This is an essay I wrote for my 10th grade biology class. It does not necessarily represent my personal beliefs. I thought I'd upload it to the internet just in case it may be able to help somebody.
3 December 2017
The Ethics of Human Cloning
Imagine a world where a very risky birthing process is conducted on a regular basis, and in addition, individuals born out of that process face stigmatization from society despite the fact that they had no over control over their birth. Human cloning is unethical and should not be allowed. This is because it can cause health problems, it is dangerous for our society, and its very low success rate.
Human cloning can cause health problems. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, in 1999, French scientists found that "A two month old calf, cloned from genes taken from the ear of an adult cow, died after developing blood and heart problems" (Jones 1). Jones goes on to say that "Cloned sheep, cows, and mice have been known to die before or shortly after birth" (Jones 3). Withal, the American Food and Drug Administration states that "one phenomenon seen in cloning is that cloned animals tend to be larger than normal at birth, with unusually large organs. Enlarged organs often function improperly, causing problems with circulation, breathing and other bodily functions, sometimes leading to early death" (Maas 1). There are simply far too many health issues prevalent in the process of cloning to allow human cloning at this point.
Human cloning is dangerous for our society. The House of the Scorpion, a fictional novel written by Nancy Farmer, illustrates this perfectly. In Farmer's universe, set approximately a century in the future, it is commonplace for individuals to clone themselves and use their clones to harvest spare organs from. In the novel, international law states that clones are "livestock, [and] that makes it possible for them to be slaughtered like chickens or cattle" (Farmer 373). As such, clones are able to be killed with impunity; they are viewed as subhuman. A clone's raison d'être is exclusively to grow up and then be used to harvest organs from, afterwhich they are killed and disposed of. Because of this, the main character, a clone, struggles with his identity. At one point, he thinks to himself that "[he] wasn't a boy. He was a beast" (Farmer 125). If human clones are implemented into our world, many people, including rich and powerful individuals, will do everything in their power to exploit them such as by growing clones only to harvest organs from. Not only that, but clones will be viewed and treated as they are worth less than cattle despite the fact that they are just as much a human as me and you.
Human cloning has a very low success rate. Tanja Dominko is a doctor that worked for a laboratory in Oregon. Her objective was to create a clone of a monkey. However, this proved to be extremely difficult; "after three years, and about 300 attempts, the best [Tanja] got was a placenta with no fetus" (Kolata 1). Professor Ian Wilmut, from the University of Edinburgh, says that there is a copious amount of evidence that "cloning can and does go wrong, and there is no justification for believing that this will not happen with humans" (Utton 1). On top of that, The genetic Science Learning Center "estimates that the success rate of cloning ranges from only 0.1 percent to 3 percent" (Maas 1). Creating human life should not be done with a process that has such a low success rate.
A common argument of proponents of human cloning is that it is advantageous to allow the cloning of human. After all, human cloning will allow scientists to make large steps in fighting against diseases and learning more about the human body. Adam Fox, a pro-cloning advocate, says that "one of the strongest reasons to support that cloning is beneficial to humanity is that there would be a solution to organ limitation. One of the greatest problems in medicine today is that many people need organs for various reasons, which are not available" (Fox 2). Adam also goes on to say that "is possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from cloning. Cloning would help reverse aging by teaching us how to set our age back to 20" (Fox 3). However, the simple fact that something is beneficial does not automatically make it right. Many parallels can be drawn between this argument and the argument for allowing slavery. In both situations, many people benefit at only the cost of the ill-being of a few; a plantation with a few hundred slaves can easily feed a village of a thousand for cheap, after all. Still, much like human cloning, that does not make it right to allow such a practice.
In conclusion, human cloning is unethical and should not be allowed. This is because it can cause health problems, it is dangerous for our society, and its very low success rate. If we allow the practice to go on simply because it is advantageous, many problems, both medical and moral, are inevitably going to arise. Ensure that your leaders know the full implications of human cloning before they begin to advocate for legislation allowing such a practice to take place.
Jones, Judy. "Cloning May Cause Health Defects." National Center for Biotechnology Information, 8 Apr. 1999, . .gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115633/.
Kolata, Gina. "In Cloning, Failure Far Exceeds Success." The New York Times, 11 Dec. 2001, . .
Utton, Tim. "Danger of the Human Clones." Daily Mail Online, 29 Apr. 2002, . .
Singh, Debashis. "Human Cloning Is Justified in Preventing Genetic Disease." National Institutes of Health, 28 Feb. 2004, . .gov/pmc/articles/PMC1125280/.
Maas, Roxanne. "What Are the Risks of Cloning?" , 3 Oct. 2017, article/254843-what-are-the-risks-of-cloning/.
Fox, Adam. " Cloning Is Beneficial to Humanity." , . .
Farmer, Nancy. The House of the Scorpion. New York City: Atheneum, 2002. Print.