Cloning <ul><li>is the process of producing populations of genetically-identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria , insects or plants reproduce asexually . Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments ( molecular cloning ), cells (cell cloning), or organisms . More generally, the term refers to the production of multiple copies of a product such as digital media or software . </li></ul>
Human cloning <ul><li>Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing or previously existing human . The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning; human clones in the form of identical twins are commonplace, with their cloning occurring during the natural process of reproduction. There are two commonly discussed types of human cloning: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells from an adult for use in medicine and is an active area of research: while reproductive cloning would involve making cloned humans. No one is sure if reproductive cloning has been performed. Although, many people believe it has even though it is illegal in most countries </li></ul>
<ul><li>The various forms of human cloning are controversial. There have been numerous demands for all progress in the human cloning field to be halted. Some people and groups oppose therapeutic cloning, but most scientific, governmental and religious organizations oppose reproductive cloning. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and other scientific organizations have made public statements suggesting that human reproductive cloning be banned until safety issues are resolved. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The first human hybrid human clone was created in November 1998, by American Cell Technologies. It was created from a man's leg cell, and a cow's egg whose DNA was removed. It was destroyed after 12 days. Since a normal embryo implants at 14 days, Dr Robert Lanza , ACT's director of tissue engineering, told the Daily Mail newspaper that the embryo could not be seen as a person before 14 days. While making an embryo, which may have resulted in complete human had it been allowed to come to term, according to ACT: "[ACT's] aim was 'therapeutic cloning' not 'reproductive cloning'" </li></ul>
<ul><li>On January, 2008, Wood and Andrew French, Stemagen's chief scientific officer in California , announced that they successfully created the first 5 mature human embryos using DNA from adult skin cells, aiming to provide a source of viable embryonic stem cells . Dr. Samuel Wood and a colleague donated skin cells, and DNA from those cells was transferred to human eggs. It is not clear if the embryos produced would have been capable of further development, but Dr. Wood stated that if that were possible, using the technology for reproductive cloning would be both unethical and illegal. The 5 cloned embryos, created in Stemagen Corporation lab, in La Jolla , were destroyed. </li></ul>
Why does the Church oppose human cloning? Cloning is a depersonalized way to reproduce, in which human beings are manufactured in the laboratory to preset specifications. It is not a worthy way to bring a new human being into the world.
Cloning: Threat to Respect of Life Commandment 4: You shall honor your mother and father Commandment 5: You shall not kill
Threat to Family In the cloning process the basic relationships of the human person are perverted: filiation, consanguinity, kinship, parenthood. A woman can be the twin sister of her mother, lack a biological father and be the daughter of her grandfather.
Threat to Life Itself A prohibition of cloning which would be limited to preventing the birth of a cloned child, but which would still permit the cloning of an embryo-foetus, would involve experimentation on embryos and foetuses and would require their suppression before birth—a cruel, exploitative way of treating human beings.
Threat to Life Itself In any case, such experimentation is immoral because it involves the arbitrary use of the human body (by now decidedly regarded as a machine composed of parts) as a mere research tool. The human body is an integral part of every individual's dignity and personal identity, and it is not permissible to use women as a source of ova for conducting cloning experiments.
Respect to the Dignity of the Human Person The idea is fostered that some individuals can have total dominion over the existence of others, to the point of programming their biological identity—selected according to arbitrary or purely utilitarian criteria—which, although not exhausting man's personal identity, which is characterized by the spirit, is a constitutive part of it.
Respect to the Dignity of the Human Person This selective concept of man will have, among other things, a heavy cultural fallout beyond the—numerically limited—practice of cloning, since there will be a growing conviction that the value of man and woman does not depend on their personal identity but only on those biological qualities that can be appraised and therefore selected.
Respect to the Dignity of the Human Person Human cloning must also be judged negative with regard to the dignity of the person cloned, who enters the world by virtue of being the "copy" (even if only a biological copy) of another being: this practice paves the way to the clone's radical suffering, for his psychic identity is jeopardized by the real or even by the merely virtual presence of his "other".
Respect to the Dignity of the Human Person In a democratic, pluralistic system, the first guarantee of each individual's freedom is established by unconditionally respecting human dignity at every phase of life, regardless of the intellectual or physical abilities one possesses or lacks. In human cloning the necessary condition for any society begins to collapse: that of treating man always and everywhere as an end, as a value, and never as a mere means or simple object.
Respect to the Dignity of the Human Person At the level of human rights, the possibility of human cloning represents a violation of the two fundamental principles on which all human rights are based: the principle of equality among human beings and the principle of non-discrimination.
