The Ethics Of Human Cloning

Medical Issues


Dolly the Sheep


Dolly the sheep was the first animal cloned from adult DNA, however Dolly suffered from lung cancer and crippling arthritis and was euthanized at the age of six. Most sheep live to be at least eleven or twelve, and in addition to Dolly dieing young, the sheep that Dolly was cloned from died a few years after Dolly’s creation.

Most organisms that have been cloned died as a result of extreme complications, and many people are concerned with the fact that putting human beings through this would be considered barbaric.  Based on past animal studies, cloning would result in severe genetic defects.  Experiments may also lead to hundreds of abortions and clinical failures. In former experiments, only a few animals gave birth to live offspring.  Many of these offspring died quickly, other ones had crucial birth defects, and some defects were not apparent until later life.  Many abnormalities resulted in unseen deaths later in life.  Cloned animals have been found to have had compromised immune systems, higher rates of infection, and higher rates of tumor growth.  The risks to cloned children would be major and vast, and many of these children would most likely live lives of disabilities.

The clones may not be the only ones affected in these experiments.  Egg donors may also be put at risk by the hormonal treatments needed to acquire the needed eggs.  Scientist are also worried about the concerns that taking the nucleus from someone who has lived for a while may result in cancers or other dangerous diseases. 

Some doctors say cloning could be used to prevent diseases, to make offspring who are immune to certain genetic diseases.  However, this may result in the clones not being able to have the immunity to fight off more common infections and diseases.   Even though cloning may help to solve some medical problems for a limited number, it would not compensate for the faulty experiments that would result from testing.