The setting is a small college’s biology class where only three students out of twenty students have come to class because it is the last day before spring break begins. The three students’ names are Andy, Kristen, and Eric. Seeing only three students in the class, the professor changes his lecture material into a class discussion involving the recent scientific breakthrough in the field of cloning. During the discussion, the professor explains how the cloning of a sheep named Dolly was done. In addition, the students and the professor share their views on the advantageous and the detrimental side of cloning either humans or animals.
Professor: Good morning class! I am sure that you all have heard about the recent scientific discovery in the process of cloning. If not, allow me to fill you in on this current controversial scientific discovery. Last week, a Scottish scientist named Dr. Ian Wilmut from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, successfully cloned an adult sheep. I said adult sheep because scientists already have the ability to clone sheep and calves, for farming purposes, from undifferentiated embryonic cells. Is there any questions so far?
Kristen: Um, yes, professor. Would you please elaborate on the term undifferentiated cell? Also, the word cloning sounds like something you would hear from science fiction movies or novels–isn’t the cloning process very complicated?
Professor: To answer your first question, Kristen, an undifferentiated cell is a cell that has the ability to create other specific cells, such as skin, hair, brain, and muscles, as it activates certain genes on chromosomes. For your second question, the concept of cloning is really not that complicated to understand. Allow me to explain as I split Dr. Wilmut’s cloning process into three steps. During the first step, udder cells from a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe were taken and placed into a culture dish. The culture dish, containing low levels of nutrients, starved the cells, causing them to stop their dividing and hibernate its active genes. Meanwhile, the nucleus with its DNA from an unfertilized egg–also called an oocyte–taken from a Scottish Blackface ewe, is sucked out with a hair thin pipette, leaving the empty egg with all its cellular tools needed to produce an embryo. By the way, this process is called the nuclear transfer. Okay, now onto the second step; the egg cell and a donor cell are placed next to each other and fused together, like soap bubbles, by an electric pulse.
Cloning is Ethically and Morally Wrong
Cloning is Ethically and Morally Wrong
The question shakes us all to our very souls. For humans to consider the cloning of one another forces them all to question the very concepts of right and wrong. The cloning of any species, whether they be human or non-human, is ethically and morally wrong. Scientists and ethicists alike have debated the implications of human and non-human cloning extensively since 1997 when scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland produced Dolly. No direct conclusions have been drawn, but compelling arguments state that cloning of both human and non-human species results in harmful physical and psychological effects on both groups. The following issues dealing with cloning and its ethical and moral implications will be addressed: cloning of human beings would result in severe psychological effects in the cloned child, and that the cloning of non-human species subjects them to unethical or moral treatment for human needs.
The possible physical damage that could be done if human cloning became a reality is obvious when one looks at the sheer loss of life that occurred before the birth of Dolly. Less than ten percent of the initial transfers survive to be healthy creatures. There were 277 trial implants of nuclei. Nineteen of those 277 were deemed healthy while the others were discarded. Five of those nineteen survived, but four of them died within ten days of birth of sever abnormalities. Dolly was the only one to survive (Fact: Adler 1996). If those nuclei were human, “the cellular body count would look like sheer carnage” (Logic: Kluger 1997). Even Ian Wilmut, one of the scientists accredited with the cloning phenomenon at the Roslin Institute agrees, “the more you interfere with reproduction, the more danger there is of things going wrong” (Expert Opinion). The psychological effects of cloning are less obvious, but none the less, very plausible. In addition to physical harms, there! are worries about the psychological harms on cloned human children. One of those harms is the loss of identity, or sense of uniqueness and individuality. Many argue that cloning crates serious issues of identity and individuality and forces humans to consider the definition of self. Gilbert Meilaender commented on the importance of genetic uniqueness not only to the child but to the parent as well when he appeared before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission on March 13, 1997. He states that “children begin with a kind of genetic independence of [the parent].