The Ethics of Cloning
A study of the ethical and potentially profitable issues surrounding mammalian cloning.
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The paper discusses the two topics of debate which have sprung up since mammalian cloning made headlines – whether cloning is ethically correct, and whether it can become a profitable business. The paper shows how the two sets of questions have in the intervening five years become more and more tightly bound together, especially as the process of mammalian cloning has proved to be more technically difficult than once assumed. Faced with scores of maimed and partial individuals preceding each healthy clone, many scientists and many of those outside the scientific community have spent a great deal of time wondering whether it is ethical to go forward with such research, aside from the practical questions of whether cloning could ever become economically viable.
“Even those who wholeheartedly support cloning are in general morally opposed to the cloning of entire human individuals. Such an action is seen to violate some of our most deeply held beliefs about the sacredness and uniqueness of the individual. As a result, most cloning research today is focused on creating and then harvesting stem cells that might then be induced to grow into what are essentially spare parts. Thus a person who is blind might have new corneas grown for him while the diabetic might have a new pancreas grown for her.”