“Analysis of the Third Twin”
In the book The Third Twin by Ken Follet a number of ethical issues arise throughout all of the thrills and plot twists that occur. The main ethical issue that arises in the novel is that of human cloning. In the book the female protagonist, Jean Ferrami, begins to unravel a series of mysteries where a corporation known as “Genetico” had invitro fertilized eight identical zygotes and inserted them into eight different mothers within a close period of time. This happened in the early 1970’s and had been kept a secret until now. In order to better understand the ethical issues of cloning you must examine the Catholic Church’s view on it and the attitude that the general society feels towards it.
The Roman Catholic Church has officially stated that “every possible act of cloning humans is intrinsically evil”. They believe this based on several things. In the bible it is written that man was made in the image of God and so if humans are creating life in a different means then they are straying from this idea of man being made in the image of God. Also, the Catholic Church believes that all humans have a soul. They believe that this soul is unique to every person. So, if an individual was made in the exact likeness as another individual then their soul may not be unique. They believe that it will never be possible to clone the human soul.
The world society as a whole does not support human cloning. There are several radical groups that do fully support and research the ideas of cloning and claim to have cloned a human, although there is no proof of this. The general public does not support human cloning based on health and religious concerns. The health concerns are a primary worry for the public. It has been shown in the clone of Dolly the sheep that the clone had side effects of accelerated aging. Not until the cloning process is proven safe and effective will people even begin to examine the issue. In a recent poll it has been revealed that less than half of the public support animal cloning. Another survey was done about the cloning of humans and the vast majority of American’s oppose human cloning (four out of five people oppose cloning). At this point in time cloning and human cloning is not supported by the majority of the public.
Although, the health concerns are a major issue it comes down to religion for most people. Most religious traditions share the same standpoint as the Roman Catholic’s although there are some slight variations in several religions. In the Jewish tradition cloning is definitely frowned upon but they feel that in certain circumstances it may be valid. They believe this because they believe that humans and God work hand in hand and that humans should work at improving their race. If cloning brings improvements to the human race then it may be allowed. The Islamic tradition has mixed views. The Islamic tradition holds much importance in kinship. So, if a cloned child has no mother or father then they may lose the kinship of their parents. While other Islamic thinkers believe that humans should do all that is possible to find more knowledge because “knowledge is bestowed on us by God”.
I feel that the character in the book The Third Twin that most resembles my view on.