Human Cloning - Episode Preview and Article
Written by: Alvina Anwar - Writer for the Topilitical article chain
Reading the title might seem very abrupt and abnormal. Sure, the idea of human cloning has always been there, but for action to legitimately be made upon it is fascinating. Nearly impossible. Although the action sequences are more recent, the debate has been here for quite some time. Is it biologically safe, and generally decent to clone a person? Let's find out.
In the U.S, seven states have prohibited cloning altogether while ten states only let cloning occur for scientific and medical research. Throughout the world, more than 30 countries ban cloning for reproductive or personal reasons. Some whole countries allow cloning for research, however. These countries include China, England, Singapore and Sweden.
Why do only some places allow it, you ask? Well, there are multiple reasons, including health and politics. This is how the debate formed over time. There are plenty of pros and cons to consider, so our team decided to dive into the topic this week. Starting with one of the main factors in this debate, we have the concept of "designer babies".
If you are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to a clone who was carefully selected and changed. That means removing a certain defect, or ensuring a particular upside remains in the clone. Supporters believe this is a great thing, as it could advance human development and civilization as a whole. Basically, "fixing" the original person and giving the clone a more satisfying lifetime. For instance, if someone were to be born with a disease, at least their clone could live a happier life.
The problem with designer babies, in the eyes of reproductive cloning disbelievers, is that it is unnatural and gives unrealistic expectations. For example, if someone you know clones their newborn baby and puts their original child up for adoption, it might make you doubt your child. That could lead to devastatingly higher adoption rates since some could put their children in an untrusted and dangerous home trying to achieve perfection within their family. Or, if they decide to keep their child, poor relationships between children and their parents. Since their parents might constantly feel their child isn't good enough for them. That could lower their child's self-esteem, and reduce the parents' overall content with their family.
Nonetheless, there is a comeback from the supporting side, and that is to help heal wounded families. Although the points above are valid, many people unwillingly lost their children. When a parent deals with the passing of their child, it's a pain like no other. The process is unnatural, painful and leaves everyone involved scarred. This leads to an idea stirred up by advocates, which is that people who are dealing with the loss of a child could clone them.
You may doubt how it affects the healing process and whether they face reality, but the clones could be monitored and only given to them sometimes. It would help ease their grief. Plus, this doesn't only apply to parents. Anyone who's dealing with a loss can healthily clone the deceased, and increase their happiness in life. All of these points are valid and have a possibility of occurring, it just depends on what society would do with this privilege.
A separate point brought up from the opposing side is how different human cloning is from animal cloning, specifically how human cloning may violate the human rights of a clone. Although the clone wasn't made naturally, it's still a human being and is subject to any rights a regular person would receive. According to sciencedirect.com, "the creation of embryos for the purpose of harvesting specialized cells involves violating the dignity of the unborn human being, and thus of the entire human species because human life is no longer considered a supreme value. The individual being denied the right to his own life." As you can see, this can be perceived as cruel to one's human rights and honour. Being reduced to nothing but a copy can be detrimental to a clone's mental health and equity.
We haven't heard of any replies to this argument from the supporting side. Yet there is a different point brought up, and it's interesting. Many supporters believe that human cloning could be great for continuing or starting families. Returning to the family narrative, some couples aren't able to carry children naturally due to infertility. Although adoption is a great alternative, several people do want to have biological children. This could work with DNA samples and a surrogate. Surprisingly enough, children can now be born without any donor eggs or sperm due to the process of cloning. Or, for example, a couple going through secondary infertility (not being able to have a child after their first pregnancy) could easily clone their first child's DNA into a surrogate. Similar results from their first child would appear.
All these ideas prove that cloning depends on how it's used. It could have a hugely positive effect on society, bettering the lives of many or doing the complete opposite. However, the ethical questions would remain even if it's used in the best way possible.
This is what our team will discuss this Monday, 06/21/2021. Supporting human cloning, we have none other than Sheng Chang Li, an iconic figure at Topilitical. Against the approach, we have Omar Gaballa explaining the downsides of this seemingly innovative idea. They'll discuss points mentioned in this article, and some interesting ones of their own. Until next time, stay Topilitical.