WHAT ARE SOME ISSUES IN CLONING?
We saw in What are the Risks of Cloning? that the success rate in cloning is quite low. Even if we can increase the odds of success, problems can arise during the clone's development, both before and after pregnancy. Despite these risks, supporters of human reproductive cloning see it as a possible solution to infertility problems. Others support therapeutic cloning to create embryonic stem cells for research and medicine.
What are the possible implications of cloning to society? All of us - researchers, policymakers and the public - have a responsibility to explore the potential effects of cloning technologies on our lives so that we can make informed decisions.
For each new application of cloning technologies, we must consider:
Ethical, legal and social issues.
There are several types of issues to consider as we think about cloning.
Ethical issues are those that ask us to consider the potential moral outcomes of cloning technologies.
Legal issues require researchers and the public to help policymakers decide whether and how cloning technologies should be regulated by the government.
Social issues involve the impact of cloning technologies on society as a whole.
Some questions to ponder.
The questions raised here have no clear right or wrong answer. Instead, your response will depend on your own set of values, as well as the opinions of those around you.
Supported by a Science Education Partnership
Award (SEPA) [No. 1 R25 RR16291-01] from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the
National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The contents provided
here are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official
views of NCRR or NIH.
eth-i-cal: (adj.) 1. Relating to morals, especially as concerning human conduct. 2. Morally correct.
le-gal: (adj.) 1. Of or based on law. 2. Appointed or required by law. 3. Permitted by law.
so-cial: (adj.) 1. Of or relating to society and its organization. 2. Concerned with the mutual relations of human beings. 3. Living in organized communities.
pol-i-cy: (n.) 1. Course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business or individual, etc.
Definitions adapted from the Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus.
Step Into Someone Else's Shoes!
Would your views be the same if you were a different person?
How might they change if you...
Can you think of other people who would have a special interest in cloning research? How might their views differ from yours?