Proponents of cloning claim it can cure illnesses, speed recovery from injuries and prolong human life. Critics cite medical, ethical and legal concerns. Opinions about the technology are based on religious and moral, as well as scientific, beliefs.
Cloning allows for the replacement of diseased or damaged human cells, enabling people to maintain health and perhaps live longer. By removing defective genes, inherited diseases and mutations can be eliminated. Athletes and accident victims recover faster from injuries when their cloned cells take the place of damaged tissues. Infertile people could even clone their cells to create children, according to HeathResearchFunding.org.
Some critics of cloning consider it "playing God" to create a living organism in a laboratory. They say such acts threaten to diminish individuality and the value of human life. They note that cloning could be abused for illegal purposes. Among the possible unintended health outcomes are adverse medical reactions and shortened lives. Opponents of cloning point out that Dolly the cloned sheep died at a young age after contracting a rare disease, states HealthGuidance.org. Cloning opponents predict prejudice and class divisions. Cloned humans would likely be treated as property, which can be bought and sold. Their legal and civil rights, and place in society, would differ from those of "real" people.