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Although human cloning may be potentially useful to society, this unethical practice certainly is not to be tolerated.

I. The nature of human cloning A. Definition of cloning B. Its status as a bioscience C. Process of cloning human cells II. Grounds for unethicality A. The dignity of a human person B. Intrapersonal conflicts and individual safety concerns C. Societal implications

III. Summing up of points and generalization A. Reach of modern innovation B. Limits to human exploration

As defined by the American Medical Association, cloning is simply the production of genetically identical organisms (as cited in Enescu et al., 2011). As a field of biomedical research, cloning technology has received great attention in recent yearsespecially when scientists were able to extend its practice to human beings, with the cloning of the first human embryos in 2001 (Caplan and McGee, 2002). The process is done by way of a technique referred to as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), where the entire nucleus of the somatic (or body) cell is removed, and afterwards inserted into an oocyte that had its own nucleus removed. To further depict the procedure, the donor cell nucleus is joined to the enucleated oocyte, giving rise to a single-celled entity equivalent to an egg fertilized by a sperm, which, once stimulated to divide spontaneously and to develop, usually by means of a mild electrical current, would result in a cloned embryo: to be used for either reproductive, or therapeutic (biomedical research) cloning purposes (Nationaler Ethikrat, 2004). Considered by some to be a huge medical breakthrough, this issue, nonetheless, has generated much controversy and is widely debated among the bioethics societies regarding its accept. Although human cloning may be potentially useful to society, this unethical practice certainly is not to be tolerated.

To begin with, cloning, in truth, steps on the fundamental dignity of both woman, and childa reality very much evident in the process of cloning itself. So as to expound further, human cloning is usually categorized into two sides, reproductive, and therapeutic. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that there is in fact little substantive difference between the two. Both these intents make use of the SCNT procedure, and the difference lies only in what is done with the resulting embryo after cloning: reproductive cloning involves implanting the embryo in a womb until a baby is born, while research, or therapeutic cloning, entails the destruction of the embryo to be able to utilize his stem cells in scientific experiments. Essentially, human cloning creates a new human being through industrial processes, treating him as a mere object of production and manipulation (Chaverri, 2005, par. 10), with therapeutic cloning so much as having the new human being destroyed to perform scientific experiments, which actually goes against its very objective of being able to save lives. Moreover, the cloning technique would require a hefty number of eggs, which necessarily equates to the exploitation of women: In order to supply the need of cloning science, with all likelihood a market would open for poor women to sell their eggs, which also involves a painful and dangerous procedure requiring heavy dosages of hormones. As a result, conditions are then created for women to sell their bodies. Thus with regard to this issue, the United Nations in 2005 passed a nonbinding Declaration on Human Cloning that calls upon member states to adopt all measures necessary to prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life. It is made clear, then, that in its very essence human cloning gravely impinges on the dignity of the human person.

Furthermore, in the event that the cloned embryo is actually carried to term, thus bringing forth a new child, specific issues could be brought about concerning the individual clone himself. Questions are raised about his safety, owing to potential dangers as manifested in earlier animal cloning experiments: At the very least, initial cloning attempts on human beings would result in multiple demonstrations of abnormality and defect. In 2002 the United States National Academy of Sciences released a report calling for a legal ban on human cloning; the report asserted that it would be very dangerous for the woman, the fetus, and the newborn, and is likely to fail (The National Academies, 2002). Human cloning cannot become a reality without extensive human experimentation, and the instances of failed or partially successful human experiments, which are very likely to occur, are entirely unacceptable. (Kolehmainen, 2012). In addition would be the psychological issues confronting the cloned child, among which may be included identity and individuality issues, as well as other aspects related to how a person defines himself (Morales, 2009). Also, there is the occasion for discrimination against the child by people born naturally; and that of comparing him with his genetic donor, to whom he could never actually be identical because of environmental differences affecting the clones own development. Professor Ian Wilmut, creator of the worlds first cloned mammal Dolly the Sheep, warns that human cloning, apart from being biologically dangerous, risks creating humans who will suffer crippling psychological problems for the rest of their lives (McKie, 2001, par. 6). These many issues centering on the person of the clone himself are another reason why we must not allow human cloning to push through.

