The Controversy Surrounding Human Cloning and Its Ethical Implications - Seeker's Thoughts

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The Controversy Surrounding Human Cloning and Its Ethical Implications

 Parents have the right to reproduce as they see fit (Brock, 2002), and cloning could provide infertile couples with a way of creating genetically related children through artificial reproduction technology.

Critics argue that cloning could lead to the objectification of human beings. They fear that knowing they are cloned, parents could treat their children like commodities instead of individuals.

Reproductive Cloning

Reproductive cloning, the creation of human beings solely with the intention to use them for reproduction, is widely seen as being ethically dubious. Many countries have banned reproductive cloning due to concerns it violates long-held values such as dignity and freedom of identity and self-determination; additionally it may blur family boundaries while leading to genetic selection of humans with desired traits by creating genetically identical individuals.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) allows embryonic stem cells to be extracted from early human embryos via somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning; an alternative to reproductive cloning used to create living organisms for research and therapeutic use. Many scientists view cloning for these purposes as permissible because it differs significantly from creating life solely with reproduction in mind.

At times, embryos are destroyed during the process of extracting stem cells for medical use, leading to ethical concerns over using cloning for reproductive reasons. Some believe exploiting early human embryos for reproductive use is morally inappropriate; many thus oppose using cloning for reproductive reasons.

Defenders of cloning for reproductive purposes often invoke reproductive freedom when making their case for this practice. They maintain that, should cloning be proven safe for mother and child, it would provide a legal means for helping sterile couples realize their dreams of parenthood - similar to how assisted reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilization and surrogacy mothers have also been the subject of much discussion and contention.

Critics of reproductive cloning argue that it could blur family boundaries and cause confusion regarding kinship ties, leading to further confusion about one's origins and identity due to constant reminders of creation. Yet they note that parents already limit the options open to their children to some degree through selecting schools, adhering to particular values or religious beliefs during child rearing, etc.

Therapeutic Cloning

Therapeutic cloning, the second form of cloning, involves harvesting human embryonic stem cells and using them to create transplantable tissues and organs for people suffering from debilitating diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and diabetes.

 Proponents see therapeutic cloning as potentially therapeutic but its opponents strongly oppose it as it requires the destruction of human embryos thus rendering the process immoral; furthermore they view making identical twins through therapeutic cloning as violating children's rights by taking advantage of genetic inheritance.

In 2004, the British government convened a panel of experts to prepare a report on cloning for regenerative medicine. Their experts concluded that there is no ethical justification for human reproductive cloning; however, embryonic stem cell cloning may be permissible when treating people suffering disease or injury. They further recommended conducting future cloning research responsibly with appropriate safeguards in place.

Religion plays an influential role in shaping views about human cloning. Both the Protestant Churches of America and United Methodist Church oppose any use of human embryo cloning for research or other reasons as they view every fertilized egg as having inherent dignity and the right to life. Meanwhile, Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI has issued magisterial instruction Dignitas Personae which condemns all human cloning practices.

Religion panelists noted the complexity of this issue is further complicated by some religious groups' belief in fertility as being synonymous with personhood while simultaneously supporting cloning for scientific research purposes. She suggested, due to safety concerns about human reproductive cloning, it should remain illegal until its safety can be demonstrated beyond doubt. Alternatively, therapeutic cloning for regenerative medicine might be allowed under some conditions but would need state approval on an individual case basis due to "peeping into someone's soul", something she felt deeply uncomfortable doing.

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering to correct DNA mutations has revolutionized medicine, yet also raised new ethical considerations and challenges relating to its implementation. Gene editing techniques used on embryos raise particular issues due to introducing altered genes into future generations' germ lines through modification, thus passing along their genetic inheritance.

There is considerable disagreement on whether altering human embryos for medical reasons should be legal. Some believe it should be acceptable, and even necessary, to modify the genes of embryos in order to cure diseases; others feel otherwise; this view mirrors that of 

Nazi Germany where eugenics was practiced selectively bred or sterilized to eliminate characteristics deemed undesirable such as physical disabilities, mental illnesses, homosexuality or ethnic or racial differences in people bred for breeding programs or sterilization programs in order to eliminate potential problem traits in humans - Eugenics was believed upon by many throughout its entire course until Nazi Germany reached extreme forms in terms of its practices in relation to genetic modification of humans - 

This movement was popular during early part of 20 century and eventually reached Nazi Germany where extreme forms were practiced at once place - that belief held firm until Hitler came power with its use of Eugenics movement believing in that people should either selectively breed or sterilized so as to eliminate "defective" characteristics or traits such as physical disabilities, mental disorders homosexuals ethnic or racial differences among humans. 

