Would a Human Clone Have Human Rights?
We should clone people and use the clones for spare parts.
Assuming that by "clones" we mean genetic duplicates of humans, this is a Q1 violation if you believe human clones are morally equivalent to humans.
Since a clone would not necessarily know it was a clone, this statement violates Q2 if you would object to being used for spare parts if you found out you were a clone. It may also be a Q2 violation if you cannot find a way to consistently distinguish a clone from a non-clone.
The validity of this statement relies on the assumption that human clones are morally distinct from non-cloned ("natural") humans, and that intelligent non-human thinking beings can be used as spare parts for natural humans.
The latter statement is very difficult to justify. By Q2, it opens up the possibility of an extraterrestrial race using humans as spare parts without our feeling justified in raising objections.
Whether human clones are morally distinct from natural humans may be a more difficult concept. It could be argued that a clone created for the express purpose of being used as spare parts is the property of its creator and therefore can be treated as property. But by this argument, what would be the moral status of a child conceived in the hope that its bone marrow might be used to treat an older sibling’s terminal disease? Is it the desire of the creator that eliminates rights, or the process of cloning?
If it is the process of cloning that denies rights, what is the moral status of the child of a woman who turned to cloning so that she could have a child without the participation of a father? The woman intended to raise the child as a natural child, but if it has diminished rights because it was cloned, could the mother morally demand the child’s heart at some future date to cure her own illness?
It may be that only some types of human clone have diminished moral status. What would be the moral status of the following?
- A clone that is your genetic twin but is kept in a permanent coma.
- A clone engineered to to be born without a brain and live in a nutrient bath, awaiting your medical needs.
- A clone whose development was partially suppressed so that only a specific limb or organ that you need as a replacement part was grown.
- A natural child whose damaged gene was replaced with a copy of a healthy parental gene while it was still a fetus.
- A pig whose genes were altered so that its eyes are clones of your eyes.
- A natural child born with no brain function, which could be brought to maturity in a chemical coma for use as an organ donor.
- A pair of seriously deformed natural children who could be used to create a single, undeformed child.
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.