1. Cloning is a form of reproduction in which offspring do not result from the fortuitous union of the ovum and sperm (sexual reproduction) but from the deliberate reproduction of the genetic makeup of another individual individual (asexual reproduction). Human cloning, therefore, is the asexual production of a new human organism that, at all stages of human development, is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human being.
2. Human cloning is achieved by a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The process involves the introduction of core material from a human somatic cell (any biological cell that forms the body of an organism, although for the purposes of SCNT, usually a skin cell) into an oocyte (a female ovum that has not yet has gone through the process to become an ovule) whose own nucleus has been eliminated or inactivated. The oocyte becomes an egg that now no longer needs to be fertilized, since it contains the right amount of genetic material. This new entity begins to divide and grow, producing a cloned human embryo.
3. Cloning does not produce an exact genetic replication of the donor (the person from whom the genetic material was taken to produce the cloned embryo). All human cells, including ovules and sperm, contain small energy-producing organelles called mitochondria. Mitochondria contain a small portion of DNA that specifies the genetic instructions to produce several essential mitochondrial proteins. SCNT transfers the nucleus to the oocyte that contains the mitochondrial DNA of the egg donor. As in sexual reproduction, the embryo produced by cloning contains genetic material from two different individuals.
4. Due to missing but crucial interactions between the sperm and the egg, errors of genetic reprogramming are inherent in cloning. This leads to randomized, generalized and “epigenetic” genetic defects that are both known causes of cancer. In addition to “epigenetic” defects, cells derived from cloning that are injected back into the donor are rejected due to epigenetic misstatement, genetic differences due to mitochondrial DNA, and the incompatibility of too immature cells to interact with tissue adult environments. This is the main obstacle to using cloned embryo material for the treatment of diseases.
5. The use of the terms therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning is misleading. All cloning produces a human embryo and, therefore, is reproductive in nature. The most accurate and neutral phrasing is cloning to produce children and cloning for biomedical research. These terms make a distinction between cloning that results in the creation of an embryo for further destruction and one that is created to continue the normal process of human development.
6. The main moral objection to cloning for research is that it creates human life for the sole purpose of destroying it; use a human embryo simply as a means to an end. To justify the killing of these human beings for their “spare parts,” we have to ignore the scientific understanding of what a member of the human species does and discuss the metaphysical definition of what constitutes personality. ” that many people oppose the cloning of human embryos for valid religious and ethical reasons, the problem is not divided along the typical left / right political spectrum, even the defenders of freedom of choice and others who have secular political views and / or progressives find enough ethical concerns to oppose the procedure. “Daniel Sulmasy, a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Chicago, told National Public Radio (NPR):” This is a case in which one deliberately sets out to create an to be human with the sole purpose of destroying that human being. . I’m from the school that thinks that’s morally wrong, no matter how good it can be. “
7. Currently, the main justification for therapeutic cloning is as a means of collecting embryonic stem cells, a process that ends with human life, for research purposes. Despite years of media exaggeration and billions of dollars dedicated to the company, embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) has never produced any clinically proven therapy, and probably never will. As the Washington Post wrote earlier this week, “few experts think that the production of stem cells by cloning is likely to be useful from the medical point of view soon or possibly.” ESCR has been one of the most expensive boondoggles in biomedical history.
8. Cloning not only aggravates ESCR’s ethical concerns, but adds a significant amount of other moral problems. This Machiavellian approach would be difficult to justify even if the ESCR led to miraculous cures. But research with harvested embryonic stem cells seems to be an unnecessarily speculative enterprise and a waste of money, life and medical research. The use of adult stem cells, however, has none of the ethical problems and much less biomedical complications of ESCR. In fact, more than 70 types of therapies have been developed using adult stem cells.
9. As explained by the Presidential Council on Bioethics in 2005,
The prospect of cloning to produce children, which would be a radically new form of procreation, raises deep concerns about identity and individuality, the meaning of having children, the difference between procreation and manufacturing, and the relationship between generations. Cloning-for-biomedical research also raises new questions about the manipulation of some human beings for the benefit of others, the freedom and value of biomedical research, our obligation to heal the sick (and their limits), and respect and protection due to nascent human life. In addition, legislative debates on human cloning raise questions about the relationship between science and society, especially about whether society can or should exercise ethical and prudential control over biomedical technology and the performance of biomedical research. Rarely has such an apparently small innovation raised such large questions.