Ethical and Social Issues of Human Cloning

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Ethical and Social Issues of Human Cloning

"Should we clone human beings?" This question sends an electrical charge into our religious sensibilities. It shocks us into theological reflection. It may not be immediately clear what we ought to think, but human cloning is a serious moral issue in need of resolution. Science and religion have frequently been in conflict throughout much of human history, but human cloning may be uniquely controversial among scientific developments due to the powerful, fundamental questions it raises. The cloning debate often heated involves scientists, legislators, religious leaders, philosophers, international bodies, civil society groups, the media and public opinion. Most religious thinkers who recommend public policies on cloning humans propose either a ban or restrictive regulation. Their views differ significantly; not all religions look at human cloning in the same light. Many leaders of several different religious traditions in the U.S. say they are uncomfortable with the idea. Some say that "human cloning is an idea whose time has not come yet." Others say that their community distrusts the science. The greatest moral objection placed on cloning lies in the claim that human beings may be unnecessarily harmed, either during experimentation or by expectations after birth. This is also because in early 1997, researchers in Scotland stunned the world by announcing that they had successfully used nuclear transplantation to create a clone of an adult sheep named “Dolly. It took 277 attempts to create Dolly. The high failure rates (more than 90 per cent) and high morbidity of animal cloning strongly suggests its inapplicability to humans. Furthermore, cloned animals seem to suffer high deformity and disability rates. Dolly herself was finally put down in 2003, at the age of just six and a half years, even though many sheep live more than 10 years. She had developed a progressive lung disease, which is...
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