The world was stunned by the news in late February 1997 that a British embryologist named Ian Wilmut and his research team had successfully cloned a lamb named Dolly from an adult sheep. Dolly was created by replacing the DNA of one sheep's egg with the DNA of another sheep's udder. The world media was immediately filled with heated discussions about the ethical implications of cloning. Scientists and ethicists have debated the implications of human and non-human cloning extensively when scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland produced Dolly.
No direct conclusions have been drawn, but compelling arguments state that cloning of both human and non-human species results in harmful physical and psychological effects on both groups.
Many people are convinced that the cloning of any species, whether they are human or non-human, is ethically and morally wrong. Cloning of human beings would result in severe psychological effects in the cloned child, and that the cloning of non-human species subjects them to unethical or unmoral treatment for human needs. The possible physical damage that could be done if human cloning became a reality is obvious when one looks at the sheer loss of life that occurred before the birth of Dolly. Less than ten percent of the initial transfers survive to be healthy creatures.
There were 277 trial implants of nuclei. Nineteen of those 277 were deemed healthy while the others were discarded. Five of those nineteen survived, but four of them died within ten days of birth of severe abnormalities. Dolly was the only one to survive. It has lived for seven years. In addition to physical harms, there are worries about the psychological harms on cloned human children. "One of those harms is the loss of identity, or sense of uniqueness and individuality.
The cloning of a non-human species subjects them to unethical treatment purely for human needs. What would happen if humans started to use animals as body for growing human organs? Where is the line drawn between human and non human? If a primate was cloned so that it grew human lungs, liver, kidneys, and heart, what would it then be? Would non-human primates, such as a chimpanzee., who carried one or more human genes via transgenic technology» be defined as still a chimp, a human, a subhuman, or something else? It could create a world wide catastrophe that no one would be able to stop. That is why the majority considers that the ethical and moral implications of cloning are such that it would be wrong for the human race to support it.
On the other hand, some people think that potential benefits outweigh the potential harms of cloning. Cloning would be probably used by infertile people who now use donated sperm, eggs, or embryos. It may provide a way for completely sterile individuals to reproduce, a valuable basic research of technologies related to reproduction and development.
The dilemma is very complex. The question shakes us all to our very souls. For humans to consider the cloning of one another forces them all to question the very concepts of right and wrong that make them all human. Many countries imposed a ban for human-cloning research