Morality is it an issue in human cloning
Morality: is it an issue in human cloning?
Human cloning has, since time immemorial, been one of the most controversial topics in the last few decades. Cloning refers to the process by which a human being is asexually replicated during any stage of his development or growth. It is worth noting that human cells, genes, tissues, and proteins are usually cloned for biomedical or biological research. While controversy is expected for any scientific research topic, the main bone of contention in human cloning emanates from the moral and ethical issues surrounding it. Numerous works of literature have been written pertaining to this issue, all of which seem to revolve around the morality or political issues surrounding cloning.
In the essay titled, “Narcissus Cloned”, John J. Conley states that the discussion pertaining to the ethics of human cloning rarely goes beyond the intuitive blame and praise to a careful analysis of ethical issues that the practice presents. Conley underlines the reasons why the practice is morally impoverished, as well as the key ethical issues that plague the practice. He states that human cloning is a violation of every human being’s respect for life that starts at conception (Conley, 1994). Life starts at conception as this is the time when numerous physical characteristics that shape an individual’s interpersonal relations are formed. In addition, cloning undermines human diversity, which is one of the most fundamental values of social interactions. The main contention that Conley has with human cloning is the fact that it undermines the integrity underlined by human love (Conley, 1994). This is because the conception of human beings is and has almost always been a product or result of love or rather a conjugal embrace of the individual’s parents. Cloning, however, looks like the invasion of the intimate drama involved in the generation and procreation of children by a scientist in the lab (Conley, 1994). Ultimately, cloning infringes on the fundamental aspects of love, life and otherness, thereby challenging the foundation of human dignity. This is the key idea that is incorporated or underlined in “Narcissus Cloned”.
It is obvious right from the beginning “Narcissus Cloned” falls under the genre of argumentative writing. It aims at arguing or convincing the reader about the immorality underlined by human cloning. It attains this by stating its case and supporting its case with various arguments and facts. In addition, it outlines the opposing side’s arguments and rebuffs it. As much as the writer packs a considerable number of ideas in his sentences, it goes without saying that he is extremely concise in putting forward his points.
However, the key point of the entire text is challenged by Ian Wilmut in the essay titled, “The Moral Imperative for Human Cloning”. The essay, published on 21st Feb 2004 in “The New Scientist”, challenges the thought that cloning is entirely evil or morally wrong. This informative essay states that, cloning would come in handy in solving problems associated with regenerative tissues, as it would offer patients with tissue-matched cells. He states that cloning would allow individuals to recreate diseased cells using the same genetic makeup as the cells, outside the body of the patient. In addition, human cloning incorporates the potential of revolutionizing other fields of biomedical research. This is especially as pertaining to the development and testing of new medications. Research has shown that negative reactions to prescription medication have been killing thousands of people per year, even in cases where these drugs have been used correctly. This underlines the fact that there exists no appropriate method of testing or ascertaining the reaction that different people would exhibit for different categories of medications. Wilmut concurs with Conley as to the fact that cloning is mainly done for the benefit of research (Wilmut, 2004). This is the same statement emphasized by Conley in stating that current experiments on human cloning are simply scientific research. However, Wilmut challenges that as much as human beings would not be the key or primary beneficiaries of human cloning they would also gain substantially through the effects of therapeutic cloning. Human cloning is bound to allow for the development of numerous ways of curing or repairing diseased organs or even repairing genetic defects. He notes that transplants of stem cells would give rise to the development of new treatments including the repair of damaged heart muscle. This is in cases where the stem cells are genetically identical to the recipients.
While both authors agree on the controversy that human cloning brews as far as morality is concerned, Wilmut seems to underline the importance of looking at the potential benefits that this practice has for the entire humanity. He acknowledges that human cloning still has a long way to go in enhancing its use in different stem cells (Wilmut, 2004). In addition, human cloning may not be practical for routine use. Nevertheless, there exist different possibilities in the future pertaining to the development of technology, in which case human cloning may be incorporated widely in the treatment of different ailments. Wilmut seems to adopt a more balanced stance than Conley who seems bent on eliminating the process entirely on moral grounds.
Wilmut, I, (2004). The Moral Imperative for Human Cloning. The New Scientist, vol, 181
Conley, J.J., (1994). America. New York: American Press Inc.