Human Cloning Essay, Research Paper
-= CLONING HUMANS =-
What is cloning? Cloning is the production of one or more individual plants or animals that are genetically identical to another plant or animal. Simply stated, a clone is a duplicate– much like a photocopy is a duplicate, or copy, of a document. A good example of such “copies” that occur in nature are identical twins, which are duplicates of each other. Many ethical and moral issues have caused debate as to whether or not scientists should study and explore this new technological discovery. President Clinton banned human cloning because it did not coincide with his personalized test. The test showed that this new breakthrough is not safe. President Clinton’s test shows that all new technology should: (a) “Make life better for all citizens rather than just a chosen few”, (b) “Their application should not interfere with basic principles of equal treatment and equality before the law”, (c) “They should not help break down the privacy and autonomy of the individual citizen”, and (d) “they should not be treated as if scientific answers alone could trump deeper convictions about what is valuable in life.”
The first point President Clinton makes suggests that this new technology should be available for all social and economic classes in America. The costs of most breakthroughs in technology or medicine are so unimaginably high that only the elite can take advantage that technological breakthrough. Consequently, the lower economic classes of people cannot take advantage of that new technology. This completely contradicts President Clinton’s first point because the new technological advancement would only change the lives of a chosen few. If this holds true, than this would be a barrier between the economic classes in America. Therefore, inequality becomes an issue.
The second issue that President Clinton addresses is the basic principle of, “equal treatment and equality before the law” for all citizens. If all citizens do not have the financial opportunity to clone themselves, it will affect the balance of equality among our society because only a certain number of people can clone themselves. A question that arises is, “Will the clone of a human being have the same rights as the human?” If the clone would have the same rights, then equality is preserved. However, if the clone is given fewer opportunities than the human, or if the clone is looked down upon, then an injustice has been given to the clone and equality is unbalanced. Another factor affecting the rights of individuals is that the person has the right to accept or to decline the right to making a clone of themselves. For example, if we had 100 Michael Jackson’s, than his music would depreciate, and the original Michael Jackson would lose a great deal of money because there is no longer a need for him. This directly affects his privacy and his place in society.
The third part of the test states that the “privacy and autonomy” of any citizen should not be infringed in any way. An important question that should be asked is, “What would happen to the subject who is being cloned?” Another interesting question would be, “Would the subject’s life be altered in any fashion because of the clones?” In any country or economy, one can witness what happens when there is a great supply of a product and less need for it. When there are 100 Michael Jackson’s out there, there will be a greater “supply” of Michael Jackson, yet the need will not be as great. Also, Michael Jackson’s salary will become lower as he tries to compete against his clones for jobs that he would have if his clones were not present. This forces Michael Jackson to either lower his prices, or simply retire. However, I am not saying all of the 100 Michael Jackson’s will be as good as the original. If they work as hard as Michael did, and if they take advantage of the same opportunities, then the clones should be at the same level as Michael Jackson. This clearly shows that Michael Jackson’s rights were not preserved because the clones affected his privacy and autonomy.
The fourth and final part of Clinton’s test suggests that science alone should not decide what is right from what is wrong. I don’t understand how this could apply to any new technology when it is not the technology that distinguishes right from wrong, it is the people who are in charge of those machines that decide the outcome of the experiment. If President Clinton is inferring that the law should be in charge of the outcome of this new technology, then one must raise the question, “What is right and what is wrong, and who decides what is right or wrong?” This question cannot be answered because there is no answer that everyone can agree on. This country is so diverse that if any issue is raised, everyone can take a different, yet valid, point of view on that particular issue.
I believe this Clinton test is a safe test that can protect the rights of all citizens and can also make room for growth and advancement in America. I strongly believe that if all technological advancements could be tested through this method, we would have more machines that are useful rather than destructive. However, as one can surely see, the issue of human cloning did not pass the Clinton test and it was not made legal by President Clinton. I also agree with the President, in that society does not need anymore social barriers than it already has, and cloning would indoubtably add to the social barriers by allowing only a few to be able to be cloned.