Cloning humans has recently become a possibility that seems much more feasible today than it was twenty years ago. Cloning is a method that involves the production of a group of cells or organisms that all derive from a single individual. It is not known when or how cloning humans really became a possibility, but it is known that there are two possible ways that we can clone humans. The first way involves splitting an embryo into several halves and creating many new individuals from the embryo. The second method of cloning, a human involves taking cells from an already existing human being and cloning them, in turn, creating other individuals that are identical to that particular person. Keeping these two methods in mind, two very important questions arise on the technological and ethical sides of this issue.
First a sheep was cloned, now it could to be a human being! Sheep embryos have some characteristics that make cloning them much easier than cloning human embryos. Even with these better odds, over 270 attempts were needed before Dolly (the only survival of the cloned sheep) was born in Scotland in 1996. Many foetal lambs that were carried to the term were born with health problems, including malformed kidneys, and all but Dolly subsequently died prematurely.
There have been many controversies related to cloning, but the overall possibility of cloning humans is one that we should accept as a possible reality for the future. Arguments have risen both for and against the cloning of humans.
The creation of Dolly opened up remarkable prospects for repairing tissues and organs, because cloning proved that an adult cell that has been specialised to do a particular job-say, to be liver or blood unit-can “unlearn” its role and be reprogrammed to do something different. For example, in the future cloning might allow a cancer patient whose bone marrow has been wiped out by radiation to be treated with bone marrow grown from another cell of his own body, this process is not possible right now.
In contrast to some of the religious leaders, Muslim philosophers and leaders testified before the National Bio-ethics Advisory Commission (commission that sets rules and standards for the subjects relating ethics and religion) they feel that embryo and cloning research might provide discoveries that would lead to an appropriate way to counter infertility.
The first controversy is whether or not the humans should be cloned?
Cloning might deeply affect the issue of human identity. Would newly-created person possess his or her own personality? According to theologian Nigel Cameron, “It would be perhaps the worst thing we have ever thought of in the maltreatment of our species”. Cameron says, it would be a kind of new slave class… you would have human beings who were made by human beings for their purposes”.
We may not object to a sheep clone that has been genetically modified to produce more wool, but would a person be comfortable with a human whose genetic material has been changed according to someone’s idea?
Another argument against cloning is that even if it will be accepted by the society in large, the cost of cloning would be so high that the option will not be available to all. Only the wealthy people would be able to take advantage of it. This achievement will remain as the pleasure of the high societies giving them the opportunity of creating clones of their own!
Most common ethical and moral arguments against human cloning seem to originate from religious prospective. These arguments have just not been made only by the religious philosophers but also politicians and scientists who sympathise with religion.
Religious philosophies teach us that human life is unique and special. It is and should be controlled by the almighty—God. Many religions believe in the existence of human soul. Will it be possible to clone the soul? What, if possible, will this mean? If only a person is cloned and not its soul, what will this mean? According to an article “What Christians and Jews believe is that humans are made in the image of God. The greater the degree to which we take control of the process, the more we seek to thwart the power of God. It’s hard to see cloning as something other than the most dramatic attempt to play God”.
Until today, cloning humans has always been art idea thought of as something that could be found in fiction novel and movies, but never as a reality that society could actually experience.
This fascinating discovery can and should be ultimately used in humans, maybe only to understand our system better but not to clone people.