Ethics of cloning

Ethics of cloning

In bioethics, the ethics of cloning refers to a variety of ethical positions regarding the practice and possibilities of cloning, especially human cloning. While many of these views are religious in origin, the questions raised by cloning are faced by secular perspectives as well.

As the science of cloning continues to advance, governments have dealt with ethical questions through legislation.

Religious views


Roman Catholicism and many conservative Christian groups have opposed human cloning and the cloning of human embryos, believing that life begins at the moment of conception. Other Christian denominations such as the United Church of Christ do not believe a fertilized egg constitutes a living being, but still they oppose the cloning of embryonic cells. The World Council of Churches, representing nearly 400 Christian denominations worldwide, opposed cloning of both human embryos and whole humans in February 2006. The United Methodist Church opposed research and reproductive cloning in May 2000 and again in May 2004. Also many Christians believe it is playing God and believe man should not try to create life


Judaism does not equate life with conception and, though some question the wisdom of cloning, Orthodox rabbis generally find no firm reason in Jewish law and ethics to object to cloning. [Michael Brody [ "Cloning People and Jewish Law"] . Avraham Steinberg. "Human Cloning: Scientific, Ethical and Jewish Perspectives" in [ Assia] v.3, n.2 1998.] Liberal Jewish thinkers have cautioned against cloning, among other genetic engineering efforts, though some eye the potential medical advantages.


Many Islamic scholars have stated that human cloning is forbidden.It is believed that cloning humans is wrong because it is considered the equivalent of playing Allah. According to Islam, only he can give life to any living thing.


Ronald Y. Nakasone, a Buddhist priest stated "The Buddhist response to the possibility of cloning human beings is not if, but when . . . Would we accord a cloned person the benefits enjoyed by those who are born naturally? I would hope so." Buddhist and Hindu traditions feel that Christian priorities are out of sync.


Raëlism is the only religious group of which any part (specifically, the religion's medial arm Clonaid) has claimed to have successfully cloned a human being. Clonaid claims that cloning will bring humanity closer to immortality.

Following the announcement, then-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan spoke on behalf of president George W. Bush and said that human cloning was "deeply troubling" to most Americans. Kansas Republican Sam Brownback said that Congress should ban all human cloning, while some Democrats were worried that Clonaid announcement would lead to the banning of therapeutic cloning. FDA biotechnology chief Dr. Phil Noguchi warned that the human cloning, even if it worked, risked transferring sexually transmitted diseases to the newly born child. Clonaid claimed that it had a list of couples who were ready to have a cloned child. [ FDA Probes Sect's Human Cloning] , "Wired News". December 26 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2007.]

University of Wisconsin-Madison bioethicist Alta Charo said that even in other ape-like mammals, the risk for miscarriage, birth defects, and life problems remains high. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technologies said that Clonaid has no record of accomplishment for cloning anything, but he said that if Clonaid actually succeeded, there would be public unrest that may lead to the banning of therapeutic cloning, which has the capacity to cure millions of patients. The Vatican said that the claims expressed a mentality that was brutal and lacked ethical consideration. The White House was also critical of the claims.Fact|date=February 2008

Philosophical criticisms

At present, the main non-religious objection to human cloning is that cloned individual are often biologically damaged, due to the inherent unreliability of their origin; for example, researchers currently are unable to safely and reliably clone non-human primates. Some believe that as cloning research and methods improve, concerns of safety and reliability will no longer be an issue.

UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights asserts that cloning contradicts human nature and dignity [cite web |publisher=UNESCO |date=1997-11-11 |url= |title=Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights |accessdate=2008-02-27] : Cloning is an asexual reproductive mode, which could distort generation lines and family relationships, and limit genetic differentiation, which ensures that human life is largely unique. Cloning can also imply an instrumental attitude toward humans, which risks turning them into manufactured objects, and interferes with evolution, the implications of which we lack the insight or prescience to predict. [cite web |publisher=World Health Organization |url= |title=A dozen questions (and answers) on human cloning |accessdate=2008-02-27]

Furthermore, proponents of animal rights argue that non-human animals possess certain moral rights as living entities and should therefore be afforded the same ethical considerations as human beings. This would negate the exploitation of animals in scientific research on cloning, cloning used in food production, or as other resources for human use or consumption.

Rudolph Jaenisch, a professor at Harvard, has pointed out that we have become more efficient at producing clones which are still defective. ["Development Dynamics". 2006 Volume 235, pages 2460-2469.] Other arguments against cloning come from various religious orders (believing cloning violates God's will or the natural order of life), and a general discomfort some have with the idea of "meddling" with the creation and basic function of life. This unease often manifests itself in contemporary novels, movies, and popular culture, as it did with numerous prior scientific discoveries and inventions. Various fictional scenarios portray clones being unhappy, soulless, or unable to integrate into society. Furthermore, clones are often depicted not as unique individuals but as "spare parts," providing organs for the clone's original (or any non-clone that requires replacement organs).

Governmental actions

On December 28, 2006, the FDA of the United States approved eating meat from cloned animals [] . It was said to be virtually indistinguishable from the non-cloned animals. Furthermore, companies would not be required to provide labels informing the consumer that the meat comes from a cloned animal. On December 19, 2007, the FDA announced plans to track all cloned animals as they move through the food chain in a national database system that will allow food to be clearly labeled [] .

This tracking system is part of the National Animal Identification System [] .


External links

* [ The Ethical Problems Surrounding Cloning Technology]
* []

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Uses and Ethics of Cloning — ▪ 1998 by Ian Wilmut       The announcement in February 1997 of the birth of Dolly the sheep, the first clone of an adult mammal, attracted international attention because of the new medical and agricultural opportunities and the new ethical… …   Universalium

  • Cloning — For the cloning of human beings, see Human cloning. For other uses, see Cloning (disambiguation). The sea anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima in process of cloning Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of …   Wikipedia

  • Ethics of technology — is a subfield of ethics addressing the ethical questions specific to the Technology Age. Some prominent works of philosopher Hans Jonas are devoted to ethics of technology. Technology itself is incapable of possessing moral or ethical qualities,… …   Wikipedia

  • ethics — /eth iks/, 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics;… …   Universalium

  • Human cloning — is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. It does not usually refer to monozygotic multiple births nor the reproduction of human cells or tissue. The ethics of cloning is an extremely controversial issue. The term is generally… …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of ethics — See also: Index of ethics articles The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ethics: Ethics – major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common… …   Wikipedia

  • List of ethics topics — This list of ethics topics puts articles relevant to well known ethical (right and wrong, good and bad) debates and decisions in one place including practical problems long known in philosophy, and the more abstract subjects in law, politics, and …   Wikipedia

  • Christian views on cloning — Christian have views of cloning which are diverse and often conflicting. Roman Catholicism and other Christian denominations believe that the soul enters the body at the moment of conception when the sperm and egg unite.[1] They feel harvesting… …   Wikipedia

  • Medical ethics — is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology …   Wikipedia

  • Science and Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research — ▪ 2000 by Lori P. Knowles and Eric Parens       At the end of 1998, almost simultaneously, one team of researchers announced that it had isolated human embryonic stem (ES) cells and another announced that it had isolated human embryonic germ (EG) …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”