Brock very thoroughly details both sides of the argument, for and against human cloning. I agree entirely with his analysis of each side, especially as he strikes down some common fallacious arguments for and against (e.g. he discredits that “human cloning and research on human cloning might make possible important advances in scientific knowledge”). However, I ultimately disagree with his conclusion (which I believe was made short relative to the remainder of the paper to inject uncertainty and encourage reader interpretation).
The reason for my disagreement is simply because I assign different weights than Brock to the conclusions that he comes to, and thus in the end I don’t see the scale as balanced. Brock begins with what I believe to be his strongest argument, which is for cloning. Brock explains that there currently exists a right to reproductive freedom, which includes the right to choose how reproduction occurs (e.g. naturally, or In Vitro Fertilization) as well as the right to choose, within reason, the results of the reproduction (currently, one may choose which embryo to proceed with based on its genetic characteristics). Now, it can be seen that human cloning is simply yet another option for choice in the lists. I believe that this right is very closely tied to that of general autonomy, and is therefore one of, if not the, most unalienable right.
Similarly, I believe that the benefit of cloning a later twin body (no functioning brain) for organ harvesting is a very compelling reason for the allowance of human cloning, although the procedure done here would not fall under most people’s classification of “cloning”. Of course, such a procedure would only be permissible so long as the organs could not be developed individually and independently.
Much importance lies in Brock’s discussion of whether the use of human cloning would violate moral rights. In both of the rights he considers (a right to a unique identity and a right to ignorance of one’s future), neither are supported by a compelling argument. It’s certain that nurture plays a nontrivial role in an individual’s development, as genetically identical twins are often very qualitatively “different” individuals, with unique personalities, demeanors, and intellects (even when grown up together). Thus, a later twin would not be expected to suffer from any significant degree of non-uniqueness. This argument need only be slightly modified for the second right considered, as two genetically identical individuals with an age gap would not be expected to live out identical paths. Although, as Brock mentions, the scientific improbability does not restrict the chance that such a thought could torment the later twin unbearably. However, I believe that torment could be alleviated or eliminated to a reasonable degree with moderate education and potential self-imposed isolation. Additionally, it should not be expected, after education, that such torment would be significantly different from that spawning from a sibling-sibling concern or a sibling-parent concern. Thus, these negative qualities are not of much importance as no important rights of the later twin would be violated.
The most legitimate concern for human cloning to address that which was brought up by the director of the National Institutes of Health, which is that a cell used for cloning, taken from an adult (and therefore subjected to years of possible harmful genetic mutations) could result in producing a cloned twin with a predisposition for cancer. This is likely the biggest concern for cloning, although I believe it can be ameliorated by first screening the candidate cell for known genetic mutations that could be potentially cancerous.