Reproductive Cloning and a Child’s Right to an Open Future

An open future, whether for a child or an adult, implies the freedom to choose one’s own interests, activities, occupations, and careers. Possessed of an open Mit Research Papers Computer Science future a person is free to choose her friends, colleagues, and romantic partners, as well as to choose her hometown, political affiliations, and path in life.
Many people have never had such blessings. Persons who lived in a dictatorial society, such as the former Soviet Union, did not have an open future. In China, where families are only permitted one child, a person’s future falls very short of being an open one. In failed states such as Somalia, no one has an open future. In nations experiencing ongoing religious warfare such as Iraq, very few can secure the privilege of an open future. The fortunate citizens of the United States have the very concept of open future enshrined in their nation’s formative document, the Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Parents are expected to provide for the possibility of their children’s open future. Parents hold the future autonomy of their children in trust and are expected to honor this precious commitment. Recent Innovation In Science And Technology Opponents of reproductive cloning argue that parents of children born via cloning technology will act in ways that will violate the right to an open future of these children.
Parents may clone an already born child in the hope of having a second child who is exactly like the first. The first child may be a star athlete or have the perfect combination of skin, hair, and eye color. The first child may be a piano prodigy or possess a beautiful singing voice. The parents fully expect the second child to reproduce the characteristics and qualities of the first.
As such, an open future is denied to the new child. The second child’s future is already mapped out for her by her parents. She is expected to have the same interests and qualities as her sibling from who she has been cloned. Further, she is not valued for herself. Rather she is valued merely as a copy of a child who is already deemed a success. If she tries to forge her own identity she may lose her parents love and support. She may choose autonomously but does so in the face of grave potential loss.
Alternatively, parents may choose to clone a relative or friend whose physical characteristics and occupation they admire. They might select DNA-to-be-cloned from an array of celebrity DNA. In all cases they intend to have a child who will mimic the qualities of that person from whom the child is cloned. Opponents of reproductive cloning believe that if this technology is permitted to come in the front door, an open future for such children will go out the window.

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