Presentation on theme: "1 I I Cloning. 2 Some Background: What is cloning? Original nucleus “Donor” nucleus Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) Reproductive Cloning Therapeutic."— Presentation transcript:
2 Some Background: What is cloning? Original nucleus “Donor” nucleus Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) Reproductive Cloning Therapeutic Cloning Oocyte (unfertilized egg)
3 Some Background: Why would someone want to be cloned? Would you want to be cloned? What ethical positions might one take on cloning?
4 Kass’ Project Kass raises four particular objections to the project of human cloning: Leon R. Kass: “Preventing Brave New World” 1)That human cloning constitutes unethical experimentation. 2)That human cloning threatens identity and individuality. 3)That human cloning turns procreation into manufacture. 4)That human cloning means despotism over children and the perversion of parenthood.
5 The Revulsion of Cloning “[M]ost people are repelled by nearly all aspects of human cloning.” (331) -Mass production of human beings; -The idea of mother-daughter or father-son “twins”; -The idea of a woman bearing and rearing a genetic copy of herself, her spouse, or a deceased loved one; -The idea of conceiving a child as an exact “replacement” for another who has died; -The utilitarian creation of duplicates of oneself for “spare parts”; -The idea of humans “playing God”… Revulsion is not an argument… but it may reflect an intuition that something has been violated. -“We sense that cloning represents a profound defilement of our given nature as procreative beings, and of the social relations built on this natural ground.” (332)
6 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (1)Human Cloning Constitutes Unethical Experimentation Cloning could easily be used to reproduce living or deceased persons without their consent. The success rate of cloning (at least at first) will probably not be very high. -Fewer than two to three percent of all animal cloning attempts have succeeded. -Before Dolly was created, Scottish scientists transferred 277 adult nuclei into sheep eggs and implanted 29 clonal embryos. Dolly was the only living result. -Many of the so-called “successes” have included major disabilities and deformities.
7 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (1)Human Cloning Constitutes Unethical Experimentation (cont’d) There is good reason to think the same sort of success rate would be found in attempts at human cloning. “We cannot ethically even get to know whether or not human cloning is feasible.” (332)
8 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (2)Human Cloning Threatens Identity and Individuality Even if human cloning were successful, the clone may experience concerns about his distinctive identity: -He will be in genotype and appearance identical to another human being. -The person to whom he is identical will be his “father” or “mother”. There are unique, unprecedented dangers of mixing the twin relation with the parent-child relation. -Virtually no one will be able to treat his clone as he would a traditional child. -“What will happen when the adolescent clone of Mommy becomes the spitting image of the woman with whom Daddy once fell in love?” (333)
9 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (2)Human Cloning Threatens Identity and Individuality (cont’d) The life of the clone will constantly be scrutinized in relation to that of the older version. -“Unlike “normal” identical twins, a cloned individual—copied from whomever—will be saddled with a genotype that has already lived.” (333) -The matter will only be worse for the clone of somebody famous.
10 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (3)Human Cloning Turns Procreation into Manufacture Human cloning would represent a giant step toward turning procreation into manufacture. -Steps have already been made in this direction with in vitro fertilization and genetic testing of embryos. -Children would become simply another kind of man-made thing, with prospective “parents” adopting a technocratic attitude towards their children. -“The problem is that any child whose being, character, and capacities exist owing to human design does not stand on the same plane with its makers.” (333) -The effect is the dehumanization of children and the commodification of human life.
11 Four Objections to Human Cloning: (4)Human Cloning Means Despotism over Children and Perversion of Parenthood Normally, in producing children, we embrace the novelty of the child, and accept the limits of our control. Reproduction by human cloning will create a “profound misunderstanding” of the parent-child relationship. -Children are not our property or possessions. -Children are supposed to live their own lives, not ours. -Whereas most parents have hopes for their children, cloning parents will have expectations. -“Cloning “seeks to makes one’s children after one’s own image (or an image of one’s choosing) and their future according to one’s will.” (334) -Children will hold their cloners fully responsible for their nature and their nurture.
12 Slippery Slope Argument Defenders of cloning want large-scale cloning for animals, and wish to preserve cloning as a human option for exercising our “right to reproduce.” -We already practice forms of “unnatural,” artificial, and extra- marital reproduction, as well as early forms of eugenics. -So, defenders argue, cloning is “no big deal.” However, such a principle “slips” all the way down to producing children whose entire genetic makeup will be the product of eugenics, without limit. Once this is a possibility, parents will leap at the opportunity to “improve” their offspring: “Indeed, not to do so will be socially regarded as a form of child neglect.” (335)