The Human Cloning Era: On the doorstep to our posthuman future
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Human reproductive cloning came to the public´s attention when Dolly the sheep was cloned in Scotland in 1997. This news quickly spread around the world causing both excitements at the possibilities of what cloning techniques could offer, as well as apprehension about the ethical, social and legal implications should human reproductive cloning become possible. Many international organisations and governments were concerned about the impact of human reproductive cloning on human health, dignity and human rights. To this day, many institutions have drafted resolutions, protocols and position statements outlining their concerns. This paper outlines some of the major ethical issues surrounding human reproductive cloning and the position towards this novel technique taken by three important international organisations - Council of Europe, World Health Organization, and United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization - expressed in different regulatory frameworks. Proponents of human cloning occasionally point out that cloned humans are already among us in the form of twins - people with identical sets of DNA - so what is the problem? Besides avoiding the fact that natural twins are always siblings, whereas a clone could be the twin of a parent or grandparent, this observation ignores a crucial moral difference: natural twins arrive as rare creations, not as specifically designed products. Instead of being an uncontrolled, self-regulated evolutionary process, creation of man through reproductive cloning are shifting from being natural to a state of instrumentality where parental interests constitutes what is important. This shift will inevitably lead to the child being a means for some other end (parental interests). However, this is not the same as being subdued into genetic determinism, but the point brought forward is the child´s lack of freedom caused by the interests of the parents. In this sense the clone´s genome constitutes a heavy backpack because of our pre-knowledge of its physical building blocks - or in other words its potentiality. Even though the argument of genetic determinism is a weak one, our subconscious"forces"us to create hopes upon the child because of its potentiality. No longer is the evolution the creator with the dices of randomness. A new gambler is in town and this time the dices are equilateral.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Centrum för tillämpad etik , 2003.
Ethics, uman dignity, human rights, human reproductive cloning, Immanuel Kant, categorical imperative, equality, non-discrimination, eugenics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-1858ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--03/01--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-1858DiVA: diva2:19184