For many years now, reproductive cloning or human cloning has become a hot and controversial topic, especially among religiously communities. Opponents of the cloning say that this technology questions God’s role and existence. But most of all, those who oppose this procedure question the quality of life that a cloned individual would have.
One of the reasons for the differing opinions people have about reproductive cloning is the complexity of the issue itself. Needless to say, artificial cloning is something that you can easily understand or explain. In other words, human cloning is a process that involves various elements. But what really is reproductive cloning?
In basic terms, human cloning is the technology that involves producing a genetically identical copy of a human being. More importantly, reproductive cloning creates copied cells or tissues of an individual. Yes, this technology may be likened to the process that takes place when twins are conceived in a mother’s womb. The only difference is that the birth of human twins occurs naturally, but the artificial counterpart uses technology.
So is reproductive cloning is good or bad? It would help to know its pros and cons to be able to answer that.
List of Pros of Reproductive Cloning
1. Reproductive cloning helps people fulfill their dreams of having children.
Infertile parents can now have a chance of being able to have kids of their own. Those who want to have twins will also be able to make that wish come true.
2. Reproductive cloning can help cure life-threatening diseases.
When a child is cloned to produce matching tissues that can be used to treat a particular health condition, then human cloning would be the next best thing to the discovery of technologies that has forever changed human life.
3. Reproductive cloning can give a new meaning to genetic modification.
This technology helps parents choose specific traits for their children, even. That way, parents who want to choose their child’s sex, eye color and other physical attributes, will be able to fulfill their plans. Moreover, defective genes could be eliminated with cloning a human’s body’s good cells.
4. Reproductive cloning allows faster recovery from traumatic experiences.
Recovery times can be lowered and healing could be faster by cloning cells to help the recovery process. So, this goes without saying the human cloning can help athletes heal faster, be it a torn ACL or a life-threatening condition.
5. Reproductive cloning allows for organ replacement.
Proponents believe that human cloning would lessen the number of people waiting for an organ replacement.
6. Reproductive cloning could aid in genetic research.
Using the cloning technology, researchers could better understand the composition of every person’s genes. As a result, genetic diseases could be eliminated.
List of Cons of Reproductive Cloning
1. Reproductive cloning can increase the chance of medical malpractice.
Because doctors or scientists are given the power to change a person’s genetic makeup, it could also mean that mistakes can be made. If that happens, claims of medical malpractice could occur.
2. Reproductive cloning creates a lack of diversity within the human population.
When you clone a person, it means that his genetic attributes are also duplicated. As a result, many humans will all look alike. In other words, human cloning can limit the variation among the race.
3. Reproductive cloning could speed up the aging process.
Cloning takes its base information from adult cells that could have been imprinted with specific timelines. This makes the possibility of enhancing the aging process more real.
4. Reproductive cloning can put people’s lives in danger.
Ninety-five percent of cloning done have failed in the form of miscarriages, stillbirths and other life-threatening events. Besides, many experts believe that there is no clone that is fully healthy. This is because the technology cannot be developed without putting humans and the safety of the clones in grave danger.
5. Reproductive cloning is interfering with nature.
Religious and other opponents of this technology are saying that this process disrupts nature because procreation is something that shouldn’t be tampered with. They feel that interfering with how nature work would have a domino effect on the human race. But one of the arguments that people have against artificial cloning is that people are trying to play God by creating life in unnatural ways.
6. Reproductive cloning could create a division among people.
Cloned human beings may not be considered humans by other people. This could create division and unrest. Many fear that this could only result in further problems among the population.
7. Reproductive cloning might lead to a whole set of problems that we have not been equipped yet.
DNA is something that people shouldn’t be messing around with. If the cloning process is not successful, there is a high chance that the DNA of the host could be altered or worse, damaged. When that happens, it could create a whole new set of issues that we may not have any knowledge on.
8. Reproductive cloning can be abused.
Many opponents fear that the cloning technology could be abused by people with vested interests. Some might use it for criminal or unlawful acts. A lot of people are also scared that if reproductive cloning becomes a commonplace, people might be cloned unwillingly by unscrupulous individuals.
9. Reproductive cloning is considered wrong in so many levels.
For one, due to the current state of the science, it could take more than a hundred pregnancies before a single successful clone is achieved. For another, a lot of evidence show that most of the cloned babies are not healthy, leading to genetic defects, premature aging and worse, death. Even if a cloned child may live longer, it could be infected with certain diseases or might be too fragile.
There are many reasons to support or to oppose human cloning. For one, a successful clone won’t be as perfect as a naturally conceived human being. It is also possible that it will be brought up differently. But if cloning is going to be used for a good purpose, then it can help improve humanity, as it can help cure incurable diseases.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.