Is Human Reproductive Cloning Morally Permissible?
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Is Human Reproductive Cloning Morally Permissible?

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The subject of human reproductive cloning is a complicated one which contains many issues that need to be understood, and considered; before a course of action can be taken. In regards to cloning, any ...

The subject of human reproductive cloning is a complicated one which contains many issues that need to be understood, and considered; before a course of action can be taken. In regards to cloning, any decision that will be agreed upon, in our distant future, will not be simply black and white, but instead it will be a colorful array of restrictions, rules, laws, supervision, and ethical standards. In this paper, I will evaluate the facts, and determine, through moral reasoning, whether human reproductive cloning is morally permissible.

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Is Human Reproductive Cloning Morally Permissible? Is Human Reproductive Cloning Morally Permissible? Presentation Transcript

  • Is Human Reproductive Cloning Morally Permissible? Gwynne Brunet Professor Ms. Jane E. Till, MA Studies in Applied Ethics PHI 1600-674 14 July 2010 Word Count: 5,914
  • Preface:
    • The subject of human reproductive cloning is a complicated one which contains many issues that need to be understood, and considered; before a course of action can be taken. In regards to cloning, any decision that will be agreed upon, in our distant future, will not be simply black and white, but instead it will be a colorful array of restrictions, rules, laws, supervision, and ethical standards. In this paper, I will evaluate the facts, and determine, through moral reasoning, whether human reproductive cloning is morally permissible.
    • Please note that the terms “human cloning” and “reproductive cloning” essentially mean the same thing. However, if an animal, but not a human, is being discussed, in relation to cloning, the term “reproduction cloning” will usually be used since the author is not referring to a human. The procedure for the “reproductive cloning” of an animal is identical to the procedure for the “reproductive cloning” of a human. The only difference is the species.
  • Table of Contents
    • Facts and Information
    • Case Scenario
    • Pros and Cons
    • Five Common Fallacies
    • Stakeholders
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Three Basic Moral Principles
    • Syllogism
    • Consequential Theory - Rule Utilitarianism
    • Non-Consequential Theory – Kantianism
    • Ethics is Larger than Law
    • Course of Action
    • Works Cited
    View slide
  • Facts and Information:
    • What are the differences between therapeutic cloning and human cloning?
    • It is important that we understand that there is a vast difference between “therapeutic cloning” and “human cloning”. Professionals in this field argue the importance of educating the public to understand the differences between the different types of cloning procedures. They do not want the public to hastily lump them into one large category.
    • “ Therapeutic cloning —which seeks, for example, to use the genetic material from patients' own cells to generate pancreatic islets to treat diabetes or nerve cells to repair damaged spinal cords--is distinct from reproductive cloning, which aims to implant a cloned embryo into a woman's uterus leading to the birth of a cloned baby (Cibelli).” It is important to understand that with therapeutic cloning, stem cells are never grown into a baby. Often this process ends at the blastocyst stage. “At the blastocyst stage, when the organism is typically disaggregated to create an embryonic stem cell line, it is a ball of cells no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence (Cibelli).”
    • “ Human cloning – is the creation of in vitro embryos for any purpose other than reproduction or improving assisted reproduction procedures, and payment for gametes, in vitro embryos, or a surrogate mother's services (Baylis).” More simply put, inserting cells from the donor host into an unfertilized egg from another host, after it has been emptied. They fuse together developing into an embryo, and it is transferred into the uterus of a surrogate mother where if successful it divides like a normal embryo. It is the effort to produce a living child.
    • “ It is not surprising that this field has caused and still causes considerable controversy. It is particularly unfortunate that the term ‘therapeutic cloning’ has been applied in an uncritical and blanket fashion. It is difficult to dissociate it in people's minds from reproductive cloning, the objective of which is totally different,” says David Weatherall, former head of the Institute of Molecular Medicine, at Oxford University (Williams).”
    View slide
  • Facts and Information:
    • What types of cloning have been successful?
    • “ In 1972, British scientists clone tadpoles. The amphibians die before becoming adults.
    • In Nov. 1993 , U.S. scientists split embryos to create genetically identical twins, grow them to the 32-cell stage and then destroy them.
    • In July 1996, Dolly the sheep is born, the first mammal successfully cloned from adult, rather than embryonic, cells.
