Reproductive Cloning

Based on the technology today, is cloning ethical?

Background Information

"If it is permissible to use embryos in research in the course of which it is known that they will be destroyed, why should it not be permissible as well to create them for that purpose by means that are not intrinsically immoral?" Reproductive cloning is creating an organism that is genetically identical to another organism. Reproductive cloning is a way to preserve the human race like cloning vital organs. Some people oppose reproductive cloning because of safety considerations and it raises other social and ethical concerns. The scientific community says they aren't interested in creating cloned human beings, but this isn't the whole truth. In reality, some scientists support cloning, but only if the clone is killed before it could be born (therapeutic cloning).
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Pros of Reproductive Cloning

  • Couples could avoid passing on dangerous genes that run in the family with cloning.
  • Researchers can use cloned animals for benefits in the field of medicine.
  • Cloning could help the people who aren't able to have kids fulfill their dreams of parenthood.
  • May allow researchers to make copies of animals for benefits in the field of agriculture.
  • Could create clones to bring back endangered and/or extinct species of animals.

Cons of Reproductive Cloning

  • Cloning could conflict with religious and social values about human dignity.It could also break terms of standards about individual freedom and identity.
  • Cloning is an unsafe practice.
  • Many people oppose the creation and destruction of human embryos for research because it is a deliberate destruction of human embryos.
  • It eliminates the sense of uniqueness and violates firmly held beliefs about human freedom and individuality.
  • Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals.

Examples of Reproductive Cloning

  • We could test new drug and treatments on the cloned animals.
  • In 2001 the Guar was the first clone of an endangered species and another, the Banteng, in 2003.
  • The researchers who cloned Dolly have cloned other sheep that have been genetically modified to produce milk that contain a human protein essential for blood clotting.
  • If the rate of successful animal cloning applied to humans, it would only be a 5% live birth rate.
  • 277 cloned embryos were created and destroyed before Dolly was cloned.

Final Thoughts on Reproductive Cloning

I think cloning is a great idea and it definitely has potential to make the world better. We could do great things with cloning; we could make people’s dreams come true. But based on the technology today, I do not think cloning it ethical because of how unsafe and inefficient it is. In the future, if it was more precise and if the live rate was a lot higher, I would say that it is ethical, but with the technology today, I don't think it is.

Bibliography

Baby Banteg. Digital image. AAAS. N.p., 8 Apr. 2003. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Brock, Dan W. "Research Cloning Is Ethical." Cloning. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Creating Embryos for Use in Stem Cell Research." Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 38.2 (Summer 2010): 229-237. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

"CGS : Reproductive Cloning Arguments Pro and Con." CGS : Reproductive Cloning Arguments Pro and Con. Center for Genetics and Society, 15 May 2006. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

"Cloning Fact Sheet." Cloning Fact Sheet. National Human Genome Research Institute, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Dolly the Sheep. Digital image. Animal Research. The Roslin Institute, 1996. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Endangered Animal Clone Dies. Digital image. BBC News. BBC, 12 Jan. 2001. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

"Pros and Cons of Human Cloning." HRF. Health Reasearch Funding, 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"Pros And Cons Of Reproductive Cloning." Apecsec.org. APECSEC.org, 7 Dec. 2014. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.

"Reproductive vs. 'therapeutic' Cloning." Reproductive vs. Therapeutic Cloning. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

Science Channel. "Human Clones | Through the Wormhole." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

University of Utah. "What Is Cloning?" What Is Cloning? Genetic Science Learning Center, 2014. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.