posted on Feb, 16 2004 @ 10:53 AM
With the recent news about South Korean Scientists successfully cloning a human and removing Stem Cells I would like to discuss the ethics of the
What do you think? Are these Embryo's Human? Do they deserve to live? Is it murder to kill them? Do they have Souls?
There are many questions here to be answered, what do you think?
A few arguments for the practice:
It can increase the number of embryos transferred and avoid subsequent egg retrieval during in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.
It may provide a way for completely sterile individuals (those not capable of producing gametes) to reproduce.
It may provide a way for homosexual couples to reproduce themselves.
It probably will provide valuable basic research and possible spin off technologies related to reproduction and development.
Our society has generally respected individual privacy and the general right to control ones body in regard to reproduction.
No one is clearly harmed by it.
Prohibiting it would violate the fundamental freedom of scientific inquiring.
A Few arguments against it:
Safety Concerns - This is the same as any new medical technology. Research is needed to quantify and reduce any risk. Current human subject norms
(informed consent) should apply and be sufficient.
Individuality and Uniqueness - This ignores the normality of naturally born identical twins. Nurture is probably more important than nature in the
development of human personality. Except in cases in witch an individual women provided both the somatic cell and the egg, mitochondrial DNA will
differ between the progenitor and the clone. Even in these cases, X chromosome deactivation would differ.
Family Integrity - This is a ridiculous argument. Our society freely allows single people to reproduce sexually.
Destruction of Embryos - We do not now consider embryos or fetuses to have the status of full humans and therefore to be protected by a full
compliment of human rights.
Treating children as Objects - In this regard, cloning does not differ from other reproductive technologies (such as artificial insemination, in vitro
Psychological harm to child due to diminished sense of individuality and personal autonomy - this is very hypothetical and ignores the normalcy of
naturally born identical twins.
It is impossible to obtain informed consent from the embryo/fetus - Cloning is not different that any other type of reproductive research or
technology in this regard.
Slippery Slope to Eugenics - Cloning probably produces less concern in this regard than does genetic testing and screening. There are certain genetic
traits that are harmful to individuals with them and removing them from the human gene pool is no different that eradication of a infectious disease
(such as small pox).
Cloning (and abortion and reproductive technologies in general) Cheapens Life - Product liability litigation and work place heath and safety laws seem
to indicate that we currently place a higher value on individual life and health than we did 50 years ago. This is the same time period over which
many of the opponents of reproductive technologies have repeatedly voiced this concern.
Cloning is Playing God - This argument assumes that someone knows God's intentions. Even among Christians there is substantial disagreement as to
what is God's will. Who is to say that it is not God's intention that we clone ourselves? At least one writer indicates that Hindu thought embraces
IVF and other technologies