    • July 1998: University of Hawaii scientists clone three generations of healthy mice from the nuclei of adult donor cells.
    • Aug. 2001: President Bush permits limited federal funding of stem-cell research, using only stem-cell lines that have already been derived from human embryos.
    • Nov. 2001: Scientists at a U.S. biotech firm clone human embryos by replacing egg nuclei with mature nuclei from adult cells. The cloned cells divide briefly and then die.
    • Dec. 2001: Texas A&M University scientists create the first cloned pet, a calico kitten named CC, for Copy Cat.
    • In 2002-2004, Without providing any evidence that they have really done it, several scientists, including Dr. Severino Antinori, Dr. Panos Zavos and a team working for the Raelian sect, claim to have brought the first cloned human baby to term. No experts take them seriously.
    • Feb. 2004, South Korean scientists clone 30 human embryos, grow them into blastocysts, harvest them for stem cells and create a single stem-cell colony (Lemonick).”
    • The progression towards human cloning has been slow but steady. Now is the time for society to decide whether human cloning should be allowed.
    • Responsible scientists wouldn't try it, but an unethical researcher could read the Science paper and attempt to use the technique to bring a clone to term. "I'm afraid that some nitwit is going to try," says Larry Goldstein, a cellular and molecular biologist at the University of California at San Diego (Lemonick).
    • Cloning experiments have provided valuable insight into a number of important cellular processes, such as nuclear reprogramming, cellular aging, and genomic imprinting (McKinnell).
  • Facts and Information:
    • “ Dolly the sheep , the world's first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell was put to sleep. She was only six and a half years old. Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years. The premature death of Dolly supports the view of some scientists in Japan and the US who maintain that all cloned animals are born with health problems. Dolly's genetic mother (the DNA was taken from an udder cell) was six when she was cloned. This may mean that the real age of clones is their age since birth, plus the age of the genetic donor. The revelation to the world of Dolly's existence, in 1997, was the scientific sensation of the decade. But it is now known that cloning is difficult, expensive and dangerous for the animals involved. Claims of cloned humans remain unproven. Speculation about its potential came quickly back to earth with the announcement that Dolly had developed arthritis, which is highly unusual in a sheep of her age (Williams).”
    • At the Roslin Institute, the head of the original cloning team, Ian Wilmut ( photo above ) said,” This is an inefficient procedure. We were always aware that there was a risk that we would find things like this. We were very disappointed and very concerned for the animals. We will never know in the case of Dolly whether the condition is because she is cloned or whether it is an unfortunate accident that she developed arthritis. What's very important is that not only we at the institute, but others who produce cloned animals should monitor their health throughout their entire life span (Williams).”
    • ” As senior molecular biologist and member of the French National Consultative Ethics Committee, Axel Kahn, wrote in the wake of Dolly's arrival: ‘part of the individuality and dignity of a person probably lies in the uniqueness and unpredictability of his or her development. As a result, the uncertainty of the great lottery of heredity constitutes the principal protection against biological predetermination imposed by third parties, including parents. One of the components of human dignity is undoubtedly autonomy, the in-determinability of the individual with respect to external human will (Bowring).”
  • Facts and Information:
    • From a story by CNN, dated January 29, 2009, “a Boca Raton, Florida, couple paid a California firm $155,000 to clone their beloved Labrador retriever , who died from cancer a year ago. The clone, a 10-week-old puppy dubbed Lancey, was hand-delivered to them earlier this week by Lou Hawthorne, chairman of BioArts International, a biotechnology company. A DNA sample was sent to the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, which provides cloning services to BioArts. Researchers there put the DNA into an egg, and Lancey was born November 18, according to BioArts. For its part, the Humane Society of the United States says it's against the commercial cloning of animals. "Given the current pet overpopulation problem, which costs millions of animals their lives and millions in public tax dollars each year, the cloning of pets has no social value and in fact may lead to increased animal suffering," the organization said on its Web site. "For those looking to replace a lost pet, cloning will not create an animal identical to the one who is gone; cloning cannot replicate an animal's uniqueness. Cloning can only replicate the pet's genetics, which influence but do not determine his physical attributes or personality (CNN.com)."
