On What Ethical Basis Might Cloning a Human Be Justified?

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On what ethical basis might cloning a human be justified? Cloning is a modern and controversial issue, one that has come hand in hand with exponential growth in scientific research. Because of this relatively no ethicists have specifically commented on the issue. Human cloning is a particularly troubling issue, because not only does it involve bringing life unnaturally, but it also potentially interferes with the sanctity of life, something which many people hold dear. Following Kantian ethics it may be possible to justify cloning a human being, if somebody were to feel it was their duty to clone a human, and if they did it through good will, then all they would need to do to justify it would make their action work as a universal law. Obviously, a society where ‘any human being can be cloned’ does not hold great promise as things may get out of hand, and problems may be caused by cloning; however we could make the law more specific: ‘Human may be cloned for the sake of crucial medical research’ or, ‘Humans may be cloned in a case where it is the only way in which another human life may be preserved’. Like this it seems more likely that human cloning could work in a functional society, but Kantian ethics can be used to justify many things that seem unjust, the most famous of examples being of allowing a murderer into your house to kill your family. Situation ethics say that the right action is the most loving action, therefore if cloning a human was the most loving action in a situation, to a situation ethicist, it would be justified. The fifth proposition of situation ethics says that only the end justifies the means, so if the end results of cloning a human are as moral as desired, then the cloning would be justified. Unfortunately, in the case of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned, 277 embryos were cloned with only one survivor.

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