Notwithstanding such implications, there are yet further outcomes that the practice of cloning humans is feared to effect upon society at large, for this human activity is not only affecting those who are cloned or are clones, but also the entire society that allows or supports it; insofar as the society accepts the prospect of human cloning, to that extent the society may be said to engage in it, and thus would share in its consequences as well. One of them is the great possibility that in order to account for the shortage of organ donors, individuals would merely be cloned so as to obtain compatible organs and spare parts when needed: In 1997 British scientists had announced the creation of a headless frog embryo, and the notion arose of its potential application to humans, creating headless human clones for the purpose of increasing the supply of organs and tissues available for transplantation. With the clone donor being brain-dead, organ donation consent problems are bypassed to the great convenience of the recipient; however, without doubt already creation for this purpose would be both psychologically and physically an abuse of power (Hilmert, 2000, p. 368), an abhorrently grave act in the social order even. Moreover, it is also dangerously likely that human cloning could distort the way children are viewed and raised, as the impulse to create designer children is ever present as an attractive option for parents today. As The Presidents Council on Bioethics (2002) puts it, such practice advances the notion that the child is but an object of our sovereign mastery (p. 112). Furthermore, financial status may again play a very influential role since it is presumed that these processes are quite costly; thus accordingly, wealthy parents have the ability to choose the exact traits they want their children to have: geneticists could engineer such characteristics in the genome level, and then clone the cells to produce a superior individual. As a result, if that capability was only available to wealthy people, the divide between the wealthy and the poor could widen farther than ever imagined (Wilmut, 2008). Subsequently also, this exercise may extend towards the resurface of the once popular concept of eugenics, of improving the human species through the selection of individuals possessing desired traits, since cloning can be used to breed better humans (Encyclopdia Britannica, 2012), which inevitably again provides the occasion for genetic discrimination. A society that allows dehumanizing practicesespecially when it could choose to prevent themin effect becomes an accomplice in those very practices. Truly we cannot afford to let these things pass as acceptable practice in society.

The science of human cloning demonstrates the outstanding scope of modern innovation; it is one of those at the frontier of the great scientific advancement of humankind. However, the same is also at its borderline, putting humankind already on the threshold of self-engineering. It is true that the welfare of man is the just concern of medical science, but then sometimes overenthusiasm over developments gives way to unethical practices, which could be considered as an attempt directed against man (Monge, 1994). Furthermore, as asserted by The Presidents Council on Bioethics of the United States (2002), to pursue such endeavors without regard for the likelihood of serious unanticipated consequences would be the height of all hubris. Thus in the end, it is of great worth to know that science as well should work within certain limits, as it is with every human endeavor. We must continually take care to know the bounds of human explorationbecause not everything we can do, we ought to do.

Caplan, A. L., & McGee, G. (2002). Cloning human embryos. Western Journal of Medicine, 176(2), 7879. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071666/ Chaverri, J. (2005, August 26). Why the UN banned human cloning. | Mercatornet | Promoting human dignity. Retrieved August 15, 2012, from www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/why_the_un_banned_human_cloning/ Cloning. (2012). Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopdia Britannica. Enescu, A., Mitru, P., Iovnescu, L., Ioana, M., Burada, F. L., & Enescu, A. -. (2011). Ethical considerations on human cloning. Current Health Sciences Journal, 37(4). Retrieved from http://www.chsjournal.org/archive/vol37-no3-2011/forpractitioner/ethical-considerations-on-human-cloning Hilmert, L. J. (2000). Cloning human organs: Potential sources and property implications. Indiana Law Journal,77(363), 367370. Retrieved from www.law.indiana.edu/ilj/volumes/v77/no2/hilmert.pdf Kass, L. R. (Ed.). (2002). The ethics of cloning-to-produce-children. Human cloning and human dignity: an ethical inquiry. Washington, D.C.: The Presidents Council on Bioethics. Retrieved from bioethics.georgetown.edu/pcbe/reports/cloningreport/pcbe_cloning_report.pdf Kolehmainen, S. M. (2012). Human cloning: Brave new mistake. Retrieved from http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/viewpage.aspx?pageid=106 McKie, R. (2001, December 8). Why cant you be more like them? The Observer. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2001/aug/12/genetics.medicalscience Monge, M. A. (1994). Ethical practices in health and disease: A primer on health care ethics. (J. Eduarte, Trans.). Manila: Sinagtala Publishers, Inc.

Morales, N. M. (2009). Psychological and ideological aspects of human cloning: A transition to a transhumanist psychology. Journal of Evolution and Technology, 20(2), 1942. Retrieved from jetpress.org/v20/morales.pdf
Simitis, S. (Ed.). (2004). Cloning for reproductive purposes and cloning for the purposes of biomedical research: Opinion. (P. Slotkin, Trans.). Berlin: German National Ethics Council. Retrieved from www.ethikrat.org/_english/publications/Opinion_Cloning.pdf Weismann, I. L. (Ed.). (2002, January 18). U.S. policy makers should ban human reproductive cloning. News from the National Academies. Retrieved from http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=10285 Wilmut, I. (2008). Cloning. Microsoft Student 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.

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