Controversial Evidence Concerning Cloning
Cloning is a topic, which provokes loud debates among scientists and ordinary members of the society.
There are a lot of evidence, which prove that cloning is safe. In his article “Will cloning harm people?” Gregory E. Pense states that the harm of cloning is exaggerated and very often far-fetched. The author wants to prove us that SCNT is as safe, as normal sexual reproduction and can be a perfect method of human reproduction. He give a lot of evidence that cloning is a safe method of reproduction and it can be used in modern medicine.
Those, who stand for cloning often use the term “somatic cell nuclear transfer” (SCNT) instead of cloning to soften the truth, but the term doesn’t change the meaning. SCNT describes a process, when a differentiated cell serves for creating the new embryo. Those, who stand for cloning give medical evidence in order to defend their position. Proponents of cloning as a safe method focus on the biological aspect of the problem, paying less attention to moral and ethic objections.
Proponents of cloning drive parallels with In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and natural clones - twins in order to support their thesis. They state that IVF was also prohibited in the beginning, as people tend to be afraid of everything new and unknown. This is exactly what happens with SCNT now, to their mind.
People exaggerate the fears of the unknown and downplay the very real dangers of the familiar. In a very important sense, driving a car each day is far more dangerous to children than the new form of human reproduction under discussion here. “Many, many people are hurt and killed every day in automobile wrecks, yet few people consider not driving” (Pense, 119).
Proponents of cloning give evidence that the percentage of failure, when the embryo doesn’t survive isn’t higher than in other ways of assisted reproduction. He also states that “A big number (about 40%) embryos fail to implant during the act of human reproduction” (Pense, 119). Thus, the argument of those, who state that very big percentage of cloning efforts end in failure and emphasis on the big loss of human embryos during SCNT doesn’t have ground. The losses are not bigger than during IVF or natural reproduction.
One of the evidence brought be clone proponents is an existence of twins, who are born like natural clones.
Another argument of cloning proponents is that social attitude can bring harm to cloned children, but that it can and must be overcome. (Gosden) They state that possible psychological harm to the child is only a temporary problem, which will be resolved when it becomes evident, that there is nothing wrong with cloning and it doesn’t have any hidden threat.
Evidence given by those, who stands for cloning are impressive, but there are several evidence, which do not stand critics.
First of all comparison of SCNT and IVF don’t stand critics. First of all, two partners are necessary for IVF, whereas only one biological parent is enough for SCNT. We can not predict the effect of combination, where only one set of genes is used for the future of the child. Secondly, IVF isn’t accepted by everyone yet and can’t serve as an example. In addition, a very low percentage of embryos, which survive is still an important problem. I don’t think that Pense’s words “whether it takes one embryo to create a human baby or a hundred does not matter morally” can be a worth argument for the civilized society. (Lori) In addition, the question of embryo loss is not only a moral question as it also deals with the physical aspect of reproduction.
We know that in most cases twins are identical only physically, e.g. have the same physical appearance but have different characters, mental abilities and inclinations. We can not know this about the children, get with the help of SCNT.
I think that Pense doesn’t give a convincing response to the potential problem of social adaptation and possible trouble psychic identity of the cloned children. We can not dare to predict the social reactions and possible tragic consequences it can cause. We don’t full know about the impact of cloning on the thin structures. Animal cloning gives us an idea only about physical characteristics of the clone and we can not penetrate psychic and mental consequences of cloning yet. (Jones) Possible problems with parents if a child is an exact copy of one of the partners can’t also be neglected.
Cloning is definitely a new word in science. I do agree that some of the arguments, given those, who stand for cloning make sense and that cloning can be used as a method of human reproduction. I also admit that it can open wide perspectives for the whole humanity and can serve us a good service. I only don’t want too urgent conclusions and not well considered actions to bring an irremediable harm and don’t want human life and health to be the cost of the experiments. I agree that we shouldn’t exaggerate the fears of the unknown, such as cloning, for example, but I also don’t want the dangers to be underestimated.
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