English 1213, 023
November 3, 2003
Disadvantages of Human Cloning - Loss of Human Identity
Cloning has always been a subject whose thoughts both fascinates and frightens the world. On February 27, 1997, a stunning announcement appeared in the British journal Nature that rocked the scientific world: for the first time ever recorded, a mammal- a lamb named Dolly had been successfully cloned from an adult cell. Coinciding with this shocking proclamation, scientist reported the successful cloning of a rhesus monkey, a primate whose reproduction and development is almost identical to man. With these two previously unthinkable strokes, science fiction was transformed to science fact, which inevitably unleashes a torrent of questions that can change the future of mankind- the possibility of cloning a human body.
Since 1994 America itself has grown some 3.5 trillion genetically modified plants and is being sold to satisfied customers all over the world. But with the reading of the human genome completed and with the advances that are taking place with stem-cell research, by which you can genetically modify human character traits, cloning is also forcing its breakthrough into the news which has a lot of people distressed about its consequences (America's next ethical war). "The idea that humans can exercise control over reproductive process evokes in many, notions such as genetic determinism or the co modification of life" (Gogarty). But from the viewpoint of science and technology, who regard cloning as a revolution and an astounding achievement, are proceeding with their work, and are reaching unrealistic limits.
The possibility of cloning being used as a practice is a real possibility today. Scientists on 12 May 2002, claimed to have cloned a human embryo which had developed farthest to 6 cells. On an another instance according to Gulf News on 3 April 2002, a claim by Dr. Antinori said that he had successfully implanted a cloned embryo into a women who had become 8 month pregnant. Even though these claims seem controversial they have increased the concerns and world-wide public reaction against human cloning (Dinc). Even with these boundaries and laws passed by the government, determined scientists can't be stopped as they still claim to conduct research undercover, and are making those advances into cloning of human beings.
If cloning ware to be practiced by doctors and scientists in the time to come, then it can be assumed that those clones might experience serious issues of identity and individuality. Many ethicists worry about the psychological harm that a cloned child may suffer. The concept of creating a genetic twin, although separated in time is one aspect of human cloning that psychologist find troubling. In Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Human Cloning' author Gregory Pence states that one of the worst psychological harm that can most frequently occur is the possible loss of sense of uniqueness in the clones child. This lack of distinctive identity of their own may cause the clone to experience psychic burdens of being a twin of his/her parents (Pence 27). A child grows up knowing that his father is his brother, his grandfather is his father. Every time his father looks at him he is seeing himself grown up. A teenager may go through unbearable emotional stress trying to establish his or her identity, and if they lack to achieve that they would eventually resent being a clone (Dixon).
More over there is a strong possibility that the clone will inherit their progenitor's years of genetic wear and tear thereby resulting in short life spans. This certainly puts a dent in the hopes of some people who clone themselves to create more youthful copies of them (Weiss). The genetic distinctiveness not only symbolizes the uniqueness of each human life but also the independence that the child rightfully obtains from the parents. This being the case, the cloned person...
Cited: Dinc, Leyla. "Ethical Issues Regarding Human Cloning: A Nursing Perspective." Nursing Ethics. Turkey: Ankara, 2003.
Lester, Lane and James Hefley. Human Cloning: Playing God or Scientific Progress? New York: Norton, 1998.
Nussbaum, Martha and Cass Sunstein. Clones and clones: Facts and Fantasies about Human Cloning. New York: Norton, 1998.
Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon, 1997.
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