    • This story raises some serious concerns. Any federal or state restrictions on implanting a cloned embryo will not prevent private companies from producing a clone. They will simply send the DNA to a country where it is not illegal to clone. A similar situation involving a humane clone could also take place. The technology is here.
    • What are the dangers or side effects that can be expected from reproductive cloning?
    • Animal cloning is already known as an unreliable and risky procedure. Many cloned animals which are carried to term die shortly after birth and suffer deformities. The University of Missouri team implanted 3,000 embryos in 28 surrogate sows to get just seven piglets (Williams).
    • In the case of Dolly (the sheep that was cloned), she was the only successful case out of 434 attempted fusions of oocytes and donor cells that were taken from cultures of mammary gland. Even as cloning of adult nuclei becomes much more efficient, there will still be hazards to humans (McKinnell).
    • Cloned mice have manifested all sorts of genetic defects. Comparable abnormalities would be devastating in humans (Gibbs).
    • Worldwide experience with reproductive cloning in domestic species has shown that only 1 percent to 3 percent of all cloned embryos survive to birth, and those that do survive tend to die prematurely from numerous pathological abnormalities (Hyun).
  • Facts and Information:
    • What are the possible benefits of harnessing the cloning technology?
    • Scientists are only beginning to understand the molecular changes involved in nuclear reprogramming, yet this line of basic research may result in some of the most beneficial applications of cloning to humans. For example, if scientists could explain in molecular terms how a differentiated nucleus is de-differentiated, it might be possible to repair certain diseased tissues--a small amount of normal tissue could be removed from a patient and de-differentiated in culture. After the cell population is expanded, appropriate inducers could be added to promote a desired type of cell differentiation (e.g., bone, cartilage, or muscle). Then, the tissue could be grafted to the patient's diseased areas, where the cells would be recognized as self and not rejected (McKinnell).
    • Why not just simply ban all types of cloning?
    • Some scientists argue that a total cloning ban would impel top U.S. scientists to move overseas, where there is more public support (Gibbs).
    • Even with sensible laws, of course, there's always a chance that cloning technology will be misused. Plenty of useful technologies are abused every day, says Dr. William Gibbons, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School--including automobiles and antibiotics. "It doesn't mean that these are inherently bad," he says. The trick is to legislate against the misuse, not against the technology (Lemonick).
    • What do American’s think?
    • According to a new survey by Johns Hopkins University, two-thirds of Americans approve of using genetic screening to help parents have a baby free of a serious genetic disorder. But more than 70% are against using such techniques to design children to be smarter or more attractive, and 76% are against working on ways to clone humans (Gibbs).
  • Case Scenario:
    • A true story…
    • Raelians , a religious cult that exists today, are lead by a former French journalist and race car enthusiast, named Rael. He claims, in 1973, he was contacted by a visitor from another planet, and asked to establish an Embassy to welcome the aliens back to Earth. The extra-terrestrial being, Elohim, who looks like us, told Rael that: “We were the ones who designed all life on Earth. You mistook us for gods.” The messages dictated to Rael explain that life on Earth is not the result of random evolution, nor the work of a supernatural 'God'. It is a deliberate creation, using DNA, by a scientifically advanced people who made human beings literally "in their image" -- what one can call "scientific creationism." They left our humanity to progress and develop on its own. The Raelians believe that if they build an embassy the extraterrestrials will return. The Raelians believe that aliens created all life on the planet by genetically engineering DNA, and cloning everything from organisms to humans. Rael’s vision is of eternal life through technology. We would clone ourselves, and transferring our consciousness into our new clones so that we would live forever.
    • In March 2000, Americans were introduced to Claude Vorilhon, who goes by the name Rael, when, as leader of his Raelian cult, he spoke before the subcommittee on human cloning at the U.S. Senate and advocated removing all restrictions on cloning. His cult was in a race to clone the first human, "Eve." (Von Heyking)
    • In a book about the Raelian religion, Rael is compared to a tradition of Enlightenment philosophers and satirists that includes Voltaire, Rousseau, Comte, and Fourier. All seek to replace superstition and religion with science, with some like Comte attempting to synthesize the two in a new religion of humanity. Humans become gods once they can clone themselves, meaning the Elohim are simply super-humans who are further along the road of unlimited human potentiality and which conveniently implies the narrative has no need of their arrival or even of their existence: "If the 'gods' are human, then we humans can become gods" (Von Heyking).
