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Counterarguments to Human Cloning Essay

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Updated: Apr 27th, 2022

Knowledge and understanding of human biology continue to improve. (Mader, 2004). At first glance, there seems to be no limit to what human beings can do. Even human biology is not beyond man’s ability to manipulate and control. Nevertheless, there are controversial issues. One of the most controversial is the attempt to reproduce an exact replica of a human being through the process of cloning. Human cloning must be banned because people must respect the sanctity of human life.

In the late 1990s, the whole world was astounded by the news that scientists were able to successfully clone a sheep (Pence, 2004). It was supposed to be a scientific breakthrough that would change the world. But after the successful demonstration of the power to clone an animal, there are those who began to fear the inevitable. After the cloning of the sheep, the next logical step is to clone human beings. Before going any further it is important to understand the scientific principles behind cloning.

In its basic form, cloning is the manipulation of a female egg and a donor cell’s nucleus (Cibelli, 2002). It must be pointed out that an egg cell and sperm cell coming from both male and female is a haploid cell (Cibelli, 2002). This means that asexual reproduction is not possible for humans. But cloning can go around this problem by using a complete set of DNA material from one donor. Cloning bypasses the need for a sperm cell to procreate. The DNA can come from any part of the donor’s body. It can come from a single skin cell. The only requirement is that this single cell contains the nucleus and of course the genetic material used for cloning purposes.

Although there is no need for a sperm cell, cloning requires the use of a female’s egg cell. However, only a part of the female’s egg cell is needed because scientists have to remove the genetic material contained within the said egg cell. The complete nucleus of the donor cell is inserted into the empty egg cell. After this procedure, the egg cell looks like a fertilized egg cell because a complete set of genetic material for reproduction is present within this particular egg cell. It is important to highlight this procedure because all the issues that emanate from human cloning can be traced back to this procedure.

There are at least three major issues that can be identified as a counterargument to human cloning. First of all, there is the issue of the need to respect the sanctity of human life. Secondly, there is a major concern regarding the detrimental effects of this procedure because scientists are required to perform numerous trial and error experiments in order to master the science behind cloning. Finally, there are no possible contingent measures to deal with a community full of cloned children without parental care and supervision.

In order to clone human beings, it is imperative to use them as “guinea pigs” similar to the way scientists use laboratory rats in their experiments. In a typical experiment using laboratory animals, scientists can easily terminate the lives of the animals without dealing with the ethical dilemma involved in destroying living organisms. It is an accepted part of human society, to use laboratory animals to test a particular scientific procedure. But the same cannot be said when it comes to human subjects. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the fact that scientists can handle human beings as if they are mere objects.

Another problematic issue is the outcome of the experiments. The natural way of giving birth to a human being is prone to complications. However, the level of risk involved when it comes to manipulating egg cells and genetic material using Petri dishes, syringes and other inorganic material cannot be calculated. In the event that the baby is deformed the scientists cannot terminate the life of a human being. There is no way to manage this problem.

Finally, there is the possibility of having a community full of children without the love and guidance of a parent. In a world wherein terrorism, heinous crimes and campus shootings fill news headlines, the idea of children growing up without adult supervision is a terrifying thought. Scientists are playing god if they attempt to clone a human being. They will require god-like power to manipulate not only genetic material but the lives of human beings. They must not be given the power to treat human beings as if they are mere laboratory animals.

Human cloning must be banned forever. The scientific community must learn to respect the sanctity of human life. They cannot successfully create a cloned human being without going through a series of experiments that may result in the creation of defective babies. There is no way to justify the artificial creation of deformed and mentally retarded human beings as unwanted byproducts of human cloning experiments. Even if scientists can successfully clone human beings, there is the dreaded scenario concerning the existence of a community populated by cloned children without the love and care of a parent.

References

Cibelli, J. (2002) Principles of cloning. CA: Elsevier Science.

Mader, S. (2004). Human reproductive biology. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pence, G. (2004) Cloning after Dolly: who’s still afraid? MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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