Eugenics held belief in selective bred or sterilized so as to eliminate "defective characteristics or traits related to "defective". Eugenics was widely popular during early part of twentieth century and was extreme form reached within Nazi Germany with its extreme version being seen through its full influence until its most extreme form as practiced through Nazi Germany where its most extreme form i as sterilized or selectively breed/sterile population difference so to "deficient".

 Eugenics believed in both gender differences among different race differences among populations that caused problems associated with disabilities, ethnic or racial differences by selective breeding/sterile sterilizing population to eliminate "deficient traits, therefore eliminating "defects. Eugenics thus creating "deficient". 

Eugenics was believed as Nazi German version believed that people had to eliminate undesirable traits like physical disabilities, such as physical disability was widespread until 1943 Nazi Germany's most extreme form being practiced most extreme form as Nazi Germany. 

Eugenics also prevalent around 1945/n Germany reached extreme form which demanded sterilized so much that some would or the population to eliminate "deformed so quickly being eliminated through selective breeding or sterilizing individuals, thus leading them all such characteristics were selective bred and or sterilizing "defication thus eliminating individuals so rating populations by selective breeding or sterilizing and so. 

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Another ethical concern related to genetic engineering involves how animals are treated during its creation and testing phases. Genetically engineered animals born via these methods usually require surgery and other invasive processes which may cause pain or distress; moreover, their release into nature might disrupt natural animal populations and lead to ecological disruptions.

Some experts argue that any risks posed by genetically modified plants and animals should be seen as acceptable based on the many benefits they bring to society - for instance, genetically engineered insulin has proven invaluable for diabetics around the globe.

One of the more controversial applications of genetic engineering involves cloning extinct or endangered species. While this technology can create many different animals ranging from giraffes to woolly mammoths, its application remains difficult for practitioners in field conservation to master, while experts skepticism of hi-tech approaches may divert funding away from more conventional ones; yet its potential to resurrect extinct thylacine populations remains intriguing.


Cloning has long been advocated as an avenue for providing transplant-able organs for sick and dying people. 

Furthermore, some argue that by permitting parents to clone their own children using this technology cloning can serve the greater human good by beginning new lives while simultaneously saving existing ones. 

Cloning individuals for such purposes comes with grave ethical risks, particularly given that genes replicate identically each time the cloned individual reproduces. There is the potential risk that genetic diseases might be introduced into this lineage due to gene replication occurring consistently between reproductions. Second, when genetic uniqueness of individuals are highlighted through cloning, this could bring with it unintended harms that are hard to notice. 

For example, by emphasizing genetic individuality over other characteristics, individuals could feel diminished because of differences. Another potential harm lies in attempts at promoting certain genes through cloning; doing so might reduce their ability to adapt successfully in their environments after birth.

These and other considerations prompted the National Bioethics Advisory Commission in 1997 to recommend that attempts at cloning-to-produce-children should be banned for five years, regardless of its widespread adoption. It should be noted that moral considerations do not depend on whether cloning becomes widespread; rather, any time production and market enter the equation of human procreation it could become problematic no matter the quantity produced.

Cloning can reduce human life to an industrial process and diminishes human dignity, according to experts. A pluralistic society should allow everyone the right to pursue their conception of a good life - however, any decision to undergo such procedures must be based on altruism rather than vanity.

Four SCU panelists from various fields - medicine, religion, biotech business people from the biotechnology industry, law and bioethics - discussed the ethical ramifications and potential applications of cloning. Each provided their unique perspective on this complex topic. Philosophy professor Barbara MacKinnon from University of San Francisco addressed the slippery slope argument and stated that stem cell research does not inevitably lead to human reproductive cloning; 

she advocated for continuing restrictions against this form of reproductive modification for reasons of safety. Religion panelist Suzanne Holland of University of Puget Sound asserted that Protestant beliefs about prideful behavior and respect for persons should apply to reproduction. She advocated a ban on reproductive cloning but allowed therapeutic cloning with appropriate regulations.

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