Strategies for Social Change in Biological Ethics

To me it is quite obvious where the debate lies between the Catholic Church’s social teachings on genetics and human cloning versus those of the biomedical field of experimentation. Human cloning in general is completely denounced in the Catholic Church. The idea of killing a “human life” in the form of an embryo is morally wrong for any Christian who understands God’s gift of the human dignity of man. In the field of biomedical development human cloning for reproductive purposes is also seen as morally wrong simply because at this time the technology and ethical implications have not been reviewed and tested to a point where a successful procedure could be guaranteed. Where the biomedical scientists differ is within the field of human cloning for medical treatment purposes. The medical benefits of human cloning for biomedical reasons would undoubtedly be great. The advances in transplant surgery and treatment of chronic illnesses would certainly be affected by the ability to grow human nascent life but in my opinion this does not yet constitute human cloning for biomedical research as an ethical right. I propose to first and foremost institute a complete ban on human cloning for reproductive purposes. It is evident to me that we are not at a state of awareness in our society to deal with the implications that human cloning for children would create. Obviously this technology will more than likely be possible one day in the future but at this time human cloning for reproductive purposes should be completely banned and punishment for such a crime should be steep. Secondly, I purpose that in order to more fully understand the implications of human cloning for biomedical purposes it is necessary to halt the production of embryonic cells from human cloning and hold a public debate as to the benefits and drawback of said procedures. This council will surely consist of politicians, theologians, scientists and the general public in order to formulate a clearer understanding of human cloning for medicine.
Firstly, the complete ban on human cloning for reproductive principles attends appropriately to both the Catholic Churches’ social views on human life and the biological fields view’s on the subject. The Catholic Church believes that we do not posses the ability to create life as only God does and that human cloning is undermining the will of our creator. The biological field of research also consists of a consensus that we are not currently able to perform a successful human cloning procedure and that the ethical implications directing to these procedures have also not been fully formulated. A complete ban of human cloning would most certainly cater to the problems seen between the Catholic Church’s views on the topic as well as those of the biomedical field of study.
The second proposal of a public moratorium on human cloning for biomedical purposes is more of a compromise between the two debating sides of the issue than it is a viable answer to the problem. By discussing and articulating about human cloning for biomedical purposes a more developed theory on the subject can be debated. By making both sides debate openly and freely about their decisions in the dispute the public will obtain a better sense of knowledge on the subject. A moratorium of research would be beneficial to this debated topic because it can truthfully provide empirical data on the subject matter. After all of this information is collected and analyzed an informed decision could be made. It may for example be found that the use of cloning for biomedical purposes could be morally worse than cloning for reproductive purposes in terms of magnitude if acceptance of these procedures leads to routinized practice of embryo cultivation and the growth of nascent human life to be solely used for transplant surgeries. On the other hand it could be possible that this moratorium could prove essential to the full understanding of the unlimited medical possibilities that could occur if embryonic stem cells were accepted as traditional medical practice. This moratorium would allow enough time to fully divulge the ethical and social dilemmas seen in human cloning and at this point in time statistical data and knowledge is necessary so an informed decision on the topic could be made.
When debating on the viability of creating cloned embryos for any reason it should be known that any acceptance of these kinds of procedures will be crossing ethical and moral borders. Once this line is crossed and cloning embryos is accepted there is no turning back. This is why it is so important that we as a society of humans take the time to make a well informed judgment on the topic at hand. Cloning for the purposes of biomedical treatment has the possibility to treat millions who are suffering but the ethical implications of such a science are very controversial. It is through an open moratorium in the field that information and insight can be gathered that would allow us as Americans and citizens of the world to make a final and supreme decision on the topic.


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