Reproductive Cloning – Arguments Against Its Use

Many arguments decrying reproductive cloning (RC) are based on religious beliefs. For example, the Vatican Instruction on Bioethics, Dignitas Personae, states that “human cloning is intrinsically illicit”. Human cloning “seeks to give rise to a new human being without a connection to the act of reciprocal self-giving between the spouses and, more radically, without any link to sexuality”.1

Dignitas Personae also makes secular arguments. The document notes that reproductive cloning “would impose on the resulting individual a predetermined genetic identity”. Dignitas Personae terms this “biological slavery”. Other secular arguments against RC include

· Cloning may produce classes of people who are subservient to their “creators”

· Cloning will devalue and distort traditional family relationships

· The new individual will be used as a means to various ends, rather than being an end in herself

· The new individual will be hindered in developing his own future

The first argument may be thought of in terms of the armies of clones created to serve the Galactic Republic and later the Galactic Empire in the film saga Star Wars. Battle scenes show vast armies of clones marching to war, their seemingly endless numbers extending to the horizon. Aldous Huxley’s dystopia of Brave New World also features a clone underclass. In this futuristic society, cloning is made possible by the “Bokansky Process”. A human egg is processed to yield anywhere from eight to 96 “buds”. In time, each bud will develop into an embryo and ultimately into fully-formed human clones. The Delta and Epsilon clones perform physical work. Alphas and Betas are the scientists, artists, and philosophers. For more details please visit these sites:-

In our society, those opposed to cloning believe that mass production of clones is a likely end-result of legalization of reproductive cloning. Wealthy citizens could own dozens or hundreds of clones – human beings who are, in effect, slaves. Thus, cloning would lead to gross violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.2

It is also said that reproductive cloning will lead to breakdowns in society’s traditional family structures. With legalized RC, children could come into the world without the necessity of a father and mother. Any single individual could have a child via RC, provided an egg source was available. Men would need to secure an egg for fertilization. Women could have their own cell nuclei fused with one of their own enucleated eggs. Those who oppose RC fear a potentially profound delinking of family-love-sexual reproduction. Moreover, if families break down the collapse of society as a whole might not be far behind. Thus, the advent of reproductive cloning is perceived as a formidable threat to “our” way of life.


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