Position Paper

In this paper I elaborate on cloning and its purposes as well as analyze its importance and its importance to the world. I use psychological evidence on top of moral reasoning to clearly establish a proper understanding of cloning to the reader and its ethics. I take advantage of concessions and counter-arguments to maximize influence potential and hopefully sway an opposing readers perspective to mine.

RUNNING HEADER: Human Manufacturing

Creator or Creation?

 

Jefferson Ortega

 

City College of New York

ENGL 21003

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Abstract

Cloning is the process of altering/replacing the nucleus of a cell to give it properties of a different cell or a pre-existing one in an effort of either creating organs or tissue and/or cloning through means of reproduction. Much controversy has been floating about on whether cloning is safe or ethical as success is very low and psychological problems can conjure. Cloning a simple sheep took 277 attempts and one could only imagine the numbers it will take to create a complicated being like the homosapien. Human identity and uniqueness is diminished as cloning brings expectations of the original being to the cloned subject, cloning humans should not be a suggestion until a greater amount of research is performed.

 

I doubt there are many of us brave enough to go toe-to-toe with mother nature. Many of her works are a thing of beauty, mountains, landscapes rivers and valleys but we have all seen what atrocities she can conjure. Cloning is the process of making identical human beings, in terms of genes, by altering or replacing the DNA of an egg or an organism. Much speculation and concerns have spawned on whether cloning is safe or ethical and has caused an uproar in the scientific field and in many countries. Albeit, there are many ideas and suggestions that have been brought up reinforcing cloning and its exercise for the betterment of human lives and scientific advancement. Nature automatically decides what genes a baby receives from his parents, not a guy in lab suit with goggles. Cloning should not be allowed practice because of its risk of failure and its psychological problems involving human identity and uniqueness.

There are two methods in human, cloning fission and fusion; fission being the safest as it is less risky. Fission cloning is just the process of separating embryos using mechanical stress or chemical procedures (Savulescu, 2005). The risk of failure for fission cloning is the same as women having multiple large pregnancies at once. Since these pregnancies are conducted regularly,  there should be no problem with fission.  Fusion takes a nucleus approach through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) where the nucleus is removed and inserted into a de-nucleated egg (Savulescu, 2005).  Then there are the two reasons for cloning, which are Therapeutic and Reproductive cloning. In therapeutic cloning, the embryonic cells are cloned in efforts of making transplantable organs, tissue and other medical purposes. Reproductive cloning is really what human cloning refers to as it is the process of inserting a different nucleus into an enucleated egg in hopes of creating a clone through genes (Ayala, 2015).

The first thing we should be thinking about when considering cloning is the safety. The person being cloned will be fine, maybe they’ll be sad if it fails but they can continue their life as it was. The cloned child can not. It is to be noted that success of cloning in mammals has increased and further research into the topic will make it safer but a majority of the experiments have ended in abortion (Ayala, 2015). It is not even possible to perform experiments on human embryos as the risk of failure is too high. If it is performed and the baby dies is that not a form of murder? Not only does the baby have a risk of dying before it comes out the womb but it also has a high risk of suffering serious health issues. Ayala states in her paper on human cloning some of the problems that the child can suffer, “among others, [they can suffer] gross obesity, early death, distorted limbs, and dysfunctional immune systems and organs, including liver and kidneys, and other mishaps.”. Even the famous sheep Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned, took 277 tries to get one successful clone. Put those numbers into human lives and that’s mass murder for the sake of science.

The risk of reproductive cloning is extremely high but many are finding reasons on why cloning should be explored. Couples who are sexually impaired can both participate in producing a child by just mixing their DNA also lesbians couples can do the same and have a baby that looks like both the parents. This does come with room for error and terrifying emotional results. Patricia A. Baird in her paper Cloning of Animals and Humans: What Should the Policy Response Be? states “the manipulation of the nucleus and the egg cell leads to increased fetal loss and congenital malformations. In fact, there is a high loss rate of manipulated embryos in Wilmut’s paper, with 62 percent of fetuses detected being lost, which is a significantly greater proportion than the estimate of 6 percent after natural mating.” You can imagine the excitement one has when they are having a baby and I’m sure we can agree lesbian and sexually impaired couples excitement would be ten times higher. Then the baby doesn’t make it and so the pain increases 100 fold. Those who had put their heart into the opportunity of having a child will certainly fill it in their hearts. This can also lead to psychological effects like depression. The psychological side of this argument and its ethics is another interesting matter.

Can you imagine being in the shadow of someone for the rest of your life, or having to meet the expectations of another person? Kinda takes away the pleasure and feeling of being unique don’t it? Many believe that if we clone intellectual, noble and powerful people we would create a super race but the genes which are what is being replaced does not determine the level of intelligence, personality or character (Ayala, 2015). Even with this stated, many believe that the cloned individual should be like their original counterpart. No one else in the world has the same DNA sequence as you but through cloning human identity will be in danger (Baird, 1999). Many countries fear the psychological effects of cloning and the French Parliament even goes to such lengths and calls cloning a “crime against the human species.” (Ayala, 2015). Almost all of the labs that will work on cloning will be owned by third-parties, meaning these people with unknown intentions will have the power to veto and pick what genotypes of people will be cloned (Baird, 1999). This would be giving another human the power of manual creation which would bring many problems and raise disapproval.

Sure cloning might sound awesome at first, to some, but research must be done on how cloning is done, what are its results and who are the people that are going to be conducting and monitoring this field. Many scientists have great expectations and news breaking ideas through the study of cloning but the practice is too risky to be done at our day and age. Hopefully, with future research and technology we will be able to reap all the advantages of cloning, but until then, concerns from safety to ethics will need closer investigation.

 

WORK CITED PAGE

 

Francisco J. Ayala (2015, February 27). Cloning humans? Biological, ethical, and social

        considerations. Retrieved from

         https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517218/pdf/pnas.201501798.pdf

Morales M. Nestor. (2009). Psychological aspects of human cloning and genetic                    

        manipulation:

        the identity and uniqueness of human beings. Reproductive BioMedicine Online

Patricia A. Baird. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Volume 42, Number 2, Winter      

        1999,

         pp.  179-194 (Article)Savulescu, Julian. (2005). The ethics of cloning:  The Medicine      

         Publishing Company Ltd