Monthly Archives: January 2017

Information About The Legal and Ethical Issues of Cloning

Ever since the advent of cloning, there have been arguments for and against this process. A fundamental argument is that cloning is ethically wrong and various religious groups have rejected it saying that cloning is equivalent to ‘playing God’. Here is a discussion about the ethical issues that have arisen concerned with cloning humans.

Did You Know?
In 1997, Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be successfully cloned. The cloning required an astonishing 277 trials that produced only 29 embryos, among which only one birth survived.
The rapid advancements in science and technology over the last couple of decades has meant that mankind is exploring newer frontiers and challenging long-held beliefs and notions. One such field is cloning. Creating exact copies or cloning human beings has always fired the human imagination. This desire has manifested itself in various art and entertainment depicting cloned humans. The successful cloning of ‘Dolly’ in 1997 further fueled talk about the possibility of human cloning. Over the years, cloning has come to mean an artificial and identical genetic copy of an existing life form.

To explain in a scientific way, cloning means replacing the egg nucleus of an organism with the donor’s nucleus. This nucleus contains unique genes of the donor. The procedure involves removing the nucleus of a somatic cell and inserting it into an enucleated or unfertilized egg cell. Unlike natural reproduction, wherein the egg contains a combination of genetic material, this egg which grows into an embryo contains only the donor’s gene.

Theoretically, this might seem fairly straightforward. However, a high failure rate along with prevalence of high deformity and disability rates in cloned animals, strongly suggests cloning might not be applicable to humans.
The Ethical Issues – A Gist
~ Cloning does have its share of advantages.
~ It helps homosexual and sterile couples to have biological offspring.
~ It also helps in in-depth research, like motor neuron disease.
~ Embryonic stem cells can be cloned to produce tissues or organs to replace or repair the damaged ones.
~ Human cloning could allow parents who have lost a child a chance to redress their loss using the DNA of their deceased child.
~ On the flip side, cloning presents us with certain issues like the kind of life a cloned individual will lead.
~ Would he live like a unique individual or would he have to live like a genetic prisoner? Should parents choose the traits of a future child as is possible with cloning?
~ These and other such issues present an ethical and moral dilemma for scientists and experts alike who see cloning as a potential danger to human identity.
The Ethical Issues – In Detail
Religious Belief and Control
Cloning goes against the basic belief of certain religions that only God has created life and its various forms in nature. Humans cannot act as “God”. Even when genetically identical twins are born, their embryo splits spontaneously or randomly to give a new unique genetic combination. Cloning involves a controlled split of the embryo to produce a tailor-made genetic make up.
Ethically, it is wrong for any human to have control over the genetic make up of any other individual. More so, the cloned individual would be generated for specific purposes. This in essence is wrong wherein the purpose of an individual’s life should be more than just satisfying someone else’s needs.
Relationships and Individuality
Cloning creates a new human, yet strips him off his individuality. A man, along with his clone can never be dignified as a single identity. The uniqueness attributed to humans from God might be at stake. The replication of an individual is a major blow to his most distinct feature – his identity.
An important fact – how will the cloned individual might react and behave with regards to his family and parents? If he/she is cloned from his grandparents and not his parents, would he/she be considered a sibling? How would he/she react? How would the parents and family regard the cloned individual? When we are unsure about the implications or consequences of such situations, it is ethically wrong to subject any individual to such tests as fellow human beings.
Failure Rate
Physicians and doctors have a moral obligation to ensure and translate the safety of any medical procedure to his/her patients. As of now, no one can guarantee that the child born due to cloning would be a healthy one.
The high failure rate in cloning mammals and other species is completely unacceptable when it comes to cloning humans. Moreover, in case of a failed cloning attempt, putting down mammals or other species in itself is distressing. Translating the same in case of human clones is ethically and medically unjustifiable, as well as criminal.
Legal and Other Issues
Altering Gene Pool
If cloning becomes widespread, the genetic diversity of humans will go down. This would result in the decrease in immunity of humans against diseases. Thus making humans susceptible to epidemics and unknown diseases.
Some advocate human cloning as ethically unacceptable because it is seen as a threat to the entire human evolution. Though this issue is slightly hypothetical, it still can pose a potential threat to all humanity. Along with reducing generic diversity, there are risks of transmitting degenerative diseases from the donor human to the clone. Trans-genetic manipulation, where genetic material from one species is artificially inserted into another species, if applied to humans, would lead to transfer of diseases from other species. Thus, large-scale cloning might prove to be a serious blow to the entire human race in future.
Illegal Cloning and Clones
A cloned child having multiple donors might complicate parental right issues as well as inheritance and marital eligibility issues. Another view suggests that there is a possibility of clones being developed without the concerned individual’s consent. This will definitely create legal issues not to mention violation of medical as well as moral ethics.
Many people are also concerned that clones would be produced with a specific need and purpose in mind and such cloned individuals would be traded or sold, amounting to human trafficking which is illegal.

