HUMAN CLONING: SOME ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
you read the newspaper or listen to television news, you
have heard a lot about cloning. Do you know exactly what
a clone is? According to the dictionary, a clone is a group
of genetically identical cells that are descended from a
common ancestor, such as a clone of bacterial cells grown
from one original bacterial cell in a laboratory. A clone
could also be an organism that grew from a single parent
by asexual reproduction. For example, an organism called
a hydra reproduces asexually by growing buds from its body.
When the buds mature and drop off, they are new organisms
that are genetically identical to the parent, and thus they
are clones of the single parent hydra. A clone could also
be a replica of a DNA sequence that is produced through
these definitions of a clone don’t really address the current
debate about cloning. A sheep named Dolly was the very first
clone of an adult mammal. Dolly was news because for the
first time a clone was created from differentiated cells
– that is, cells that were not embryonic. Since Dolly, researchers
the world over have been creating clones of other mammals,
including mice and cows. Because human beings are also mammals,
scientists have begun to discuss the ethical, moral, legal,
and biological issues that might result from the cloning
of human beings. Under what circumstances should cloning
be allowed? Is it acceptable to clone bacteria or mice?
Is it acceptable to clone your favorite pet animal? Should
cloning of human organs be allowed? Should cloning of human
beings be allowed? What kinds of restrictions should be
placed on cloning technologies?
job in this WebQuest is to form an opinion as to whether
human cloning should be allowed. You will learn what cloning
is and how clones are made. You will research the ethical
arguments both for, and against, human cloning. You will
find out if there are any laws regarding the cloning of
humans and what those laws state. You will identify some
of the moral issues that accompany the cloning of human
beings. Finally, you will form an opinion as to whether
human cloning should be allowed.
you have done your research, you will write a set of ethical
standards that you think should be used to govern the use
of cloning technologies. Then you will prepare a set of
ten questions that relate to your standards and use these
questions on a survey form. You will interview at least
ten people and ask them to complete the survey. Finally,
you will compile the survey results and compare these results
to your standards. How do your ethical standards compare
to the survey results?
at the web sites given here to find the information that
will enable you to form your opinion about human cloning.
is a clone?
At this WorldBook.com site you can read about what a clone
is and the different types of clones.
Mammal Copiers – Advances in Cloning.
At this Australian Academy of Science site you can read
about the cloning of plants and about asexual reproduction
in general. Scroll down to learn how Dolly the sheep was
cloned and the position the Academy has taken on human
are clones made?
1-2-3: Making a Ewe.
Visit this site to learn more about the sheep named Dolly,
the first mammal to be cloned, and cloning techniques.
Go to this site to learn more about cloning and to read
a discussion about the ethics of cloning.
are some of the legal issues involved in cloning of humans?
are some of the moral and ethical concerns about cloning?
Visit this Worldbook.com site to learn about some of the
ethical concerns inherent in cloning, especially cloning
of human beings.
Go to this article by the Washington Post online to read
about the debate over cloning. You can vote in a survey
here on whether the United States should ban human cloning.
Click on featured story to see other reports on cloning.
At this site, scroll down to find out what cloning is,
the history of cloning, and how it is done. You may also
read about the moral issues involved with cloning here.
This site has an introductory article on human cloning,
videos about cloning, and lists of reasons both for and
against human cloning. It includes resources for students
who are researching human cloning.
Summary: Cloning Human Beings.
Go to this site to read the results of the National Bioethics
Advisory Commission’s attempt to address the ethical and
legal issues that surround human cloning.
class periods for research; about two weeks at home to write,
give, and compile survey results
that you have completed your research on the Internet, form
your own opinion about whether or not human cloning should
be allowed. Should all kinds of cloning be allowed? If cloning
is allowed, should there be any restrictions on what it
is used for? Should any kind of cloning be banned altogether?
Write a short list of the ethical standards that you think
should be used to determine the parameters of cloning technology.
Prepare a set of ten questions based on your standards and
use these questions to survey your friends, family members,
or teachers and classmates to find their opinions about
human cloning. Compare your survey results with your own
the process of completing this WebQuest, you have become
informed about a topic that is in the news almost daily.
Cloning is a topic that is the focus of heated debates among
scientists, theologians, and legislators as well as the
general public. Your research has shown you that there are
legitimate concerns on more than one side of this issue.
You have successfully gathered information, analyzed it
critically, and formulated a position on a complex science
issue. How does your opinion compare to those found in your
research? How does your opinion compare to those people
who completed your survey?