Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Imagine what hapens when human cloning becomes a reality

Although human cloning has not been done yet, it is believed that it will happen in a matter of time. Since the Dolly sheep cloning in 1997 by Dr. Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, the technique has been advanced with many other mammals (monkeys, cows, cats, pigs, etc.). Many countries, however, are passing laws that forbid human cloning. However, some research groups, mainly in infertility clinics, have indicated their interest in human cloning. Although it is technically possible to clone humans, there are several scientific reasons for not doing so.

Beyond the risks for the pregnant mother and for the clone, a series of ethical issues has been raised in relation to human cloning:

1) Would clones have a soul?
2) How would clones relate in a family setting or in public settings?
3) What would be the limits of paternity and social responsibility to clones?

Some ethicists would argue that cloning violates a child's right to an open future. A cloned child would feel the pressure to become similar to his or her biological donor.

Ethical issues will be raised as society discusses and understands the implications of human cloning. Consider, for example, that human cloning was a reality today.

In this scenario a child could have a variable number of parents, from just one to as many as five:
1) One parent: This would be the case when a woman has been cloned, serving as the egg donor, the donor of somatic cells, and the surrogate mother.
2) Five parents: This would happen when the clone has the following parents:
a) Biological father (somatic cell donor)
b) Biological mother (egg donor)
c) Social father (adoptive)
d) Social mother (adoptive)
e) Surrogate mother

Cloning is a great challenge for society, and moral values certainly will deeply change in the 21st century.

Finally, as humans are not just biological beings, biotechnology should consider its limits on the basis of spiritual values. For example, religious conversions produce profound behavior transformation without any genetic modification. This fact reinforces the idea that human behavior is not just a matter of genes or the environment in which the individual develops. An individual, despite possessing superior genes, can be arrogant and behave irresponsibly in relation to society.

Tags: Bio Technology, Bio Genetics, Bioethics

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