The Ethics of Cloning
Cloning is a biological technique of producing any required number of individuals with identical properties as the parent organism from a single cell of the latter. Cloning of protozoa, plants and lower animals meets with no moral objections, but the as yet hypothetical but increasingly more realistic prospect of cloning human beings appears to be highly objectionable. The analysis of the arguments used in the discussion of cloning indicates that mass-scale or repeated replication of human individuals is unacceptable. Such a practice would probably trigger an avalanche of psychological problems connected with the diluted identity of the cloned offspring, a possible social stigmatization of the clones and the negative effects of a narrowing of the genetic pool of the human species which would limit its ability of biological adaptation to the varying conditions of the environment.
However, in individual cases, a cloning of one individual motivated by medical, social or psychological reasons might be acceptable as long as it does not clash with normal expectations and interests of parents who have ‘natural’ progeny. This is at least the conclusion of the application of the consequentialist calculus of utilities, in which utility represents different degrees of satisfaction of various interests of social groups and individuals involved.