An article recently appeared in the Scientist discussing human cloning. In the commentary, professor Michel Revel. Dr. Revel is a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Bioethics Committee, which just added a statement to its recommendations defining human cloning as "contrary to human dignity".
Dr. Revel argues that: one should not totally ban human cloning but that "... one could have adopted another position. Indeed, ethicists who drafted the original UNESCO declaration meant to ensure that application of any genetic practice to human beings be developed with respect for the rights and dignity of individuals. They also meant to ensure that mankind would not be deprived of benefits such progress might bring if applied within the bioethical guidelines outlined eloquently in the rest of the declaration."
He also states that "Cloning research must be allowed to continue within agreed guidelines because it entails benefits that should not be scrapped outright because of perceived risks."
What do you think about this point of view? Is it a reasonable compromise position between proposed extremes? I have invited Dr. Revel to participate in this discussion and to read your comments if he is so inclined.
Bio 4 Home Page
LARRY SCUDLARICK on Mon Dec 11 20:01:53 2000 wrote:
Sara on Wed Nov 22 15:02:38 2000 wrote:
I think that too much cloning for anything should be banned. When you clone a lot of animals at once, when they breed, the offspring would have a lot of double recessives. Those double recessives in turn, create traits that are rare and may hurt the animals in turn. Now, some clonning is okay. Those few clones could help in research of many kinds. Also, I think that cloning should be totally banned. What is the point of messing with what God has created. In my opinion, I think that one of a genotype is enough. We don't need clones. Some people are fascinated by this whole cloning issue, but I think that it is dumb. We may hurt the animals if we do some things to them and the clones. If we really tried and went to other places in the whole world, I think that we could find what we are looking for only, we wouldn't be potentially hurting animals or other things. Scientists are smart, but since they are so smart, I think that they could come up with cures, treatments, etc., in a different way than cloning. Also, if there are too many clones, some or all could die and then what was the use in the first place? I also think that full-human cloning should be outlawed. In the end it could kill the clone and the original person and then you would have lawsuits. That is just inhumane. Cloning the dead, in my opinion is dumb, because you don't know what you will get out of it. Same with all other kinds of cloning. Let well enough alone. Thanks for reading my opinion. If you ignore it I don't care; you know much more than any seventh grader. Bye.
Ashley on Thu Nov 9 10:30:40 2000 wrote:
I think that research into human cloning could yeild potential benefits as far as medical advancements for humankind in the long run, but full-human cloning is immoral and shouldn't be allowed.
Still, it depends on whether you have an attitude like "Anything in the name of science", or one more like "You shouldn't play God by doing with science what could never occur naturally.". There are convincing arguements for either side.
While I feel that not continuing further research into human genetics and cloning would be unfair to soceity as a whole, cloning is definitely something that has potential dangers in the future, and should not become commonplace by any means. I support research into genetics for the medical benifits (i.e. cures for diseases, cancer, etc.), but a human being should never be fully cloned. That crosses the ethical boundary by a long shot.
Just my thoughts.
Jordan on Wed Nov 1 21:16:05 2000 wrote:
The art of cloning plants, animals, and quite possibly even humans is a contoversial issue that we, as a society, have to be educated on and be prepared for, and ready to accept.
Most of the population is against cloning, especially human cloning. This is mainly due to lack of knowledge. Cloning is an amazing scientific breakthrough that will not be ignored. Authorities cannot simply put up a stop sign to this amazing scientific discovery. For all we know, a curious scientist could quite possibly be creating the first human clone at this minute.
People should quit whining about the risks, and learn how cloning will benifit society.
ashley mendez on Thu Oct 26 12:12:05 2000 wrote:
no cloning is good you soundnt mess with tecnology if it wasnt ment to be then it wasnt ment to be ?????
Hannah on Wed Oct 11 14:04:17 2000 wrote:
I think that cloning animals that are close to extinction and cloning plants and trees is ok, but cloning humans is wrong because everyone is different, even twins have differences and to make an exact photocopy of someone is wrong because eventually there will be no individuality.
