Cloning: Failures and Risks

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Cloning is to make exact copies of an organism, in which the organism will have exactly the same genetic material. The first idea of cloning was in 1938 proposed by Hans Spemann. Since then animals such as frogs, mice, sheep, and many others have been cloned. When Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned in 1996 it gave rise to the thoughts of human cloning, in 1997 Bill Clinton who was president at the time raised question of the ethics of human cloning and sent an email stating I request that the National Bioethics Advisory Commission undertake a thorough review of the legal and ethical issues associated with the use of this technology, and report back to me within ninety days with recommendations on possible federal actions to prevent its abuse (Bill Clinton). The types of human cloning that were proposed are therapeutic and reproductive cloning. This type of cloning is for the purpose to produce embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell (National Human Genome Research Institute). These types of cloning’s may be helpful and fulfilling for some cases, but human cloning is unethical. Human cloning is unethical because it goes against religious beliefs, it replaces human value, and how dangerous it has the potential to be.

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Since the beginning of time there has always been the major differences between scientific beliefs and religious beliefs, human cloning is not an exception in this debate. Many religions consider a baby to be a gift from God. Christian and Catholic faiths have the biggest objection to human cloning. Human cloning is unethical in a religious aspect because it goes against the creation myth. The verse from the bible that stands out the most is in the book of Genesis So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis Chapter 1 verses 27-28). In God’s eyes man and woman are supposed to be the ones who create children, not a science lab. Human cloning is also seen as playing God. A lot of times when a new scientific discovery is made scientists are warned not to play God, the announcement of mammalian somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning was possible generated strong warnings against playing God (Cloning Human Beings pg 44).

When a someone you love dies, it is hard not to want to do anything to bring them back. Grief can hinder thinking rationally, in the time of grieving many people would make irrational choices, such as trying to clone that person. Therapeutic cloning is essentially a way to put a band aid on a loss. With this cloning parents could bring back their deceased children, which takes away any individuality their birth child had. Cloning a human takes away any uniqueness that person once had, because there could be another shortly after. Being able to make a duplicate of another person removes the value of that person’s life. In a way, it makes a statement that it is okay that person is gone because their loved ones can replace them with a clone. Human cloning, even for therapeutic reasons is still unethical. Society may change how they view people as well, treating those who are clones as more of a perfect society. Thus, treating those who are not clones such as they are not as perfect. It could create a new form of racism, creating a new form of segregation even if unintentional. Human cloning would also erase a large amount of diversity that the world has, A society that supported cloning as an acceptable procreative technique, would imply that variety is not important(Kolehmainen). Humans would become a commodity (Lombardo).

Cloning of animals have shown that there are serious health issues that raise red flags towards human cloning. In 2000 French researchers cloned a cow with DNA from an adult that seemed to be healthy. There is scientific evidence that shows how dangerous cloning is in regards of the unknown, When the cow died there was no evidence of infection or malfunction, but a post mortem examination showed the spleen and lymph nodes had not formed properly (ABC News). At Roslin institute, where Dolly was cloned, the scientists there see this as a bad sign, Dr. Harry Griffin believes it should be viewed as an important contribution to the evidence that nobody should be contemplating cloning human beings. It is beyond unethical to go ahead and clone humans knowing the health risks that could ensue. It would not be right to clone a human knowing there’s a chance they will not develop correctly. Many researchers who have either done the animal cloning themselves or just done research, all agree that the animal cloning results should cause for caution in human cloning Dolly’s death, while not definitively traceable to the cloning process, again highlighted the possible health risks associated with reproductive cloning (Giles & Knight).

Overall, human cloning is unethical and should not be considered by any means. In extensive research that has been done in animal cloning, there have been more notable failures and discoveries of risks than there have been of successes. Cloning, whether it be for therapeutic reasons or not, should never take place. It dehumanizes and decreases the value that is placed on human life as a whole. Human cloning would diminish all individuality society has. Human cloning also goes against religious beliefs, it was never God’s intentions when he created this earth to begin to make duplicates of individuals. Cloning defeats the purpose of God making man, and people accepting the flaws that may come with that. To conclude, there are more ethical red flags to consider than there are signs to go ahead and begin to clone humans.

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Cloning: Failures and Risks. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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