    • In 2001, Rael wrote that cloning is needed not only to perpetuate the elite of the Raelians, but also to produce a race of robots to serve our every whim (Von Heyking).
    • At their core, Rael's beliefs are simply radically stated conclusions of the technological dreams of our society (Von Heyking).
    • The Raelians claim that they have successfully cloned a human female child, who they deemed, Eve. They have given no proof to her existence, and experts do not believe she exists.
    • “ Only a handful of loose-cannon scientists and members of the Raelian sect, who believe humans were created by aliens, openly favor human cloning. It is explicitly banned in many countries, including Korea (Lemonick).”
  • Pros and Cons:
    • Pros:
    • Couples who are sterile and cannot naturally reproduce could have the child they’ve always dreamed of with one of the parent’s genes.
    • If a homosexual deeply desires a child who would carry their own genes they could have that chance.
    • If a person has just lost – or are about to lose – a beloved family member and would like to see an identical twin of that person begin a new life.
    • If one person in a marriage is HIV+ and wants to have a child that would be their genetic twin – without infecting either the baby or the other parent partner with the virus.
    • If parents loose a child at a very young age, they could raise a genetic replica of that very same child.
    • Endangered species could be saved by utilizing cloning.
    • Cons:
    • Reproductive or human cloning has potential risks to both mother and child.
    • Cloned mice have manifested all sorts of genetic defects. Comparable abnormalities would be devastating in humans.
    • In view of the success rate scientists had when they cloned Dolly (the sheep), 29 surrogate moms would be needed to produce one viable human clone.
    • If human cloning was widely practiced, how would the general perception of human beings change? Now, we are all unique and posses individual characteristics. If clones were manufactured to be perfect, would all imperfect real-humans become the minority?
    • Imagine that human cloning has been advanced and perfected. Any plant, animal, or human that that starts to go extinct could be cloned in mass numbers. The Earth has a delicate eco-system and limited resources. Could human cloning lead to an overpopulated planet striped of its resources?
    • Parents, societies, and communities may start to view their children as objects rather than actual human beings.
  • Five Common Fallacies:
    • Is/Ought Confusion – “We’ve never had human cloning in our history. I don’t care how much science has developed in that field; that’s just how we do things.”
    • Either/Or – “If you don’t support human cloning, then you want humanity to fail as a species.
    • Hasty Generalization – “Raelians, that wacko religious cult, supports human cloning, so it must be a bad idea.”
    • False Appeal to Authority – “Michael Jackson was a huge supporter of human cloning, so it must be morally right.”
    • Appeal to Emotion – “If you truly care about the unfortunate sterile couples who are heartbroken because they cannot have a child of their own, then you will support human cloning.”
  • Stakeholders:
    • Doctors and medical professionals: Surely if human cloning was perfected, the medical field would benefit from the research and knowledge gained along the way. However, the rocky road on the way to that goal may not be an easy one. There will be many failed attempts in human cloning, deaths of unborn children, birth defects, and young or adult clones dying at very early ages. The treatments for certain diseases such as AIDS, Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and others could be found through studying the therapeutic cloning process. There is no need for humans to be cloned.
    • Fertility Specialists: Currently, fertility specialists are capable of helping couples get pregnant. However, their abilities are limited because some couple cannot have children of their own. If human cloning were an option, couples unable to conceive could have a clone instead. The fertility specialists would have many more clients, being able to help many more couples. The populations would rise unnaturally faster than before human cloning. The planets natural resources could be in danger of being reduced due to more people inhabiting the earth.
    • Wealthy Parents: Parents who are wealthy would be able to utilize the technology and services to have a clone created for them, because of their ability to pay for it. It is highly likely that wealthy people would benefit from the cloning process much more because of the expense.
    • Poor or average Parents: Parents who are poor or of average means would most likely not be able to afford human cloning. They may wish to have a cloned child, but the expense will exclude them. This may be a source of anger for the lower class.
    • Private companies which specialize in human or pet cloning: They would be able to charge high prices and possibly provide clones to their clients. “A Florida couple paid $155,000 for a clone of their beloved dog (CNN.com)." We know that greed is a powerful motivator. Where will thess companies draw the line? Who will regulate their actions?
