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Ethical Debates on Cloning

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Introduction

Over the past few years human cloning has become a great concern, this is mainly because of ethics. There are many great reason that have been presented about why to clone or why not to clone.

There have been great results produced by animal cloning. This has made some people suggest that human clones should also be produced. Lots of sources have highlighted the fact that there is a possibility that we can clone a human to replace someone who has died. But there are many moral concerns raised when we speak of cloning humans.

Defining Human Cloning

Before discussing the topic of cloning we must know what cloning is. There are many views on how cloning can be defined. For example the American Medical Association (AMA) defined cloning as “the production of genetically identical organisms via somatic cell nuclear transfer. ‘Somatic cell nuclear transfer’ refers to the process which the nucleus of a somatic cell of an existing organism is transferred into an oocyte from which the nucleus has been removed” (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs 1). So basically a clone has the same genes as the cloned. In order to clone you wold take an egg, without a nucleus, then insert the DNA of the person that is to be cloned into the egg. This process is to be done by fussing the egg with the cell, or by nuclear transfer. Then we would make the egg become and embryo by means of electricity or by chemicals. Then we would implant the egg inside the mother for the egg to grow. There are other definitions to cloning. Some say that cloning is also the production of tissues and organs through growing cells or tissues in cultures along with the actual producing of embryos to be born. This process would be done by using stem cells. When a fertilized egg begins to divide, all the cells inside are similar. However, when the cells start to divide the cells start changing and become stem cells, stem cells are cells that produce different types of tissues and then those tissues will produce organs. We can clone organs by producing stem cells which will then create that organ.

But we must understand that when we clone we don’t not get exact copies of the cloned. When we clone, the DNA of the cloned will transfer to the clone but the person will not be an exact copy becausethe clone will grow up in a different environment than the cloned and the clone will have different experiences and different opportunities. And since an individual also adapts based on experiences and the surroundings, the clone will look and do different things than the cloned.

How It All Started

Before we speak of the good and bad of cloning we must see how cloning started. The idea of cloning was just science fiction until February 1997, when Ian Wilmut, an embryologist, found a way to clone a lamb, its name was Dolly. After this experiments conclusion was published we were introduced to a new possibility.Previously, cloning was thought to be unachievable but because of this experiment there has been proof that cloning can be accomplished and we have the knowledge and technology to do so.

The first successfully cloned mammal was Dolly and since then there scientists have made improvement to the cloning technology and procedure and know people have been able to create clones such as; mouse, cattle, goat, pig, deer, rabbit, cat, mule, and horse clones.

Even though technology has improved he chances of successful clones is very slim. For every 100 experiments only one, two, or if lucky, perhaps three appear to produce a viable offspring in surrogate mothers. There has been no actual proof of why the chances are really low but some researchers say that this is only because we have recently been introduced to cloning, and it will take a while for our technology to evolve so that there is slight chances of error.

There has been no evidence that we can successfully create a human clone. But recently is South Korea some scientists were successful in creating stem cells from human embryos that were cloned. This experiment has started to make people think that a world were cloning humans is common, is not far away.

Positives of cloning

We could kill bad genes:Genetic illnesses are deadly killers and soon they might just be the thing that causes most deaths. Since humans will continue to reproduce and create life the damage to DNA lines will increase. Damages to DNA line cans create mutations and dangerous genes, but this threat to our life could be easily eliminated if we clone healthy human cells.

We could recover faster after life threating injuries:After someone has been in a terrible accident the complete recovery of that person will be near impossible but that person may be able to heal properly by cloning their own cells to recover the damaged area.

No more infertility:Even though there are infertility treatments, what would happen if an infertile couple had a child? The couple would then be able joyfully experience having a family without join through painful procedures, to make themselves fertile.

Potential Harms and Disadvantages

We could age faster: Because an older cell is often being used to create a human clone, there is the possibility that this imprinted age could be placed on the growing embryo. This would then create premature aging issues and potentially even premature death, all because of the cloning process.

