expressive as our beloved dead family members, or as we hoped for. One of the occasions that cloning is thought to be beneficial (when perfected) is to create a clone of a human being in order to harvest the organs needed in case of an emergency- an

extended version of xenotransplantation. However, what is being neglected is that the clone needs to be treated as a human being and not just an “organ container”. The rights of life, free will and expression are still applicable while his life will include creating memories, making friends as every member of society, as well as developing his very own personality, as mentioned before, and expressing his feelings. So, the question that arises is why should we consider a clone’s life is worth less than the life of the “DNA provider’s”?

Last but not least, if cloning gets applied on a large scale, it will result in a grand population expanse. For instance, the most obvious drawback is going to be the limited resources that won’t be enough to support this unexpected population growth. Clones will still need food, water, clothes, and a place to live so that they can maintain a healthy lifestyle and money in order to afford all these necessities. This is valid for natural resources as well. The outcome will be for the society to face the clones as burdens and not treat them as equal society members.

Initial Decision

As technology advances progressively, there is no doubt that we’re approaching more and more the perfection of human cloning. However, it is a fact that this procedure is banned in most of the nations worldwide and the UN has declared this act as ‘incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life’ that favours the Kantian theory, in which the duty ethics is being utilised to determine that human cloning is not morally right. All in all, our initial decision is that we are against the human cloning.

45 thoughts on “Should we clone human beings in order to improve mankind?

  1. Good ethical reasoning has been employed for both sides of the issue. Can you bring this more to the fore for Assignment Two, please?
    Also, can you choose if you are discussing reproductive cloning or therapeutic cloning, as that will give you a clearer focus.

  2. Human reproductive cloning; Yes or No?

    When the word cloning comes to mind, regardless which religion ur from (or rather the lack of), it must have strike a bizarre feeling in our human minds.

    Yes, it is amazing to see what the technology have become. From the difficulties of cultivating a tiny cell to be able to clone plants, animals, (and scarily, perhaps, humans).

    This is where the ethical committee comes into place. Now while I do support therapeutic cloning wholeheartedly, just the idea of a human reproductive cloning definitely does not sit well with me.

    Remember the roar people had when “robots” were supposed to replace them in factories? Taking away their jobs? The fear and doubts of robots incapable of “feelings” and eventually dictating the world? (Yes, they did get made into fictional movie plots, but where did you think the idea came from?)

    Now imagine instead of the robots which we can dispose whenever we want, we have human clones, which I assume people are going to use for wars (that’s the only logical reason that you’d wanna clone humans because why would you add more population when there are many overpopulated countries). These clones are not going to pop out an adult. They require a surrogate mother (but that’s another story).

    Regardless them having emotions or not, it is the utmost cruelty to use these clones in battles, letting them die, tortured, injured because after all, they are somewhat “human”s!

    Until humanity solves their own problems, I don’t see any reason for reproductive cloning in humans to happen. It’s just trouble, really.

  3. human cloning can be emotional damaging to real humans. this ‘the dead come to life’ concept is certainly wounds wrong to me. Humans adapts to new environment soon or later and they need to move on in order to live a progressive life. Experiencing happiness, sadness, loss is all nature and if we going against nature is just more complicated and conservative.

    I still remember there was a time in 2019 where people are creating vr so that the mother can “reunite” with the dead daughter. yes, you might can see your daughter back in 3D shape and hear her voice, but you cant even touch them. Humans tend to less less appreciate other existence until they are gone, what if the mother will only focused on her ‘virtual’ daughter and leave the real world behind? accepting loss is a way to take care of your body.

    The usage surrogate mother is brutal and unethical at the first place. There are many couples who could not get child because of sickness or infertility, but there is also many orphanage out there who needs sympathy and love. let take care of the ‘real’ human problems first before introducing another problem into the world. I wont agree on producing human clones until I see no calamity human race.

  4. This is a good article. We can easily understand the pros and cons of having cloning in the human world. Personally, I agree that human cloning should be banned otherwise, a world would turn to chaos. There would be more negative impacts rather than positive impacts.

    For the parents who are planning to get the child, they can choose the adoption system rather than selecting cloning as their option. First, it is not a guarantee for the child to be healthy as the studies stated that most of the clones would face a lot of diseases. Second, there will be an abundance of people live in this world. Besides their existence is a matter, their health also will be the main problem. This is due to the fact that they have a great tendency to get the disease easily. So more care needs to be taken.