    • The Clone: The clone itself deserves to be considered. Currently, parents are able to select their offspring’s “education, social and dietary conditions under which they are raised. But the genetic programming of unborn lives does not just represent an incremental increase in the capacity for parental domination. It is also implies a whole new order of power, a recasting of the relationship between parent and offspring, and indeed a potential convulsion in relations between adult individuals themselves (Bowring).” The first cloned sheep got worldwide attention. Just image the impact on the first cloned humans. The clone would be an object of the parents, the media and the scientists.
  • Stakeholders:
    • The Surrogate Mother: It is the surrogate mother’s uterus which is implanted the embryo of the clone. It is the surrogate mother’s body that will bear the burden of experiments that meet with disaster. Too much is currently unknown about all the factors involved in producing a healthy viable animal clone, let alone a human child. If the experiments harm the surrogate mothers in any way the surrogates are being exploited. It may be important to note that the lower class may be at risk of exploitation. They may agree to be a surrogate for the money, without considering the implications to their health and welfare.
    • Scientists & Physicists: The Scientists and Physicists who are developing this cloning technology have much to gain if they are successful. High paying jobs, recognition within their field, and world fame await them. Some scientists may push ethical and legal boundaries in order to succeed at their goals. It is likely that even a human cloning ban worldwide would not stop their research. On the positive side, if human cloning is allowed the scientists could freely continue to perfect their art and develop even more discoveries and cures for diseases. Ultimately, is research leads to the successful reprogramming of human tissue, so that human bodies can regenerate tissue and organs then human cloning will not even be necessary.
    • The U.S. Government such as: Politicians, Legislators, and the President: Besides a simple political party’s platform for an election campaign, or a special interest group’s latest cause, there are other ways in which a human cloning technology could affect our politics and government. Clones could be used as soldiers instead of U.S. citizens. Would their deaths be somehow rationalized and preferred over non-clones deaths? The government cannot ignore the importance of the cloning technology and all the unlimited possibilities, but they do need to regulate the researchers, so they practice ethical behaviors.
    • America’s Economics: The Industrial Revolution and Internet Revolutions enriched America’s economy. Biotechnology will lead the next economic revolution; countries that fail to research human cloning may suffer. There is economic gain for public and private business. To stay on a level playing field with the rest of the world powers, it is imperative that America continues their research and development or biotechnology such as cloning in order to remain a powerful stable nation. Although this is important the need for ethical standards and restrictions are important.
    • Theologians: Currently, theologians express their unwavering position of opposition against reproductive human cloning. The majority of religions are opposed to human cloning. However, I feel they also see the importance of the research. If human cloning is allowed, theologians will most likely continue to speak out in opposition. They will order their followers to not participate in any part of the process. As our technologies advance there is a need for acceptance among the population. This acceptance can be achieved by the education of the public, restrictions on experiments, and laws set forth to regulated those experiments.
    • Lawyers: Whenever two or more parties disagree on a subject, there will always be a place for lawyers. Some of the founding fathers of our free nation were lawyers. Lawyers understand all the possible loopholes that can be present in laws and contracts. It is in their interest to get involved and draft arguments against both sides of this debate. Whether human cloning is allowed of banned completely, the lawyers will be busy.
  • Conflict of Interest:
    • Conflict of Interest is a situation in which personal needs and interests are at odds with professional obligations. It is a conflict between self-interest and fiduciary obligation. When a conflict of interest exists, the objectivity of the professional is brought into question. (Goree)
    • What are the scientist’s true goals in developing human cloning? Are their motivations rooted in respect for life, curing disease, and selflessness? Or are they motivated by wealth, power, professional advancement, and fame?
    • A private company who specializes in human cloning claims they have already produced a human clone, but they have no proof. Will private companies, like this one, develop the technology of human cloning regardless of any bans on cloning, and sell them to the public? Motivated by wealth, will they break the law in order to clone humans in secret? If this happens there will be no one regulating their activities.
