Cloning is commonly understood as a practice involving the replication of an already existing thing. When applied to human beings in particular, the term connotes a relatively similar definition – to make an exact copy of the person being cloned.
There is a need however to cite a more technical definition for cloning, if only one can arrive at a better grasp of its correct implications. Thus, a working definition formulated by a certain book on Ethics may prove to be of great help. It says: “Cloning…is a general term describing any procedure that produces a precise genetic replica of a biological object, including a DNA sequence, a cell or an organism” (Kass and Wilson, 1998, p. iii).The purpose of this paper is to argue for the reasonable latitude that must be allowed in the practice of human cloning.
At the very least, this paper attempts to argue that there are sound arguments that may well serve as coherent justification for the position it adopts. One must remember though that this position belongs more to perspectives that have remained largely an undercurrent. For most part, a majority of people – led by world governments, religious leaders, private entities, cause-oriented groups, among others – have raised their sentiment strongly opposing any scientific exploration which may involve any sort of human cloning in the process. What stands out to be their unifying statement is to cite the ethical violations attached to its practice. If only to argue, this paper takes on a path a few thinkers may travel. For despite the mounting protests against the practice of human cloning, this paper seeks to clarify that there are also good reasons to suggest otherwise.Why Human Cloning Should Be AllowedFirstly, it is logical to claim that the exponential rise of interest in human cloning would engender an equally pressing need to indulge with its practice as a way to test or verify scientific theories.
As indeed, it is by right of commonsense that one must accept that what will be discovered in the scientific field would need to have complimentary basis in research practice – i.e., in performing the cloning itself. Some thinkers have thus suggested that human cloning is a trend that cannot be stopped. Put simply, it is an inevitable trend to behold. This is the generally the gist of what James Watson has prophesized in 1971, back when he and Francis Crick discovered the DNA (Kass and Wilson, 1998, p. vii). His comment about human cloning – a theory that was still in the inception phase during those years – are unmistakably frank, if not all together telling.
Inform as many people as possible, he argues, “about the new ways for human reproduction and their potential consequences, both good and bad” (cited in Kass and Wilson, 1998, p. vii).It may be said that many years later, the world would see in flesh what Watson had asked people to prepare for in Dolly – the first cloned animal –, which made headlines as it sparked debates over the possibility of conducting the process among humans.
The crux of the matter here is not about the divisive debates which Dolly or any other cloned animals have engendered among the thinking public. Instead, the real issue lies on the inevitability of events that Watson saw coming. What Watson’s prediction thus provides is a testimony that it is imperative for humankind to be realistic in accepting the inevitability of certain scientific explorations such as human cloning. In the same way, it is exceedingly important for the world to prepare for the commonplace practice of human cloning in order to effectively address the issues surrounding it. Besides, the risk could be greater if humankind it is caught unprepared to handle inevitable cloning experiments in the future.
Second, there is a need to rethink many of the popular objections against human cloning, since many of the reasons cited by cloning-oppositionist are arguments based on erroneous premises. An example of this would be to take the mainline contention adopted by the religious groups and their leaders. If only to state, much of what the church has to say about the evils of human cloning stems from how it embraces an anthropology that regards persons as unrepeatable and endowed with God-given dignity (Lay Witness, 1993). As a result, they forcefully contend that any effort to “duplicate” a person by means of human cloning is contrary to the law of uniqueness – or irrepeatabiliy, if the term be permitted – as God so intended.However, one must be apt to notice that such reasoning is founded on a factual misunderstanding of the entire process involved in human cloning. J. Kunich maintains that human cloning has nothing to do with producing the exact replica of a person, say, being cloned. And what Kunich asserts here is based from his own interpretations of the factual circumstances surrounding the genetic processes of human cloning.
“Embryo splitting,” Kunich clarifies, “does produce an exact genotypic duplicate…of the original fertilized ovum, but not a duplicate of a preexisting individual” (Kunich, 2003, p.5). This finding therefore challenges the common conception of human cloning – not that a duplicate is produced, but that another individual is. If this thus says anything about the matter at hand, it merely tells of the need to rethink popular teachings against human cloning. Surely, there is a need to propose any laws to govern the practice of human cloning on facts, and not on unfortunate misconceptions.Thirdly, one must also look at the pragmatic consequences which human cloning can bring in order to deliver humankind out of the gripping clutches of misfortune and suffering. This is especially true for recent stem-cell researches – a process akin to human cloning. It may be argued that one of the wonders that science has brought the world lies in how it is able to find suitable cure for illness that have long made humankind suffer.
And this has been a long-known fact. According to National Bioethics Advisory Commission, many scientists have already proposed to use stem cells to “allow generation of new cells to be used to treat injuries or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and kidney failure” (1999, p. i).
One cannot therefore turn a blind eye on the positive results which human cloning can deliver for humanity’s sake. Science is indeed a facet of human wisdom that has long helped humankind seek for a better way to exist. The benefits that can be profited from allowing stem cell research, for example (as NBAC itself shows), must also be given weight in considering generous options to allow human cloning.By way of conclusion: An Alternative ViewpointAll in all, this paper cited reasons to support its position that human cloning should be allowed. The inevitability of scientific curiosity towards human cloning, the need to correct many misconceptions about it, and the benefits which such a practice brings, are surely just three of the many other reasons that can lend support to the position this paper takes.
But while this paper sees that it is imperative for world to soon allow the practice of human cloning, it also sees the need to govern the practice within a controlled facility. Moderation is key to this proposal as well. Surely, one cannot simply proceed with cloning human beings without a set of rules to guide, and proper authorities to enforce healthy restrictions. It is equally important therefore, that in allowing human cloning to be done, there should be effective regulations that must be passed to ensure that there would not be an abuse in the latitude given to scientist or researchers as they explore more promises this practice has yet to deliver.