Josh in Iowa on Thu Jun 1 11:05:49 2000 wrote:
People are afraid of change. At one time, the automobile was considered the devil. At another, the personal computer was inconceivable and thus feared greatly. And now, my friends, cloning is the new technology in town. You will be scared, but in time all will be okay, just like the Model T and the internet were and are. It will take time, and money, blood, sweat and tears also, but in the end, the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences, if regulated.
Huh on Wed Apr 19 11:23:37 2000 wrote:
nobody has any opinions anymore ...
Rick Minogue on Fri Aug 14 19:18:05 1998 wrote:
Dr. Revel's statement does not persuade. It could just as easily be stated that human cloning should be banned because it entails risks that should not be taken in spite of some possible benefits. It is interesting that potential abuses of human cloning come more readily to mind than benifits. In this instance, tragedy and misuse are the real possibilities; it is the benfits which are "perceived."
Robert Walther on Fri Feb 20 01:04:13 1998 wrote:
I find myself torn on this issue, as many indeed do, because I have trouble separating my emotions from a strictly scientific approach and from an ethical approach. I would love, in theory, to see a person born from one of my hairs because it would be an interesting and mind-blowing event. However, I cannot help but think that the life of this clone might be abnormal and cruel. I believe we must introduce a medium onto the list of possible courses to take with regards to cloning. Frankly, the idea we might be able to generate an arm for someone mutilated in an accident from a single cell is enough for me to say we should proceed with this research cautiously. I hold life to be very dear and, I believe any research that POTENTIALLY can better a person's life should be continued even if that research is slow, careful, and regulated.
Jennifer Tlumak on Fri Jan 30 13:26:14 1998 wrote:
Technology has the potential to "save us" from ourselves, to better our daily lives, use resources more efficiently, live longer, be stronger and happier. It also has the potential to destroy us. We can blow ourselves away with nuclear weapons, cause the extinction of whole species that have been on the earth for millions of years, screw upt he earth and ourselves along with it. Sadly, I do not trust humans to be responsible with technology, as I've seen such widespread dangerous and immoral uses of it. I don't think cloning humans should be an option. We've already messed with nature too much, and the possible bad conseqences of cloning -- being able to create your own child, creating lots of certain types of people for specific functions, etc. is a blatant affront to nature's processes -- natural selection, diversity... The possible benefits pale in comparison to the possible dangers of human cloning. There is something to be said for letting nature take its course.
Julie Berteletti on Thu Jan 29 23:21:39 1998 wrote:
I do not believe that "agreed guidelines" could ever be created because nobody would be able to agree where to draw the line. Since it is an ethical question, no matter what the purposes for the cloning are, everyone will have a unique moral opinion. How do we determine who is right? It would do no good to make any part of cloning legal because once any portion of cloning research is accepted and legal, there will be no stopping anyone who has other plans. They will find a way to justify there actions. With the existence of any bit of cloning resesarch in the U.S, there will always be questions floating around such as "What more can be done?" or "What is the next step?" The ban must be enforced right now, and we have to send a clear message stating our position. Setting up guidelines would be sending a mixed message, when in fact all cloning is essentially the same.
Christine Percheski on Thu Jan 29 18:41:42 1998 wrote:
I do not agree with Dr. Revel's opinion. I fully support and agree with the declaration from UNESCO. While it is possible that human cloning would yield some benefits to humanity and further scientific knowledge, it is also probable that human cloning will be used by some country or group in seriously immoral and dangerous ways. I think our priority should be to preserve the sanctity and dignity of human life at all costs, even if that means missing out on possible scientific advancements and beneficial health treatments. The idea of headless fetuses created for organ harvesting is appalling, and yet it is a very real possible outcome of human cloning experimentation.
Randy Choiniere on Thu Jan 29 15:40:56 1998 wrote:
I think Dr. Revel makes some very good points in his article. Many have already been made by students in our class. It is important to recognize that cloning does not ensure that an individual will mature to be identical to the person who donates their DNA. It is also necessary that people are informed of the possible benefits of human cloning as well as the draw backs. Revel makes some intelligent arguments about the potential of cloning as a logical solution to many couples with reproduction problems. As I supported before, I don't think human cloning should be banned because of the potential benefits it can have to the human race. It makes more sense to evaluate cloning on an individual basis and to set strict guidelines that prevent the type of cloning which we all fear, but which allow the forms of cloning that will bring only positive outcomes to our society.