At the other end of spectrum are some experts who are of the opinion that the embryo does not require any particular moral consideration. They say that, at the stage when an embryo is cloned, it is just a bunch of cells that contain DNA, which are not very different from the millions of skin cells that we shed everyday. The embryonic cells at that stage cannot be considered equivalent to a human being because it does not have thoughts, self-awareness, memory, awareness of its environment, sensory organs, internal organs, legs, arms, and so on. They think that the embryo attains human identity or individuality much later during gestation, perhaps at the point when the brain develops so that it becomes aware of itself.

In view of the highly debatable aspects about cloning and weighing in on the pros and cons of this process, UNESCO passed a non-binding “United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning”, in March 2005, which states: “Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings, shall not be permitted.” In the United States there are no federal laws that ban cloning completely, yet 13 states have banned reproductive cloning. Although many countries have banned cloning, many countries allow therapeutic cloning, a system in which the stem cells are extracted from the pre-embryo, with the intention of generating a whole organ or tissue, so that it can be transplanted back into the person who gave the DNA.
Since human cloning raises some serious concerns, it would be highly irresponsible to pursue this method, without giving it a serious thought. New issues are bound to crop up with advances in this field, and only time can decide its fate. Until the benefits are discussed by society to outweigh the harm, it would be inappropriate to participate in cloning of humans.

The Difference of Legal Separation And Divorce

In its simplest terms, the difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that a divorce ends a marriage, while legal separation does not. A legal separation allows some cool-off time for a troubled couple and gives them a chance to reconcile their relationship. And if things work out well between the couple, the legal separation can be ended and the couple can continue their marriage. A divorce on the other hand puts a permanent full-stop to the marriage.
There are many ways to get out of a troubled marriage. You may either live separately from your spouse or approach the judiciary for a decree of legal separation, annulment, or divorce. Before choosing one, you have to understand the difference between these legal concepts and their pros and cons. Choose the one that is best suited for you. The laws relating to marriage, divorce and legal separation may vary from one state to another. So it is important to consult an attorney and understand the procedure and its consequences.
Separation, Legal Separation, and Divorce
The law gives you several options to reconcile your relationship. While a divorce is pretty straightforward and most people know about the legal repercussions that follow, let me first explain the slightly softer alternatives – separation and legal separation. In fact, there is only a very thin line that separates these legal concepts.
Separation

A couple may think that they need a divorce, when actually what they need is some time out. The pressure between two married people can sometimes be eased by just staying away from each other and working out a strategy for the future. However, there is no guarantee that the plan will work. Here, the status of ‘living separately’ does not have legal recognition. The spouses are not legally bound to follow the strategy they have prepared and this may end up in unnecessary litigation.
Separation Agreement

To avoid legal complications, the spouses can opt for a separation agreement, which clearly states the terms and conditions of separation. The agreement has to be notarized and signed by both parties. Such an agreement is considered as a valid contract that is legal and binding. If any of the parties to the contract fails to comply with the terms or violates them, the other one can approach the concerned court for enforcement of the same. This agreement can be filed along with the petition for divorce, so that the terms and conditions can be incorporated (partly or in whole) in the divorce agreement.
Legal Separation or Limited Divorce

The court will issue a separation order that will change your marital status to ‘living separate’. However, the marriage remains valid and remarriage is not allowed. The order may also have provisions with regard to child custody, division of assets and debts, financial support to the spouse and/or child, etc. After a certain point of time, the spouses may think about reconciliation or proceed with divorce formalities.
Divorce (or Absolute Divorce)

