Reproductive ethics is concerned with the ethics surrounding human reproduction and beginning-of-life issues such as contraception, assisted reproductive technologies (., in vitro fertilization, zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISCI), etc.), surrogacy, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Ethical issues specific to this field include among other concerns the introduction of technology into the reproductive process, distinctions between reproduction and procreation, the potential for abortifacient effects through the use of certain contraceptives, embryo & oocyte cryopreservation, embryo adoption & donation, uterus transplants, mitochondrial replacement/donation interventions; synthetic gametes, the exploitation and commodification of women for reproductive services (., egg donation and surrogacy), and sex selection of embryos or fetuses.
One of many concerns with human cloning is that cloning of animals sometimes cause fetal overgrowth (aka large-offspring syndrome.) The fetus grows unusually large and generally dies just before or after birth. They have under-developed lungs and reduced immunity to infection. Duke University researchers announced on 2001-AUG-15 that this particular problem would not exist in humans. The DNA of all primates, such as humans, monkeys and apes, have two copies of a gene that regulates fetal growth, whereas almost all other animals have only one. This spare copy should prevent fetal overgrowth in cloned human fetuses. Randy Jirtle, professor of radiation oncology at Duke University in Durham, NC, said: " It's going to be probably easier to clone us than it would be to clone these other animals because you don't have this problem -- not easy, but easier. '' 5 Kevin Eggan, of MIT's Whitehead Institute works with cloned mice. He called the Duke study " interesting from the perspective of the evolution of imprinting genes. " But he cautioned that there is no proof that abnormally large babies are born as a result of this one genetic difference. His lab has a " four-times normal size " mouse clone, which has normal IGFR2R genes. He suggests that there are other factors that can contribute to abnormal development in clones. 6
Will humans actually be cloned in the laboratory? I do not know. Scientists may be able to manipulate certain biological laws to evil ends. In their valuable book, Human Cloning – Playing God or Scientific Progress? (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming Revell / Baker Book House, 1998), Drs. Lane P. Lester and James C. Hefley suggested that on a scale of one to ten, scientists are at about a on the human cloning project – and that was three years ago! One thing we do know, man’s ability to achieve certain effects far outstrips his ethical values. It is wrong to conceive a child outside the bonds of marriage, but it happens all the time. It is immoral to murder a fellow human being, but the technology for so doing is available in abundance.