Benefits and ethical issues in the field of reproduction science. – human cloning
Cloning is an extremely significant issue in the field of modern reproduction science. Myriad ethical issues arise when cloning, especially in humans, is considered seriously.
Introduction: The researcher would define the concept of cloning and look into the history of cloning as a viable process in human beings. The term “cloning” refers to the techniques of producing clones. There is considerable confusion regarding the meaning of this term. First, it refers to “reproductive cloning”, i.e., producing an entire animal from a single cell by asexual reproduction. Secondly, it refers to “therapeutic cloning”, which has scientific and therapeutic applications and does not involve the creation of an entire animal. The scope of this project would be restricted to “human reproductive cloning”, i.e., the creation of a human being who is genetically identical to another.
Need for cloning: The researcher would delve into the potential need for reproductive cloning and its benefits and medical necessities. It is seen that a nucleus taken from an adult animal can be reprogrammed to produce a complete animal. Although this research is still in a nascent stage it has much significance in human reproduction science. It will improve our knowledge of physiological processes with insights into the causes and transmission of various diseases as well as the ageing process.
Legal aspects of cloning: The researcher would consider the legalities attached to the process and weigh the implications there-of in cloning, particularly in the field of human reproduction.
Ethical issues: The researcher would look into the implications and the ethical issues involved in this process, which are, illustratively:
· Limiting the role of prior determination of characteristics in offsprings so as to preserve genetic diversity.
· The probability of having defective pregnancies or grossly malformed births in the context of cloning giving rise to infeasible implantable embryos.
· The moral acceptance/license of introducing cloning – viz., for sterile / homosexual couples who want biological offsprings?
· How would a child born by cloning, experience life - as a unique individual, a genetic “prisoner”, a twin of its genetic donor or a time lag?
· Reproductive cloning could cause “a fundamental upheaval of the relationship between genetic identity and personal identity in its biological and cultural dimensions” and how could, if at all, a viable trade-off to this conflict be achieved.
· Further, asexual reproduction could destroy the concept of family.
Conclusion As evident from the above presentation, the issue of cloning raises debates about identity and individuality, the concepts of bearing children, the differences between natural procreation, surrogate parenthood and manufacture, and the evolving relationships across the generations. It is expected that the research findings would help resolve and narrow down the areas of contention and provide certain acceptable and objective platforms for further purposeful research.