Will we ever clone humans?

February 09, 2011, 10:00 PM GMT+0

As the dystopian drama Never Let Me Go, which addresses the controversial issue of cloning, receives its UK general release this Friday, we consider the results of a recent poll to gauge the British public’s view on this sensitive issue.

The movie, starring Kiera Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield (pictured), and which has already been screened at several film festivals including the 2010 International Toronto Film Festival, features the cloning of both humans and organs, and is set in a world where the creation of clones for body parts is routine.

Over the question of whether human cloning would take place in the future, opinion was almost evenly split in a poll from October 2010.

  • 47% of people think it likely that we will clone human beings in the next forty years
  • But 43% didn’t see human cloning taking place in the near future

Cloning of animals was considered a more likely project.

  • 52% said that the reappearance of an extinct species through cloning will either definitely or probably happen in the next two decades
  • Whereas 37% didn’t think this would be the case

The ethics of cloning was strongly contested by some of our UK panellists in a 2010 debate, with many considering the cloning of humans to be a slippery slope, ‘towards an unregulated use of cloning which would spiral out of hand’. However, the cloning of organs was met with a more positive response, deemed by some to be ‘medically very useful’.

Related story: What's likely to happen in the next 40 years?
See the survey details and full results