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The Ethics Of Cloning Essay

848 words - 4 pages

The technology of today’s world is astounding. We have learned how to battle diseases that were once thought to lead to a certain death, we have invented incredible technologies that allow us to communicate with people across the world instantly, and maybe most impressively of all, we are able to create human life. We now hold in our hands the technologies that allow a person, their entire genetic makeup, to be recreated through cloning. In an age where we have more power than ever to change the natural state of things, it becomes increasingly important that we consider the ethical implications involved in cloning to control how we as a people progress our civilization.
The lack of knowledge regarding cloning aids in people’s skepticism and concern as many people do not understand how cloning works. Dolly the sheep became the first animal to be successfully cloned in 1996 and instantly became a hugely controversial issue. The cloning process was achieved by extracting the DNA from one sheep’s mammary gland, which was then inserted into the egg cell of a second sheep, which had already had its own DNA removed from the egg cell. This egg was then implanted into a third sheep’s uterus to grow and be delivered as a normal baby would be. This resulted in a sheep with identical DNA as the first sheep, which the DNA was extracted from (Phelan). Since that time scientists have generally agreed that cloning an entire human being would be crossing both moral and ethical boundaries that could lead to both major physical and psychological issues if allowed. There is something ethically challenging about this idea of creating a second version of a unique person. People see themselves as unique individuals, with their own thoughts and actions. According to the philosopher Emanuel Kant this sense of individual identity, or self, is incredibly important and is formed not just through inherited genes, but also by our experiences throughout life (Stumpf and Fieser). This brings the question of what is morally and ethically acceptable and what is not. Would a clone really be a clone if they had the same genetic make-up, but entirely different life experiences?
However, this should not be taking to mean that all cloning is wrong or unethical. Cloning of a person’s own body parts, such as skin tissue for a burn victim or organs such as a heart or kidney for a person needing a transplant, could also save that person’s life. Many...

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