Utilitarianism, as a philosophical doctrine of ethics, holds that an idea or a course of action is morally worthwhile to the extent of its contribution to the overall utility in maximization of pleasure or happiness in the view of a majority of the people. Utilitarianism is that belief by people that the right course of action is that which provides the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. This doctrine can thus aptly justify cloning. Cloning is the production of organisms that are genetically identical to others through transfer of somatic nuclear cell (Dunn 4).
Cloning was first successfully done in February 1997, by embryologist Ian Wilmut together with his colleagues at Roslin Institute in Scotland. This successful cloning was for a lamb named Dolly (Dunn 4). Ever since, this astounding development in science was achieved; applaud and criticism in almost equal measure has been mated out on the proponents of this science from myriad sections of the society. For some of the critics, cloning, among other disadvantages, defies religion and God in the sense that cloning is itself “playing God” and hence unethical. However, this doctrine of utilitarianism conceptualizes and perceives it from a different perspective and alleges that cloning indeed is acceptable and in some circumstances inevitable hence ethical.
In support of the ethical aspects of cloning, I will explore some of its desirable outcomes. The desirability of these outcomes emanates from the fact or rather the perception that a substantial size of the population deems it fit and acceptable, due to its contribution to the general well-being of vast sections of the society and hence pleasurable to them.
First and foremost, cloning can help sterile couples get their own biological offspring. Additionally, couples that cannot get children in the natural ways can get relief through cloning. It is indisputably the solemn wish and desire for every couple to get children and lack of which is not only regrettable but also tormenting. Therefore, cloning is advantageous in such a circumstance, and an argument of it being unethical in such a scenario cannot be held.
Cloning would aid homosexual couples get children too. The society today has tremendously changed, and new forms of cultures, previously unacceptable, have slowly been accepted and adopted in some sections of the society. Sexuality is one of the aspects of human beings that has notably transformed, and this is evidenced by the evolution of same sex unions and marriages. These kinds of unions have been legalized in many nations of the world, and thus it would be pleasurable in these societies to adopt cloning to aid them get children.
In addition, cloning aids in in-depth scientific research. Research is the basis upon which tremendous development in science has been achieved. Through research, just to name a few, medicines and causes of various ailments have been ably established and thus aid in raising a healthy society. Scientific research is thus inevitable. In a nutshell, through cloning, scientists learn more about cells and cell differentiation. With this kind of in-depth knowledge and understanding of the cells, great strides in the science of developing cures and vaccines will be achieved. Moreover, technology can be developed to aid easier genetic testing and tackle problems such as cancer, spinal cord injuries, Tay-Sachs disease, among others.
The fact that cloning can be helpful in producing human organs for transplant is of great importance too. There is an ever high demand for organs for transplant. With people aging and existence of such diseases as diabetes and many others which lead to organ failure and defectiveness of the same, demand for human organs for transplant will always be high and since the supply for the same is in a way limited, producing these organs through cloning would be a great achievement and of benefit to many.
Cloning, as believed by some scientists, will one day be used to reverse heart attacks. This would be by rejuvenation where cloned healthy cells of the heart are injected into the damaged heart tissue healing the heart. This is part of research by Human Cloning Foundation.
The doctrine of utilitarianism adequately supports the argument that cloning is an ethical practice and which if adopted, would go a long way in benefiting a lot of people and institutions in the society.