Once divorce is granted, it means termination of the marriage. Issues like division of assets and debts, alimony, child custody, etc., are taken into consideration. In most states, there is a compulsory waiting period of six months to one year, before the spouses can remarry. If the spouses do not agree to the terms, the trial decision will be taken by the judge. Some states require the spouses to undergo a legal separation for a stipulated period, before they apply for divorce.
Legal Separation or Divorce – Which One to Choose?
As mentioned above, legal separation and divorce are almost similar in the duration of the procedure as well as the costs incurred. In some states, it is mandatory to undergo the procedure of legal separation, before filing for divorce. So, when you have to choose between any of the two options, you have to weigh the pros and cons of both legal separation and divorce.
If You Want to Terminate the Marriage and/or Remarry
Divorce is the better choice, as there is no point in obtaining a legal separation (unless it is mandatory), which does not terminate the marriage and the parties are not allowed to remarry.
If There are Chances of Reconciliation
In that case, a divorce would prove futile. Even a legal separation may not be a good idea to pursue. You have to move the court to vacate the judgment. So if separation is your attempt to save your marriage, live apart and give it a try. In such cases, it will be better to prepare a separation agreement.
If You Have Financial Constraints
Legal separation may prove beneficial in some cases.
The employer’s health insurance plans may not cover the ex-spouse of the employee, in case of divorce. This may not be the case in legal separation, but make sure to check the terms and conditions beforehand.
Certain social security benefits are meant for those who remain married for at least ten years, before divorce. In that case, a legal separation may prolong the term of the marriage.
The ten-year marriage requirement is applicable for spouses of those serving in the military. In that case too, a legal separation may prove useful.
Religious and Moral Reasons
If your religious and/or moral beliefs are against divorce, then it is better to opt for legal separation that will allow you to retain the married status, without living together.
This is only a brief overview about the various aspects of legal separation and divorce. Before choosing any one of them, consult an attorney and learn more about the current provisions applicable for the concerned jurisdiction. The legal separation agreement must be drafted carefully, as it could be used as your divorce agreement.

Know More About Personal Injury Lawyer

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to contact an attorney, for a personal injury sustained by another person, you want a seasoned and highly skilled lawyer with a record of accomplishment in the area of personal injury representation. Personal injuries fall under the category of injuries at work, car crashes, any kind accident, medical mistakes, slip and fall accidents, and products you bought showing defect causing you or your family harm.
A lawyer who devotes his life to helping people who were wrongfully injured is the representation you look for and need to represent you in a court of law. Wrongful injuries can change your life and that of your families for a long time. Wrongful injuries can stem from physical, emotional, personal property, personal reputation, or rights. This injustice leaves deep scars due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of an individual, a government, store, manufacturer, medical professional, and more. An attorney who wears many hats cannot be focused in any one area of law. It is a seasoned lawyer whose experience is in bodily injury, vehicle accidents, speeding tickets, and workers’ compensation, which has the knowledge and skill to handle your personal injury case.
If you ever have the need for a personal injury attorney because you, a friend, or relative received injuries due to someone’s negligence or caused the death of a loved one there are some things you need to do first. – You must call a seasoned personal injury attorney for that necessary first appointment, which is usually a free consultation, ASAP. – You must gather all the documentation and photos together if you have them. – You must get your facts in order. – You must present to the lawyer all the information you collected to determine just and fair compensation. This attorney does not know if he can handle your case until he has all this vital information in front of him.
At this time the attorney decides if you have a chance of winning your case in court. Some attorneys are contingent based, meaning you pay nothing to your attorney until you win your case appointing you rightful and just compensation. This free initial consultation helps the attorney decide all the facts of your case. At this consultation your attorney determines if another person wronged you. The attorney decides if he or she can help you win your case. It is your right to have your day in court; however, if the personal injury lawyer does not feel you have a case he may not represent you. A consultation is the first step towards deciding if you have a case you can win.
In Conclusion A Sedalia wrongful death attorney is not likely to agree to represent you until you and this lawyer mutually agree to all the terms of your case, presented in writing. A skilled attorney is not likely to take your case if they believe you do not have a case and can win in court. So being organized and ready for your consultation will help ensure you get things moving quicker with your case.