Embryonic Cloning Controversy

Subject: Medical Ethics
Pages: 10
Words: 2567
Reading time:
9 min
Study level: College


The cloning process is a successful scientific practice especially when scientists in Scotland managed to clone a mammal. Indeed, the process is simple that provided a possibility to clone a human being. Nevertheless, there have been ethical issues concerning whether human cloning could be officially authorized or not. Moreover, biological implications are also a major concern in this issue. Indeed, human cloning is something controversial that was either perceived as a scientific invention or something like ‘mankind plays with God’.

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Though many ill-fated perceptions have been raised against cloning, the practice has great benefits in human society, especially to people who are infertile. In fact, the invention of great scientists has not been a waste since people who are unfortunately involved in an accident can still live; actually, some of the casualties’ damaged human organs can be replaced successfully due to the scientific invention of therapeutic cloning. Indeed, this is paper examines contentious issues that concern human cloning.

Cloning Controversy

According to Voneky & Wolfrum, in the past, modern scientists claimed that they victoriously adopted the cloning process in order to resolve human health challenges (20). For example, modern scientists employed scientific cloning to generate stem cells from human embryos. Actually, such mysterious information was perceived with great skepticism and quick criticism from the general public, religious leaders, human rights activists, and politicians.

For instance, President Bush opposed human cloning. However, “the modern scientists responded that they did not intend to generate stem cells from embryos in order to create unnatural people” (Heiner 9). In fact, modern scientists explained that they intended to generate stem cells that can develop in any cell of human organs with an intention of alleviating health problems and disorders.

Stem Cell Research Study

There have been heated discussions concerning whether embryonic stem cell research should be practiced or not. Indeed, approximately 10,000 embryos are exterminated annually. This actually, shows that Stem Cell Research is not ethical in several ways. However, “some people viewed that the only way to resolve this challenge is to adopt Adult Stem Cell Research” (Voneky & Wolfrum 20). Indeed, Adult Stem Cell Research would ensure that no embryos during conception are killed.

Nevertheless, individuals who promote Stem Cell Research claim that practice is more useful due to the fact that it alleviates many diseases. All in all, there has been a reaction against Stem Cells Research, claiming that the use of stem cells is not morally acceptable. On the other hand, people who propose the use of stem cells perceive that when embryonic cells are not utilized, they would be discarded thus would not be helpful in any way. In fact, stem cells would be used to cure many sicknesses. Heiner expressed that:

Only a single embryo is usually implanted in the uterus while others are discarded. Anyway, it is upon people’s decision whether to use embryos or discard them. In fact, when stem cells are utilized, this would enable sick people to survive from traumatic illness (7).

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Actually, other people perceive that Research on embryonic cells would promote and developed human life radically. Anyway, stem cell research has been a contentious debate specifically concerning ethical issues.

Besides that, the human embryo never perceives pain during the early stage of growth; but after the initial fourteen days, embryonic cells develop nervous cells thus many feel pain. In fact, it is at this stage when embryos are considered to acquire life. Furthermore, “people never lament whenever miscarriage happens or early terminated pregnancy occurs” (Heiner 3). This portrays that people perceive embryos as something different from a human being. On the other hand, the usefulness of stem cells in medical research has influenced people to overlook the impacts of ethical issues concerning human cloning.

Human Cloning

Human cloning is an unlawful practice in certain nations, and even organizations that get American federal grants are barred from the practice. Nevertheless, there had been no prohibition of human cloning in America before 2004. “Cloning is the process of developing offspring which are similar to their parents” (Voneky & Wolfrum 25). Though cloning is perceived as something unnatural, sometimes it may happen naturally. Indeed, artificial cloning has not been successful since the clones are normally liable to experience health challenges and they also tend to become older much faster. However, cloning has been a useful experience for human society. For example, Kunich viewed that:

Cloning is used to get stem cells from embryonic cells. Cloning can genetically modify animals’ tissues in order to generate organs that can easily be transplanted in people. Cloning also is useful to enable people to reproduce offspring apart from sexual reproduction. Cloning is also used to develop replacement human tissues (90).

According to Harris, despite the usefulness of human cloning, there are some people who have refuted against human cloning, demanding that it should be banned (66). Indeed, there are many ethical issues that have been raised to ensure that Reproductive cloning is prohibited. Actually, reproductive cloning is a type of cloning embryos with intention of implantation. However, there has been a controversial debate about whether to legalize Therapeutic cloning or not.

Indeed, therapeutic cloning is a type of cloning embryos with the aim of ruining embryos in order to generate stem cells. Actually, American conservatives wished to prohibit Therapeutic cloning while American liberals intend to promote therapeutic cloning. On the other hand, Water & Turner explained that there are some people who contend that human cloning should only be regulated; no medical practitioners should be allowed to clone unless authorized to do so (20).