    I believe that these two main reasons are not just applicable to parents but also towards healthcare providers ass they plan to use cloning for organs donations purposes. Ignoring the fact that this method will hurt the cloning body itself and their feelings as we just make them as our ‘spare part’, then how sure we are that this method will work perfectly (obtaining a healthy organ)? As we know, cloning would give a lot of diseases to clones.

  5. 1. Human cloning is an evidence of the rapid advancement of science and technology.
    2. The technology itself comes with a debatable topic regarding ethics and moral issues.
    3. In the medical field, human cloning holds a promising future to cure diseases related to genetic abnormalities, degenerative disorder and immune disorder to which until these days have no absolute curative treatment.
    4. Some people believe by cloning, they can wish to see their dead loved ones to return to life.
    5. Contrary to this belief, it raises issues in which it will lead to emotional and mental distress to the person.
    6. Years of research to these days, there is no recorded journal of 100% successful outcomes resulting from human cloning especially to produce human clones perfectly resembling the donor without having any complications or abnormalities.
    7. Also, human characteristics are not solely dependent on genes and DNA only because other external factors also play important roles in building the phenotype.
    8. Human cloning in other prospects is beneficial in cases of need for organ transplantation.
    9. Statistics show on the website, 20 people die each day waiting for organ transplants.
    10. This fact solely is in favour of the need for human cloning technology.
    11. However, human clones are also human beings who have rights, protected by laws and not treated as an organ container or less than that.
    12. Mass production of human clones leads to population expansion.
    13. There will be increasing demands of basic supply with limited resources, increase job-hunting competition, and an increase in criminal cases in the worst case.
    14. In some countries, it serves either a good or bad chance to make troop of human clones for war purposes.
    15. To sum up, human cloning technology serves beneficial purposes especially in the medical and healthcare field.
    16. The rising controversial ethical, moral, and religious issues however, the majority of the world are against the idea of human cloning as it not morally acceptable and violates human rights.

  6. Cloning might seem to be an attempt to change god creation. This article discussed thoroughly the ethical side of the issue from both side of the coin.

    Some cloning involving human life or an attempt to relive the dead should not be considered. However, if the cloning is to address the illness or as part of the process to improve some of the disabled body functions, it can be considered with caution.

  7. Personally, i dont think that human cloning is necessary. Plus, it is an unethical thing to do and unfair for the real humans and the clones.

    As mentioned in the article, human clones (if successful) are a living human being as well. They have their own rights. If the sole reason it was created was just to harvest their organs, we are basically ignoring the fact that they are human and are technically ‘killing’ them.

    Furthermore, perfect cloning is impossible. We can never create a perfect clone even if they have similar facial features and a bit of similar traits with our dead-loved ones. Human itself is a complex creation and no human could create a similar human being no matter how advanced the technology has developed.

  8. Human often confused itself between wants and needs. If ones can distinguish these, life becomes easier and peaceful. Because to some people they are blinded by wants than the needs and sorry to say mostly its the posh people as they have the money and resources.

    For this article, it was mentioned that one of the purpose of cloning to bring back the dead pet/family member. This is the wants and not the needs. These absolutely relevant for the rich family, poorer people wont even cross the idea of having that as they have much more problems to think of. They need the money for education, better living but money to bring dead? Thats rubbish. Rich people always think about themselves, rarely think for those who less fortunate.

    As conclusion i am really against the human cloning of dead as it is ethically and socially wrong, but for the medical purposes its necessary because it is a need not a want.

  9. Very interesting article. The evolution of technology must always be guided by ethical principles and balances, which makes the discussion on cloning extremely important.

  10. Extremely interesting article. Very good to read about the importance of ethical principles as technology continues to evolve. Cloning is an inevitable part of the development of the scientific community and so therefore the moral issues surrounding it should be discussed as the writer here has done very well.

  11. An interesting read. Cloning humans has always been a hot topic since long ago. While I do believe that therapeutic cloning is beneficial, I can’t really agree with cloning a full real human. The technology is still not completely developed and even if it does, the clone may be more prone towards diseases as the antibody may not be the same as a real human. This is quite unfair for the clone to be living in a disabled state due to another human’s curiosity and experimentation.