Less individuality: Even though a human clone is only a genetically exact copy of the cloned person the cloned person might have a loss of individuality since a clone is basically a genetic twin of themselves, not matter how different the two might look.

Value of human life might be reduced:If we do clone there will be a possibility the some people might that humans are more of commodity than they are priceless. For example if a couple does not like their child they could just clone a better one, to suit their needs. It might also create a social hierarchy where perfect humans are at the top and the other humans, naturally made are at the bottom.

We Should Clone

A lot of people have difficulties having children but if we could clone then there would be no difficulty. For example; a couple has their first child but then they find out that they are now infertile and won’t be able to have more children. The process of cloning would let the couple have more children and if they want they could even have a genetic twin of their first child.

We Should Not Clone

If we do clone there is a chance that the clones will be looked down upon.If we create a clone just so the cloned might get a kidney or bone marrow we have to ask out selves if the parents will look down upon the clone because the only reason he was born was to give a kidney. If the parents do think lower of him then that will result in negative self-esteem and might lead to more homelessness. But there is an even bigger problem what if someone creates perfect soldiers? If this does happen then the world will become corrupted because people will attack others more often and we would start wars. And if the one who wins the war at the end will rule the world and it is not a good thing to let someone who has committed genocide take over the world.

Alternatives to cloning

Cloning organs for others and for research

Advantage(s)

Since there are people in the world who need organs, we could transplant cloned organs so no natural human needs to donate an organ. By cloning organs we could replace non-functional organs with going to the trouble of finding a proper donor. If we clone humans and get clones, we can do studies on their bodies to see how a normal human body works because we are not actually harming a real human just a clone.

Disadvantage(s)

If we create clones or even parts for research most will consider it unethical. We should not look down upon clone, clones are also living creatures and they should be treated just like their cloned counter-parts.

Cloning cells

Advantage(s)

Some scientists believe that by injecting cloned healthy heart cells into damaged heart tissue will lead to healing of the heart (Human Cloning Foundation). If we clone and create stem cells we could inject those cells into the human body and prevent things Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. There are many great things that could come from cloning but if cloning is not allowed then we could never be able to stop terrible diseases.

Disadvantage(s)

We don’t have a clue about the negative effect of cloning in the long run.Before cloning we should figure out what could go wrong and try to fix it.In an evolutionary standpoint, cloning is not good. Evolution relies on a continual mixing and matching of genes to keep the gene pool alive (McCormack). With cloning, the natural process of selection of genes would be bypassed and evolution would be impaired.

Cloning animals that can be useful for our lives

Advantage(s)

We already give animals no rights and think we are better than them so why not continue? By cloning animals to create a perfect animal we can get what we want. For example if we clone a poisonous animal we can take its poison and study it and we can also invent medicine to cure poisons form a clone animal so we won’t have to harm a real animal life.

Disadvantage(s)

If we do clone it would lead to loss of individuality, even for animals. This will be because the animal that is cloned will have its genetic conditions known. This could be a great stress to the clone and possibly even the loss of ability to choose for itself (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs 5). When a farmer knows if an animal has a genetic problem or not he will then decide to keep the animal or to kill it. After all animals do have a mind of their own and they should be allowed to be free in this world

My Personal Recommendation

After doing some research on the possibilities of cloning, I think finding out how we can clone was a great advancement of knowledge. Even though I think cloning is something that could be helpful for us I don’t think we should find ways to make life besides to natural way. I think we should use the knowledge of cloning to create new organs and cells. I am on the side of cloning cells and organs because I don’t think of it like cloning complete creatures.If we do this it would increase our knowledge of the human body as well as letting us save lives.

Conclusion

The knowledge of cloning that we have could change the world for ever or if it is banned it could have minimal effect on our daily lives. Cloning is a process that would create human life form asexually. When a clone is born it will have the same genetic material as the cloned, this could be a great thing for humans.

But some think that it is unethical to clone. And because people think that cloning is unethical, many countries have banned cloning. In turn it has caused advancement in technology for cloning to slow down. Even though there is still a lot we don’t know about cloning I think it can be used for the good and will one day benefit us.


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