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Cloning: Issues and Moral Aspects

Introduction

Cloning is one of the most debatable issues in modern medicine and the scientific community dealing with benefits and opportunities of the research and moral arguments against inhuman medical practices. Cloning is immoral because it violates the moral rights of an embryo thus it is really difficult to define the origin of life and consequences of such research. Moral arguments against cloning should be based on the issue of suffering and pain often omitted by scientists. Thesis Cloning is unpredictable and uncertain, so it should be limited to general research only involving any human embryos.

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Cloning

Cloning is dangerous because people cannot predict its real outcomes and control them. The main problem for modern science is that it has limited information about the beginning of life and the early stages of its development. Kass underlines that: “The cell synthesized by somatic cell nuclear transfer, no less than the fertilized egg, is a human organism in its germinal stage, It is not just a “clump of cells” but an integrated, self-developing whole, capable (if all goes well) of the continued organic development characteristic of human beings” (Kass 2). Thus, if people do not know soothing, it does not mean researchers should and ought to avoid it.

Modern ethical and social and legal principles and categories simply cannot cope with the novel issues raised by the manufacture of totally new living organisms by genetic engineering, the creation of human embryos, the manipulation of people’s genetic make-up to remedy certain kinds of disease, and so on. Researchers do not even have the language to talk about the radically new situations and circumstances that the technology of the processes of human life brings about. The main problem is that scientists apply old moral principles and arguments to explain and object cloning, but this area of research demands a new understanding and interpretation of human life. Others have argued that embryo experimentation raises such large and serious issues that the opportunities for such experimentation should be restricted to the very early stage of the embryo’s development (Thompson 20).

Taking innocent human life is ethically wrong; destroying an embryo is tantamount to taking innocent human life. However, this kind of reasoning is hardly ever possible in ethical discussion since in very many cases the principle and the description of the particular case are problematic. Thus, the definition of ‘taking a human life’ requires interpretation since there are occasions on which researchers can licitly bring about the death of an innocent human being (for example, some people think that in certain circumstances it would be ethically right to engage in nuclear warfare and so knowingly and intentionally bring about the death of millions of innocent people). Then again, whether or not a twenty-hour-old in vitro embryo is a human being also requires interpretation since it is certainly not obvious, without some kind of argument, that it is a human being in the ordinary sense of that word. On the other hand, it might be argued that the embryo is a human being of some kind and that therefore the principle that innocent human life must be respected applies in this situation. Here researchers have a conflict between two ethical principles and it is not at all clear how the conflict might be resolved. Researchers value life of an embryo but do not take into account the sufferings and deaths of millions of people who can be cured because of new medicines and technologies developed by researchers

Some people think that such ethical dilemmas are rare and extraordinary and that if researchers reflect on a situation hard enough and long enough researchers will then be able to see which principle should apply and how the problem should be resolved. But in fact, these kinds of conflicts and dilemmas are endemic to the realm of ethical decision-making. “But this fact still leaves unanswered the question of whether all stages of a human being’s life have equal moral standing” (Kass 2). There is no doubt that this developing organism is a human and not of some other animal species. When does that biologically human entity become a distinctively human being–an individual with a moral status and rights that determine how researchers should treat it? Put in another way, when does the biologically human organism become an individual person with a claim to be treated exactly as researchers treat another human person? Some have said that the human person begins at the moment of fertilization since at that moment a process is initiated which will, all being well, lead to the eventual development of a human person (Walters and Palmer 43).

Conclusion

In sum, no scientific evidence about the biological development of the human embryo can prove or disprove anything about the status of the human embryo as a person with a moral status and rights. In my view then it is a vain hope that researchers will be able to determine when a human person comes into existence simply by inspecting the biological and genetic evidence about the development of the embryo. Thus, even if researchers agree that an individual biological entity emerges only at day fourteen with the formation of a rudimentary nervous system, this does not tell us whether that individual entity is a person with distinctively moral status. The second confusion which has bedeviled the debate about the beginning of human life arises from not attending to the very simple fact that researchers are dealing with a continuum. There are many kinds of continua: an interval of time is a continuum in that each phase precedes and gives way to another in such a way that researchers cannot divide it up into discrete atomic bits. No matter how finely you divide up an interval of time you will always be left with an interval that can be divided still further.

Works Cited

Kass, The Moral Case against Cloning-for-Biomedical-Research. 2003. Web.

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Thompson, L. HUMAN GENE THERAPY: Harsh Lessons, High Hopes. FDA Consumer, 34 (2000), 19-28.

Walters, L., Palmer, G.L. The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 10). Cloning: Issues and Moral Aspects. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/cloning-issues-and-moral-aspects/

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1. StudyCorgi. "Cloning: Issues and Moral Aspects." November 10, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/cloning-issues-and-moral-aspects/.


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