Ethical Issues Surrounding the Cloning
The technology currently used in attempts to clone human embryos is similar
to that used to clone Dolly, the sheep. This process is
known as Nuclear Transfer Technique.
Much of the ethical issue surround the potential to clone human beings centers
on the right of potential parents to conceive a child, set against the right
of the child not to be exposed to an unreasonable level of risk of congenital
1. Such a method might present a major breakthrough
for infertile couples unable to conceive a biologically related child via any
2. Same sex partners could potentially have a
child with the genetics of both "parents".
3. Using test tube fertilization and genetic
screening, an infant of known or preferred genotype can be made. Stem cells
from the cloned infant may be used to treat children ill with thalassemia, sickle-cell
anemia, and various rare genetic diseases that affect the stem cells of the
bone marrow. Such treatments raise the odds of success from 42 up to 85%.
1. The technology has not been perfected yet.
What happens if a cloned child is born with a congenital disease or other problems
directly related to the imperfected cloning technology.
2. Should humans play God?
3. Potential to select embryos for specific genetic
traits (lack of specific diseases, eye color, etc.). Again, should humans play
4. Potential to misuse cloned human embryos as
guinea pigs in labratory studies.
5. Potential to genetically alter and clone humans
for evil purposes (soldiers).