The Cloning Debate
DeVry Institute of Technology, New York
Scientists are now able to clone living things. The ethics surrounding this development have spurred a fierce debate. Arguments for and against cloning have been presented from a variety of sources.
Over the past century, there have been many developments in the field of human biology. One of the most controversial topics to have emerged in recent years is that of cloning, especially human cloning. A clone is “a group of genetically identical offspring produced by asexual reproduction, involving the development of an entire organism from a single cell” (Harrison & Waites, 1997, p. 85). As with any controversial topic, many people have strong feelings about whether human cloning should be allowed or not. Jorge L. A. Garcia (2000) finds that, “Certainly, there is good reason to find the prospect of human cloning troubling. It appears in several ways to endanger society and those involved as donors or in gestation”(p. 92). James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA (as cited in Stock, 2002, p. 12) asks, "If we could make better humans, why shouldn't we?". On the other hand, “Dr. Severino Antinori, the Italian fertility doctor planning to push ahead with cloning, says couple’s desperation and fertility treatment’s unreliability only prove the need for human cloning technology” (Saar, 2001).
There is some debate about whether cloning is really safe. So far we have not been able to observe the effects of cloning on human subjects, though that day may not be far off (Princey Foundation, n.d.). However, in cases of animal cloning “only a few per cent of cloned embryos survive to birth and some of the survivors are unhealthy or develop illnesses later in life” (Cohen, 2002), such as heart disease or immune system abnormalities (Gibbs, Reed, & Thomas, 2001). Some research into the effects of cloning on cattle suggests that problems arise when genes are not replicated properly in