Embryo Cloning

“Certain individuals viewed that embryonic cloning is useful, particularly in controlling Eugenics” (Voneky & Wolfrum 34). However, women who give out million of embryonic cells for stem cell research normally encounter health complications. While some people supported embryonic cloning, others declined permanently against it. On the other hand, there are certain people who are completely confused with this controversial issue; they are drawn by the bright sides of cloning while also are discouraged by the challenges of human cloning. Nevertheless, reproductive cloning is an issue that is widely prohibited due to physiological, social, and psychological challenges derived from such practice. Reproductive cloning happened when a cloned embryo is implanted into a natural or unnatural uterus. According to Harris:

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Human cloning is attained by taking the nuclei cell of an organism in order to implant it within an egg cell. When nuclei cells started to grow in the embryo, it would be transplanted into a surrogate woman. Such kind of process enables the generation of the exact entity of the organism that gives out its nuclei cell. The importance of cloning are many such as cloning enables a human being to replace faulty human organs in order to develop fresh human body parts; cloning is useful to cure sicknesses such as cancer, HIV/ AIDS, Strokes, Diabetes; Neurodegenerative Disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other health complications (56).

Nevertheless, Genetic Engineering together with human cloning has brought much uncertainty in American society. This is due to the fact that human cloning is capable to produce an artificial human being that has artificial psychological and physical competencies and offspring to potential parents. Indeed, “morality has become a critical issue particularly when scientists generate stem cells and cloned organs from embryonic cells; scientists have to ruin embryonic cells which is a similar case as killing human life” (Kunich 93). On the other hand, the generation of an artificial human being is also perceived as impersonal and thus contrary to human nature. In addition, implanting cloned cells into surrogated mother is indeed unethical practice due to the fact that such process interferes with human nature of women.

Water & Turner viewed that human cloning especially Stem Cell Research has been hot contentious debate in American presidential election since 2004 (17). For example, the Democrats acknowledged full participation of Stem Cells Research. On the other hand, the Republicans admitted to oppose human cloning. In 2004, human cloning was hot debate in United States, and in fact President Bush won his second presidential term simply because of his stand on human cloning. Indeed, President Bush claimed that human cloning was immoral; to generate stem cells from embryonic cells with intention of carrying out human cloning.

Therapeutic cloning

“Therapeutic cloning is scientific study through which cells from a donor’s skin are inserted into a fertilize egg whose nucleus has been removed” (Harris 3). Indeed, the consequent egg would split that leads to formation of blastocyst. Moreover, “stem cells would then be extracted from blastocyst” (Heiner 34). Actually, Voneky & Wolfrum viewed that:

The extracted stem cells are useful for many medical functions, diseases like Diabetes, Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases can be alleviated through the use of therapeutic cloning. Furthermore, therapeutic cloning is functional for generating replacement body organs to people who suffer from illness such as Kidney disorder. Besides that, when casualties own body cells that are utilized in therapeutic cloning, the fright that body tissues would be incompatible with immunes system is something in the past. Actually, medical practitioners have successfully replaced body tissues (78).

According to Kunich, certain countries have not adopted therapeutic cloning. Indeed, this condition is dangerous; worsens patient’s health when they are compelled to wait several days in order to get required tissues (7). Indeed, if therapeutic cloning is practiced, many casualties can easily obtain required body tissues. However, some people have opposed therapeutic cloning because the practice is perceived as murder case. In fact, the destruction of embryonic cells in order to extract stem cells is something that has been seen as murder. Moreover, therapeutic cloning may lead to biological problems such as formation of Tumors or other health disorders and complications.

Religious Perception Concerning Human Cloning

Kunich viewed that human cloning, particularly, stem cell research has faced many reactions from religious leaders (22). For example, Catholicism perceived that life is a constant development from the point of conception to death. Consequently, Catholic leaders have declined against the process of taking out stem cells from terminated fetuses or extra embryos with an aim of biomedical use. Moreover, Catholic Church believed that people who attempt to carry out such practices are ruining human life.

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In addition, Margret Farley, a Catholic Nun, presented a different view. Farley perceived that an acceptable case can only be created from Stems Cell Research when embryos are their initial stage of growth. Actually, this is when embryos have not acquired human life. Indeed, “Farley believed that stem cell research is unlawful act only when embryos develop initial indication of nervous systems and thus start to respond to nervous feelings” (Voneky & Wolfrum 20).