    I also agree with the point about the grand population expanse. Even now, some parts of the world (if I’m not mistaken) restrict the number of children that a family can have due to overpopulation. The cloning of humans will only add to the problem. Instead of a technology that potentially brings harm to the human race, it is better to invest in technologies/ creations that could solve the many problems that the world is facing right now.

  12. It’s a great reading on cloning. However in my perspective, cloning is only right when it is used as an answer to the incurable problems such as in the medical point of view. I totally agree with the point made about the organ shortage and I feel like this is the reason why cloning is needed, to help cure the incurable patient. I don’t know if this is possible since I am not from this field but can you imagine if cloning can create a whole new set of organs for humans? no one will be in the waitlist to replace their organ when they need it. But I know that it will still sound unethical since in order to have a mature and healthy organ, it needs to be fed accordingly just like a normal human. If there’s no need to raise a human clone to get the organ, then it is ethical to me but if it needs a growing human-like clone, it still feels like we are killing to get the organ, which is wrong.

    Other than that, I also disagree when cloning is done to make the dead ones live again since I believe that everyone is different and although they are raised in the same environment, no one would be the same exact person as the other. Even twins are not entirely the same person.

    I do feel like the part about “organ container” is true as to kill someone over the organs is unacceptable. Even if we know they are just clones, since they will look human, I still feel like someone who decides these clones to die to get their organ is evil.

    I hope we can come up with ways to get the organs without raising cloned humans as the “container”. Thinking of the other ways for the “container” might be the next step to eliminate the unethical issues we have now.

  13. It is indeed a good article about cloning and from it, I can say that cloning has it’s pros and cons. With that being said, I see that the latter outweighs the former. It is with no doubt that cloning can help us combat a wide range of genetic diseases and thus benefit the healthcare of our societies. Plus, cloning body parts can even serve as a lifesaver. Cons? I could not stress enough that it is obviously unethical since it contravenes nature, it is not via the natural reproductive process, which is by a man and a woman. It creates life. While cloning allows man to tamper with genetics in human beings, it also makes deliberate reproduction of undesirable traits and will result in a great population expanse. All in all, cloning will results in chaos to the world.

  14. 1) Ethically, therapeutic cloning of stem cells for the sake of medicine is one of the best way to combat lack of organ donors. If this can be successfully done in lab, I would say there’s nothing wrong in doing this because it makes sick people better. But to think forward, as for me, if the technology is approved, the society might want to take advantage of this technology to prolong their life. I can see that this technology has the potential to extend cellular life by replacing the old cells/organs with a new cells/organs therefore the person can live longer. This is debatable either to be good or bad depends on the persona (the person who gets to receive the treatment). Moreover, this could then cause overpopulation. Imagine if people keep producing babies and then old people lives longer than they should, isn’t that would cause overpopulation? Unless there’s a way to combat overpopulation successfully.

    2) I would not agree to reproductive cloning to clone dead people. This is because, I know for an instance that eventhough the clone would have the exact same personality and physical traits as the passed family member, the clone is a completely different persona. This is in my belief as a Muslim that there is no “reborn” concept.

    Also, the are billions of people on this Earth, a lot of them are having financial crisis, fighting in a war, homeless people in developed and developing countries still yet to be solved, unemployment rate going high, and many more problems that makes cloning individuals don’t deserve to be approved.

  15. Breaking biological barriers with reproductive cloning is a fresh perspective on the topic. If we are to strive for equity between people, then that may well be a medical advancement necessary for this. It would enable a person to make a choice about having kids for example, regardless of any biological handicaps they might have experienced.

    Nevertheless, the technocratic application of it towards, let’s say “mass produce” humans and their parts almost rings an industrialists dream type of bells. As humans are not Model T’s, cloning them and dumping after obtaining the organs would be highly risky from a human rights point of view. The human donor would still be considered a person as they feel, sense, and think, even if in an inhibited manner.
    We had already violated it with commodification of cattle and poultry, so a good place to learn.

    However, the author discusses the topic under the assumption that accessible cloning that can identically replicate the organisms exists already. Cloning, much like nuclear fusion, has been 10 years away for the last 30 years. In my view, until that level is reached, cloning should be restricted, monitored, and subject to testing and supervision no less than the strictest drug testing.

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