Cloning humans have always been seen as the category of fantasy and fiction until recent research on genetic engineering has emerged. Human cloning has been a widely controversial topic because of the ethical issues it poses; however, risks of human cloning greatly outweigh the potential medical breakthroughs that could follow, confirming that human cloning should be banned.
Cloning humans have gotten little attention until now, mostly because people only saw it as science fiction. However, cloning humans should be illegal because of the negative reactions that may result in the public, as well as the unethical reasons to clone. Some potential risks that come from cloning humans are the public’s response to the clones. One possible outcome is that “clones may be the victims of unjustified discrimination and will not be respected as persons” also known as “clonism” (Devolder).
Clonism could arise as a “discrimination against a group of humans who are different in a non-morally significant way” (Devolder). People may mistreat the clones, saying that they are less of their original. Although Frankenstein’s monster is not a clone but fashioned of other deceased people, the monster is still mistreated in society due to his abnormal appearance. No matter what the monster did he was wronged and attacked wherever he went. When the monster was first resurrected, even Frankenstein, his creator, was “ unable to endure the aspect of the being [he] had created, [and] rushed out of the room”, and ultimately abandoned his creation for over two years (Shelley, 59).
Another point that needs to be addressed is the unethical motives behind human cloning. Some of the potential reasons to clone include: the replacement of a lost loved one or relative, health-related issues, or even for personal gain. Clones have the same exact genome, however, could potentially have a completely different phenotype. The genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual; the phenotype refers to what the individual is, not only exterior, but “also its physiology as well as behavioral predispositions and attributes, encompassing intellectual abilities, moral values, aesthetic preferences, religious values, and, in general, all other behavioral characteristics or features, acquired by experience, imitation, learning, or in any other way throughout the individual’s life, from conception to death.
The phenotype results from complex networks of interactions between the genes and the environment.” (Ayala). Since only the genes are cloned, it is impossible for scientists to create the same exact individual. Although the monster was not modeled after a certain individual, Frankenstein wanted his creation to by “select[ing] his features as beautiful.” Although the monster’s phenotype was not yet created, it is obvious that Frankenstein was completely unsatisfied with the genotype of his creation, and would no longer be considered a personal gain. He was able to create life, yet he was entirely disgusted.
Another unethical reason that people may clone is if they would want a child that is ‘just like so-and-so’ causing people to view children as objects or as commodities like a new car or a new house”(Devolder). No matter what the motive is, the “ clone will be used as a mere means to others’ ends” (Devolder). Like clones, the monster was created just because of Frankenstein’s selfishness when playing with life. He did not think of how the monster would feel as a creation and only thought of the personal achievement that would come if he succeeded with the manipulation of the monster’s life. Due to the potentially negative attitude towards clones, as well as the wrong motives to clone, human cloning should be banned.
Although it is true that human cloning could potentially allow many medical developments in the future, the negative aspects human cloning portrays exceed the former, exhibiting that human cloning should be banned. The possible unethical reasons to clone, as well as the creation of a new discrimination against clones proves that cloning humans is wrong. Whether or not humans could have breakthroughs in science, the potential harm that comes to the clones is unfair because it violates their right to a sense of identity and individuality. For now, human clones should stay as science fiction, not as reality.