    • If human cloning is allowed then scientists will need to harvest eggs from human females to conduct their experiments. They will also require surrogate human mothers to carry the embryos to term. There could be complications and dangers to the women. If scientists are really desperate to achieve a viable human clone, they may put women at risk to suit their needs. This would be an exploitation of the women. The donors or surrogates may be paid for their services, but they may also be desperate for the money, and not have their safety in mind. Companies that take blood donations are not permitted to pay donors for their blood. There is a fear that drug abusers will be drawn to the quick cash. What if drug abusers are drawn to the being surrogates for human clones? Wouldn’t this possibly endanger their lives if something goes wrong? If they take drugs while carrying a clone fetus they could harm or kill it.
  • Three Basic Moral Principles:
  • Syllogism:
  • Consequential Theory Rule Utilitarianism:
    • I chose to use apply Rule Utilitarianism ; which is that one should follow the moral rule that would produce the most happiness if everyone followed it. We must evaluate the moral rules that are relevant to these kinds of situations and determine which rule would have the highest net utility if everyone followed it. (Goree)
    • First we list moral rules that would be relevant to the situation.
    • Secondly , we determine the net utility of each rule, if everyone followed it.
    • Option A: Human cloning should be allowed. Scientists and Physicists should do all the experiments they want to do, WITHOUT any restrictions or government involvement. Right away we can see that major problems would develop if this were a rule that everyone followed. In regards to human cloning scientists could conduct experiments that harm the surrogate mothers and/or the cloned humans. There are so many unknowns with animal cloning it would be reckless to allow scientists to do whatever they want. There needs to be boundaries set forth to regulate and monitor their experiments. This has a very low net utility because so many humans could possibly be harmed if this were a rule.
    • Option B: Human cloning should NOT be allowed, but banned worldwide. Scientists and Physicists should practice lawful research and experiments, that will help improve people’s lives. They should practice integrity, honesty, and restraint in their experiments. Their goal should NOT be to clone humans, but to better understand the causes of diseases, and try to create cures. If this were a rule that everyone followed, there would be no need for the government to get involved in regulating human cloning. All scientists everywhere would exercise restraint, and not attempt to clone a human. They would instead, work towards “cloning experiments which can provided important observations into a number of important cellular processes, such as nuclear reprogramming, cellular aging, and genomic imprinting (McKinnell).” This rule has a very high net utility because of all the discoveries that could be made without the risks of harming or creating human clones or surrogate mothers.
    • Option C: A person should not be made to suffer. If this were a rule which everyone followed then scientists would not attempt to create a human clone that would most likely be born with birth defects. They would not implant the clone eggs into a surrogate human mother because the risks of harming her are too high. They could, however, continue to study the science of cloning without creating a human clone. They could work at developing the technologies involved for treating diseases. This rule has a very high net utility because people are not made o suffer, but the cellular research could continue.
    • Third , choose the moral rule with the highest net utility.
    • Of all the above moral rules evaluated, the last two rules have the highest net utility if everyone followed them. The two rules can be combined, and applied to the ethical problem.
    • Fourth , apply this rule to the ethical problem under consideration.
    • In conclusion , Rule Utilitarianism would tend to say that human cloning should be banned worldwide. Scientists and Physicists should practice lawful research and experiments, that will help improve people’s lives. They should practice integrity, honesty, and restraint in their experiments. Their goal should not be to clone humans, but to better understand the causes of diseases, and try to create cures. No person should be made to suffer for their experiments. The unpredictable outcomes of human cloning could possibly harm the surrogate mother, or the cloned human in the process. The important goal in this technology lies in the possible discoveries of cures for major disease that exist worldwide. At this time the negative pain and suffering that is required in creating a human clone does not make it morally permissible to pursue.
  • Non-Consequential Theory Kantianism:
    • I chose to apply Kant’s ethical theory, called Kantianism or Deontology. I chose this theory because it is based on doing our moral duty, no matter what our desires might be. Our tools in determining the right thing to do are universality and respect for persons. So, any solution to the problem must pass both these tests. We are in search of the categorical imperative, or the “all the time, no exceptions, moral duty (Goree).”
    • First , we need to consider all possible optional actions.
    • Option A: Human cloning should be allowed. Scientists and Physicists should do all the experiments they want to do, WITHOUT any restrictions or government involvement.
    • Option B: Human cloning should NOT be allowed, but banned worldwide.
    • Option C: A person should not be made to suffer.
