The employment of cloning and human embryonic stem cells is unethical and unacceptable to society. The use of “spare” embryos shows the lack of respect for the embryo, which is the initial stage of human life. There is also a risk for a devaluation of embryos, wherein the loss of human life may later in time be tolerated instead of prevented (Bobrow, 2005). Also, the creation of embryos for research purposes is morally worse than using “spare” embryos from IVF cases for manipulation and research experiments.
Human cloning does not show respect for an embryo and this concern may influence possible future demand for embryos once this cellular technology is determined to be successfully therapeutic. Embryos might later be treated as therapeutic materials or commodities instead of living beings at their initial stages (Hug, 2005). I personally question whether it is right to improve life by destroying another human life in the form of an embryo.
There is also a risk for a devaluation of embryos, wherein the loss of human life may later in time be tolerated instead of prevented. In addition, the acceptance of destruction of embryos may serve as a precedent for implementation of other controversial biomedical acts such as creation of embryo “factories”, cloned babies and mass production of “spare parts” from fetuses (Hug, 2006). On a Christian perspective, women may be tempted to sell their embryos if they find difficulty in earning money to support their families.
Such idea may be against the teachings of the Christian doctrine, which is depicted in The Bible as “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (Timothy 2: 14-15). Another major issue that is being publicly scrutinized is whether the creation of embryos for research purposes is morally worse than using “spare” embryos from IVF cases for experiments. As depicted in The Bible, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted” (John 6:12).
Such issue reflects the intention of each act, and the idea of using leftover embryos from in vitro fertilization protocols is much more tolerable to society than the simple creation of research-oriented embryos because there is less guilt involved in using extra or spare embryos from IVF cases than creating embryos that could have been another human being but their chance to live has been taken away (Borge and Evers, 2003).
(1987): The New American Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. Bobrow, J. C. (2005): The ethics and politics of stem cell research.
Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 103:138-142. Borge, O. J. and Evers, K. (2003): Aspects on properties, use and ethical considerations of embryonic stem cells- A short review. Cytotechnology 41:59-68. Hug, K. (2005): Sources of human embryos for stem cell research: Ethical problems and their possible solutions. Medicina (Kaunas) 41(12):1002-1010. Hug, K. (2006): Therapeutic perspectives of human embryonic stem cell research versus the moral status of a human embryo- Does one have to be compromised for the other? Medicina (Kaunas) 42(2):107-114.