Ethical Evaluation in Human Cloning

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Abstract

Ethical evaluation in human cloning remains to be debatable since there hasn’t been adequate evidence to showcase that this scientific pursuit is dangerous. In most arguments presented by opposing policymakers and scientists, it is implied that human cloning is an impending disaster whose implications would affect humankind in the future. The article presented herein explores this controversial topic under the lens of the current stance that the globe takes on human cloning from an ethical perspective.

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The article notes that great inventions and discoveries have been made through trial and error thus eliciting the need to allow human cloning to be tried under a controlled setting. On the same note, the discussion progresses to point out that a thin line does exist between an ethical dilemma presented in the topic as well as the need to act accordingly in the quest to improve the quality of life. In the succeeding section, a discussion regarding the risks associated with non-legalization of cloning is presented to elicit an audience response as emphasized in the conclusion section.

Introduction

Human cloning is a controversial ethical topic of all times that has stirred intense debates between scientists, policymakers, religions and the public over the recent past decades. While the pursuit of science in this debatable field has been limited, it is clear from the ongoing attempts of cloning in different parts of the world that cloning is gaining popularity in medicine. Cloning is seen as a possible breakthrough to cure diseases and alter desirable human development that can last longer than the contemporary average human. The text presented herein takes a rather different stance to endorse the potential and promise that cloning holds in the face of humanity. While cloning remains on the lens of ethical evaluation, it is still unexplored to its capacity to gauge its impact on humanity and thus should not be declared unethical until there is adequate evidence to showcase its disastrous implications.

Current Stance on Cloning

Cloning has been deemed by a significant fraction of the world’s population as an unacceptable act that triggers with the existing equilibrium of nature through the law of natural selection (Arsanjani, 2004). Arguments have been concentrated on religious, political and scientific stands which regard the act of cloning as playing God or playing as mother nature in the scientific realm. Opposing scientists mention that cloning could interfere with a genetic variation that has been naturally ingrained in all species for survival (Arsanjani, 2004). The cultivation of an exact copy of a species would thus eliminate the uniqueness of an organism, and thus this implies that a single effect on a host implies the same degree and effect on all clones of the host (Arsanjani, 2004). On a religious stance point of view, cloning is deemed as the act of humankind to glorify oneself through self-replication that is naturally a godly task to bring life on the earth.

Trial and error theory

Arguably, humankind success has been cultivated through discoveries and inventions. Few discoveries have been stumbled across accidentally, and the larger fraction of humankind invention has been through trial and error. Notably, innovation is an attempt by humankind to solve problems, and this has seen the greatest inventions of all time including both scientific and artistic inventions. In some instances, opportunities present themselves in a manner that triggers humankind response in the form of inventions. In either case, these inventions require trial and error efforts until their success is attained. For this reason, today the world has seen the greatest innovations of all in medicine, technology, and other disciplines as a result of trial and error. Cloning is a genetic ingenuity that could offer more than the current known possibilities only if it can be allowed in the realm of trial and error to ensure success.

The line between necessity and ethical dilemma

As emphasized in the preceding section, ethical concerns have slowed down the development in cloning research, and thus no breakthroughs have been reported yet. Only a few instances and in pertinence to the few attempts in the recent past have seen two monkeys successfully cloned by using somatic cell nuclear transfer technology (Wilmut, 2014). Otherwise, cloning has been opposed in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia thus limiting research and development that could benefit from funding and support from both national and international bodies. Diseases and disorders have been a part of humankind suffering which has always demeaned the quality of life. Genetic modification has been theorized to offer a wider range of solutions which when put in practice could greatly surpass all existing beliefs that reject cloning. To put more emphasis, consider a deadly virus that causes Ebola in Africa. The disease typically kills its victims within 24hrs, and there has been no known cure to administer to the victims.