    • Second , we apply “ Universality ”. Universality means we should act consistently with the moral rule or principle that we would want everyone to follow. Then we eliminate all options that one could not logically want to be a moral standard for everyone (Goree).
    • This step eliminates:
    • Option A: Human cloning should be allowed. Scientists and Physicists should do all the experiments they want to do, WITHOUT any restrictions or government involvement. Would we want all scientists to have the freedom to perform any experiment they could think of? No, we could not permit this to be a universal law. For human cloning to be allowed, we know that birth defects and harm to the surrogate mother are a high probability. It is not morally permissible to allow this kind of recklessness. Even with restrictions and monitoring, the simple act of implanting a cloned embryo in a surrogate womb is still bound to harm a human in the process. Kant would not support an action that hurt or killed another person.
    • Thirdly , we apply “ Respect for Persons ”. This means we should treat ourselves and others as goals or purposes but never merely as tools or strategies. Then we eliminate all options that exploit anyone.
    • This step eliminates:
    • Option A: Human cloning should be allowed. Scientists and Physicists should do all the experiments they want to do, WITHOUT any restrictions or government involvement. This action would treat the donors, the surrogate mothers, and the human clones as mere tools or strategies in the scientist’s ultimate goal. This action would exploit the people required to create the experiments. This is not a morally permissible action. Kant would not support any action that exploited another human being.
    • Lastly , all the remaining options represent true moral actions.
    • Options remaining after eliminations:
    • Option B: Human cloning should NOT be allowed, but banned worldwide. This option passes both criteria. By banning the action of human cloning we would not be allowing anyone to be exploited. By allowing this to be a universal moral rule, we would not have vast numbers of scientists attempting to create a human clone. A process which would harm many embryos, clone fetuses, and surrogate mothers.
    • Option C: A person should not be made to suffer. This option passes both criteria. We would want this to be a universal law that everyone follows. This illustrates a respect for persons. It is morally permissible to accept and follow this moral rule.
    • In conclusion , Kantian Ethics would tend to say that human cloning should be banned worldwide, and no persons should be made to suffer, because it is not morally permissible. These options are consistent with the idea of “respect for persons” and we would want this to be a universal law for everyone to follow. This decision does not exploit anyone and demonstrates moral standards that we would logically want everyone to follow.
  • Ethics is Larger than Law: “ Ethical considerations, ultimately, are always more important than legal ones. While we have a moral obligation to obey laws, it is possible that some of our laws are themselves immoral or unjust because they enforce or reward behavior that is contrary to good ethics (Goree).” Therefore, if the laws allow for human cloning to be practiced, then we must ask ourselves if this law facilitates an unethical action. Many people act unethically, but are doing nothing legally wrong. They may be acting within the law, but at the same time exploiting or harming another individual, or group. For example, a U.S. company is banned from cloning a human being, so they send the DNA out of the country to be cloned. The human clone is born, sent back into the country, and sold to the U.S. customer. The company is acting unethically, and their actions are immorally wrong. Ethics is larger than the law because it holds a person’s conduct to a higher standard than law alone.
  • Course of Action:
    • Human reproductive cloning should be banned worldwide. This decision does not exploit or harm anyone, and demonstrates moral standards that we would logically want everyone to follow. Perhaps, when the probability of a much higher success rate can be guaranteed, then the subject should be reevaluated and debated utilizing all the new findings, to decide whether it is morally permissible. All the stakeholders should be considered, and none should be exploited.
    • Therapeutic cloning research should be allowed to be practiced, but closely monitored and regulated. This technology has the potential to uncover treatments and cures for deadly diseases. The net utility of all the possible people who could benefit from advancements of this technology are great.
    • The government should pass legislation that will ban human cloning nationwide. They should not leave it up to the states. It does not seem right that one state allows the unethical mistreatment of a human life, but the neighboring state does not. When a couple from Florida hires a California company to clone their pet, they are crossing state lines. Therefore, the Federal government should be more involved.
    • The government should also discuss the issue of human cloning with other countries, in an effort to convince them to ban human cloning as well.
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    • CNN.com. “Florida couple clones beloved dog for $155,000”. Cable News Network , 29 Jan 2009. Web. 10 July 2010. <http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/01/29/cloned.dog/index.html?iref=allsearch>.
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