Ethics of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a new and cutting-edge discipline that intervenes in areas that previously seemed unshakable. This inevitably leads to many ethical issues.

One of the main ethical problems of biotechnology is related to cloning.There is controversy about the moral aspect of cloning, in many countries human cloning is prohibited at the state level (for example, in Japan and France). The two main aims of human cloning are therapeutic  (creation of donor cells) and reproductive. Reproductive cloning is forbidden in most countries because of many ethical and legacy issues. The clone will have the same genotype as its original, but will they be actually similar? How to identify people in a world where cloning is allowed? Will cloning cause xenophobic moods in the society? Legal issues regarding the role of the clone in society, as well as its relationship with the original, have not been resolved.

Therapeutic cloning is legal in many countries, but it also causes some ethical issues. Therapeutic cloning works with cells of embryos and copies them by creating another embryo, which will never be born. The ethical issues of therapeutic cloning are related to the supposed rights of cloned embryo.

Another significant ethical issue of Biotechnology is animal rights. Genetic engineering actively uses animals for experiments, and animals can also be used to produce certain hormones and even donor organs in the future. Even a special breed of mice is derived for genetic experiments. Of course, it causes the issue of animal protection in the framework of genetic engineering and other branches of biotechnology.

Many of ethical issues in Biotechnology are related to religion. Most religions have a negative attitude to cloning and genetic engineering, crossing different species of animals and plants, and especially to all biotechnical areas associated with human health,  life expectancy and reproduction.

08/26/17