Playing God

“Cloning represents a very clear, powerful, and immediate example in which we are in danger of turning procreation into manufacture,” as said by Leon Kass, a successful physician, scientist, educator, and author. For many years, the issue of cloning humans has been debated between countries, religious groups, and scientists. Cloning brings many advantages to society, such as having a prolonged life and eliminating birth defects. However, many complications, including death of the mother giving birth to the clone, prevent scientists from pursuing the goal of a successful human clone. Because of the cost, uncertainty, and humane consequences involved in producing the clone, human cloning is an unnecessary addition to our society.

Although scientists are working their way to successfully clone a human, there are various complications involved in the process of cloning. A clone requires an old human cell from which the clone will be produced. Because the original cell is advanced in age, the clone itself ages faster than normal. In addition, the clone may not develop as quickly as a human who was not cloned. Genetic labs have estimated that a human clone will take an estimate of 12 to 24 months to produce due to the amount of preparation and to make sure that there is no danger to the mother giving birth to the clone. According to research done by Utah University, the success rate of cloning is 0.1% to 3% because of the multiple genetic mutations that could occur. In addition, the pregnancy might not be successful. As a result of the cloning process which creates an entirely new form of genes, new human illnesses could form. The lack of research and resources prevents scientists from cloning.

Due to the amount of equipment needed and other levels of research that must take place before beginning the process, cloning requires an immense amount of money. One human clone would cost about 1.7 million dollars. Because of the high cost, only wealthy people would be able to afford cloning. Since cloning would be an option for infertile couples, the hoping-to-be parents would spend money on the clone that may not grow the way they wish it to. To support the cloning program, a nation would have to fund the program, potentially causing their government to go into debt due to scientific research.

Some may argue that cloning humans is an advantage to society because of the medical and scientific advances it brings. By cloning healthy heart cells and injecting them into defected areas, heart attacks can be reversed. If a child was born with a life-affecting disease such as Down’s Syndrome, the defective genes could be replaced by healthy and normal genes. Organs that have stopped working could be replaced without having people donate their own organs, such as kidneys and livers. However, none of these listed advances have been tested. Even if the ideas were to be tested, the results are unknown. These are simply theories and have not been proven true. Human cloning is a matter of life and death and should not be based on theories.

Human cloning affects humans evolving; consequently, it diminishes the value of life and raising a child. It affects religious and ethical views as well. To religious groups and others, cloning seems like an act of “playing god”. Moreover, cloning humans would cause segregation between the naturally born humans versus the genetically modified and engineered humans. Also, by cloning someone who has already passed decreases the value of human life because the clone would be replacing the life the original once had. The enjoyment of raising a child and seeing how they develop and grow as a person would be dissipated since parents would not consider the new and profound additions the child would bring to the family and society.

Leon Kass has conducted research on the issue of human cloning and has come to the conclusion that human cloning should not be done. Human cloning not only goes against scientific and religious views, but it is also viewed as unethical and immoral. Because of the uncertainty and inability to conduct sufficient research, human cloning should not be encouraged further. Humans should not take the path of cloning in hopes for an advanced future as it will not ensure the originality of human nature.

"Laboratorio de Ciencias Genomicas" from Ismael villafranco via Flickr

Genetic Lab “Laboratorio de Ciencias Genomicas” from Ismael villafranco via Flickr