Given that the mortality rate of Ebola is significant, it is arguably sane to appreciate gene modification that could be resistant to such deadly viruses and save a lot of lives claimed by viruses. Ebola is rare in other continents, but the world is aware of its detrimental effects (“”Comparative analysis of Ebola virus outbreaks (1976-2014); A Short Report,”” 2015). The question remains whether it would be ethically moral to do less in genetic engineering that could prove helpful in the long run or focus on the mild implications of cloning which are only theorized as well without adequate evidence. At this point, the line between what should be necessarily done to improve living standards and the ethical dilemma posed by the ways used becomes so thin that at any point it would be possible to dissolve the boundary and welcome the challenges associated with extreme human exploration in science.

Legalization and embracing cloning

Reports on cloning indicate that even though there are no standardized regulations on both national and international level pertaining cloning, the acts of cloning are taking place discreetly in different parts of the world (“”Cloning (DNA cloning, gene cloning, molecular cloning),”” 2015). This is the harsh reality, and it elicits a controversial discussion as to when and who will clone the first human being instead of the question ‘if cloning of humans will take place?’ (“”BBC News | TALKING POINT | Should human cloning be allowed?,”” 2002). There is no doubt that while current cloning on animals is being used to study genetic alteration to cure diseases, the concept will undoubtedly extend to the application on humans. Considering the use of somatic cells’ technology to perform compatible organ transplant is so far a notable progression of what cloning can achieve in the future. The potential promise associated with human cloning has already opened doors for underground research that pursues cloning without approval from the authorities. This is a dangerous act since such research and development teams are not regulated and might even remain unknown by authorities leading to interference by malicious and powerful figures.

So far, there have been notable cases of kidnapping to obtain healthy organs from the victims and use them to treat people who pay heavily for the organs in black market organ transplant done in discrete places (Columb, 2016). Humankind programmed to pursue both health and wealth and the promise tied to human cloning is both a blessing if it will be legalized and necessary bodies formed to regulate its applications. On the other hand, it will even remain unethically sane to limit its application and hence catalyze the illegal application of cloning by unauthorized scientific groups. Without regulation and with the interference of cloning procedures by obsessed and malicious figures, this scientific discovery could pose as a curse and the promise associated with cloning could be used in unimaginable dark acts. For this reason, it would be ethically moral to formalize cloning and have its benefits reach out to humankind such that any underground cloning could become unnecessary.

Conclusion

As stated in the introductory section, human cloning could pose as both curse and blessing, and it is clear that the efforts to clone the first human are underway whether legal or on an illegal basis. It is the responsibility of the society at large to devise the best standards that will prevent the immoral application of human cloning. Instead of getting in the comfort zone and keep asking if human cloning will ever take place, the world should focus on putting measures and analyzing the associated risks as well as the possible ways to mitigate the risks for successful and ethical application of human cloning. In this context, isn’t it fair to think of the ethical application of science as the ability to do what is necessary for a controlled setting?

References

BBC News | TALKING POINT | Should human cloning be allowed? (2002, April 16). Retrieved from https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/1923149.stm

Cloning for Good or Evil. (1997, February 25). Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/25/opinion/cloning-for-good-or-evil.html

Cloning (DNA cloning, gene cloning, molecular cloning). (2015). The Dictionary of Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics, 1-1. doi:10.1002/9783527678679.dg01976

Comparative analysis of Ebola virus outbreaks (1976-2014); A Short Report. (2015). Applied Science Reports, 10(1). doi:10.15192/pscp.asr.2015.10.1.2730

Arsanjani, M. H. (2004). The Negotiations on a Treaty on Cloning: Some Reflections. Human Dignity and Human Cloning, 145-165. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-6174-1_14

Columb, S. (2016). Excavating the Organ Trade: An Empirical Study of Organ Trading Networks in Cairo, Egypt. British Journal of Criminology, azw068. doi:10.1093/bjc/azw068

Klaus, G., & Faroe, T. (2016). Case Reports in Infectious Diseases. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 5(97). doi:10.1155/criid

Pappas, S. (2018, January 24). Monkeys Have Been Cloned, Paving the Way for Human Cloning. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/61516-monkeys-cloned.html

Wilmut, I. (2014). Cloning and Stem Cells. Cloning and Stem Cells, 4(1), 1-1. doi:10.1089/153623002753631986

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