Created in Love and Self-Giving Indeed, as the Instruction Donum Vitae , published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, affirms: "The human person must be accepted in his parents' act of union and love; the generation of a child must therefore be the fruit of that mutual giving which is realized in the conjugal act, wherein the spouses cooperate as servants and not as masters in the work of the Creator who is Love.
Created in Love and Self-Giving In reality, the origin of a human person is the result of an act of giving. The one conceived must be the fruit of his parents' love. He cannot be desired or conceived as the product of an intervention of medical or biological techniques; that would be equivalent to reducing him to an object of scientific technology".
Created in God’s Image and Likeness "It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its utter gratuitousness, its beauty and its invitation to freedom and responsibility. It is the outlook of those who do not presume to take possession of reality but instead accept it as a gift, discovering in all things the reflection of the Creator and seeing in every person his living image" ( Evangelium vitae , n. 83).
The spiritual soul, which is the essential constituent of every subject belonging to the human species and is created directly by God, cannot be generated by the parents, produced by artificial fertilization or cloned. - REFLECTIONS ON CLONING
No one is a copy. We are all unique creations and not the result of cloning. We are the expression of the life of an Other who is the Life : “He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him” ( John 1:7). Everybody bears the seal of mystery and everyone is marked by desire for the Absolute, the trademark indicating that God created us in his own image and likeness (cf. Genesis 1:27).
Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.
References: <ul><li>PONTIFICIA ACADEMIA PRO VITA : Reflections On Cloning </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0107.asp </li></ul><ul><li>http://thepopeblog.blogspot.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/cloning.shtml#humans </li></ul><ul><li>www.vatican.va </li></ul>
Church’s arguments against Cloning <ul><li>Irrefutable probability of the human character of the embryos obtained </li></ul><ul><li>The dignity of the human embryo </li></ul><ul><li>The embryo has human dignity, even when it consists of only one cell </li></ul><ul><li>Personality of the embryo </li></ul><ul><li>Inhumanity in the production and consequent destruction of embryos created by cell nuclear replacement </li></ul><ul><li>Human cloning is contrary to the dignity of life and procreation </li></ul><ul><li>Cloning of human embryos is contrary to the dignity of the family </li></ul>
Benefit for Plant and Animal Cloning Moreover, there is a place for research, including cloning, in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, wherever it answers a need or provides a significant benefit for man or for other living beings, provided that the rules for protecting the animal itself and the obligation to respect the biodiversity of species are observed.
What is human cloning and how is it related to stem cell research? In human cloning, the DNA from the nucleus of a person’s body cell is inserted into an egg whose own genetic material has been removed, and the egg is then stimulated to begin embryonic development. The resulting cloned embryo would genetically be an almost identical twin to the person supplying the body cell. This research overlaps with the stem cell issue. That is, human cloning might be done to create an embryo who will be destroyed to provide stem cells genetically matched to a patient, so the cells will not be rejected as a foreign tissue. But some cloning research is done for other purposes—for example, to create embryos with devastating illnesses from the body cells of sick patients, to study the early progress of that disease. Most embryonic stem cell research involves embryos created by in vitro fertilization, not cloning.
Why does the Church oppose human cloning? Cloning is a depersonalized way to reproduce, in which human beings are manufactured in the laboratory to preset specifications. It is not a worthy way to bring a new human being into the world. When done for stem cell research, it involves the moral wrong of all embryonic stem cell research (destroying an innocent human life for possible benefit to others) plus an additional wrong: It creates human beings solely in order to kill them for their cells. This is the ultimate reduction of a fellow human being to a mere means, to an instrument of other people’s wishes.
Does opposition to cloning and embryonic stem cell research come only from one theological or political view? No. Serious moral concerns about these practices have been raised by an array of both religious and secular groups, including some who disagree with the Catholic Church about abortion—Friends of the Earth, the United Methodist Church, etc. The human cloning ban supported by the Church has been approved by the House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Many other countries (including Canada, France, Australia, Germany and Norway) have passed similar bans. Opposition to the idea of treating early human life as a mere object or commodity in the laboratory transcends religious and political division.
INTERVENTION OF H.E. MONS. RENATO R. MARTINO AT THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION "ON INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AGAINST THE REPRODUCTIVE CLONING OF HUMAN BEINGS" Monday, 19 November 2001 The act of cloning is a predetermined act which forces the image and likeness of the donor and is actually a form of imposing dominion over another human being which denies the human dignity of the child and makes him or her a slave to the will of others. The child would be seen as an object and a product of one’s fancy rather than as a unique human being, equal in dignity to those who ‘created’ him or her. The practice of cloning would usurp the role of creator and would thus be seen as an offence before God.