The issues around reproductive technologies are placed at the heart of ethical and moral dilemmas in the society. The formations of marriage, love, romance, and sexual identities of the family, community and social life are all drawn into the question about the use of reproductive technologies. This paper explores the ethical issues that are raised by human cloning. The paper revolves around the application of cloning in choosing the sex of a child-a case study of Joe and Susan. The two would not be justified in using the technology to select the sex of their child.
Being a good parent does not call for one to be good to only one gender. For the case under study, Joe is thrilled to have a male child. This does not depict proper parenting as a good father should demonstrate total acceptance of a child rather than controlling the type of children he would want to raise. The selection of the sex of one’s child portrays the level of gender inequality on the part of the parents. By selecting a male child over a female one, as is the case under study, depicts that the two believe that females are weak and inferior. There have been cases whereby the cloning process did not give the expected results due to some errors (Evans 102; Roetz 66). If such an error were to happen for Susan and Joe, it could raise some serious problems. Therefore, it is demeaning to select the sex of a child. People should uphold the sanctity of life and this cannot be achieved by exercising control over the type (in this case gender) of a child one wants to raise.
Susan’s friends seem to have convinced her that having a male child has more to it other than having a child. According to them, a male child increases the commitment of a husband not only to the marriage but also to the family. In such a case, if she chose to have a male child, one of the desired results she expects from the child is to capture her husband’s undivided attention to the family. This beats Kass’ argument that the use of cloning makes children not to be our possessions or our children (9). A male child would be a possession not only to Susan but also to Joe.
The greatest dangers we confront in connection with the biological revolution arise not from principles alien to our way of life, but rather from those that are central to our self- definition and well-being: devotion to life and its preservation; freedom to enquire, invent or invest in whatever we want; a commitment to compassionate humanitarianism; and the confident pursuit of progress through the mastery of nature, fueled by unbridled technological advance (9).
The use of the knowledge of nature to manipulate the existence of other human beings reflects a high degree of negligence divine nature of humanity. It is immoral to disregard one’s gender based on our preferences (Roetz 74). However, there is nothing wrong with admiring a given nature. Additionally, everyone in life seek to be happy an aspect that is generated by the fulfillment of our dreams and desires. According to Joe, his happiness in his married life can only be enhanced by raising a male child and he could achieve that using the technology available i.e. cloning. Furthermore, the doctor had already informed the wife that they could only get a child through IVF. In such a scenario, the selection of the gender of the child was just a means of maximizing their opportunity.
Evans, John H. Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate.
Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print.
Kass, Leon. Life, liberty and Defense of Dignity: The Challenges of Bioethics. San Francisco,
CA: Encounter Books, 2003. Print.
Roetz, Heiner. At Interface/Probing the Boundaries, Vol. 27: Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics:
The Example of Human Cloning. Amsterdam, NLD: Editions Rodopi, 2006.