Actually, when embryos develop nervous system, Farley believed that embryos have acquired life. Certainly, this is usually fourteen days after conception (Harris 61). On the other hand, Judaism law does not give lawful status concerning embryos that are extracted from womb. Indeed, Judaism laws do not recognize or identify Fetuses as a human person until they come out from uterus. As a result, Judaism thus permits Stem Cell Research. Furthermore, Judaism does not restrict extraction of stem cells from fetus in order to save life: for example, when abortion is carried on accepted justifications. Heiner explained that:

Islamic laws do not offer explanation when fetus becomes an ethical-lawful being. Indeed, Islamic laws split pregnancies in two phases; after four months, Islamic laws perceive that “ensoulment” is formed in embryos. Moreover, Islamic community believed that adopting Stem Cell Research during early period acts of embryo is worthy whenever the intention is aimed to promote human life (20).

Besides that, the Eastern orthodox has a different view that promotes medical healing which is accomplished by the God’s power. Accordingly, Eastern orthodox does not acknowledge Stem Cell Research, regardless of how useful the intention is.


Embryonic cloning has become a contentious issue from religious people, the general public, scientists and politicians. However, there is broad range of issues about embryo cloning; the key issue that causes controversy is the quest of when life really begins. Actually, this hesitation concerns whether the benefits of embryonic cloning are more important than ethical consequences or not. Indeed, the quest of when life commences is an issues that has been raised especially when scientists do generate stem cells from embryos. Actually, scientists normally get stem cells from embryos which have already undergone the process of conception (fertilization).

However, during the process of cloning, the embryos have to be ruined in order to ripe out stem cells. In fact, the issue of moral concern actually comes at this point. The issue about life is also a concern at this point. In fact, religious authorities justify that destruction of embryo is just like actual killing human life. This is due to the fact the religious leaders perceive that life start from conception process. Cloning is a scientific process that has a lot of benefits which may (or may not) have more impacts than ethical considerations. Indeed, politicians, human right activists and the general public also have raised moral issues concerning legality of human cloning because the scientific invention has biological, psychological, ethical and physiological impacts in living organisms.

Annotated bibliography

Harris, John. On Cloning. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Harris discusses moral implications of cloning. He asserts that that moral implication concerning human cloning has been avoided, though has rarely been scrutinized with any strictness. This book illustrates possible benefits and malpractices of human cloning and draws moral principles that should be adopted. This book defended principles of human reproductive rights. The book also explains how human cloning is incompatible with human dignity and rights.

Kunich, John. The Naked Clone: How Cloning Bans Threatens our Personal Rights. Westport: Praeger, 2003. Print.

Kunich discusses uncertainty concerning damage of human embryo due to the process of human cloning has raised fundamental questions concerning moral implications. This book investigated whether cloning embryos at early stage (in order to generate stem cells) might be morally right. The book concludes that early embryos have life hence are not justified to be used in stem cell research.

Roetz, Heiner. Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: the Example of Human Cloning. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. Print.

This book discusses fundamental questions associated to human cloning through reflections of religious, cultural and regional aspects that contradict biotechnology. The book discusses cross-cultural perspectives, challenges and benefits of bioethics. The book is focused to debate about bioethical matters not only in domestic regions but also in international domain.

Voneky, Silja, and Wolfrum Rudijer. Human Dignity and Human Cloning. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2004. Print.

This book explains controversial issues surrounding cloning. Actually, the matter concerns diverse disciplines such as law, physic philosophy theology and biology. This book is mainly deliberated on legal aspects in order to show how human cloning contravenes human dignity; however the book also integrates other discipline approaches to discuss the controversial issue of human cloning.

Waters, Brent, & Turner Ronald. God and the Embryo: Religious Voices on Stem Cells and Cloning. Georgetown University Press: Washington, DC, 2003. Print.

This book presents human cloning as a malpractice activity that has moral implications to various religious faiths. The book illustrates different perceptions raised by various religious dominations such as Protestantism, Catholicism, Islamic religion, Hindu, and Jewish community. The book describes how human cloning is unlawful act according to God’s decree. Nevertheless, the book also discussed different religious faiths that have divergent views concerning human cloning.

Works Cited

Harris, John. On Cloning. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Kunich, John. the Naked Clone: How Cloning Bans Threatens our Personal Rights. Westport: Praeger, 2003. Print.

Roetz, Heiner. Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: the Example of Human Cloning. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. Print.

Voneky, Silja, and Wolfrum Rudijer. Human Dignity and Human Cloning. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2004. Print.

Waters, Brent, & Turner Ronald. God and the Embryo: Religious Voices on Stem Cells and Cloning. Georgetown University Press: Washington, DC, 2003. Print.