Ethics Of Cloning Essay, Research Paper
The rapid development of the technology for cloning has led to moral debates around the world on whether or not to ban creating human clones. With the advancement of clone technology two states, California and Michigan have already banned the cloning of humans. “Everybody who thought it would proceed slowly and could be stopped was wrong, said Lee Silver, a professor from the University of Princeton (McFarling) . . .” Without proper research on behalf of the politicians of California and Michigan, the premature ban should be reconsidered and appealed. Cloning could provide a way for infertile couples to produce children genetically similar to themselves, a method of creating spare organs for transplants, and a cure for genetic disease. Human cloning may provide numerous benefits to mankind and should not be banned.
Cloning is the Creation of another person that is an exact copy of another person (Clarke); this leaves too much to the imagination and leads to misunderstanding of the methods scientists use in cloning. In more clear terms, cloning is the process in which DNA of a female egg is replaced with different DNA from another cell. This process is referred to as the Nuclear Transfer or Nuclear Substitution. DNA molecules are the strings of protein that hold genetic coding. In this operation, the nucleus, which is the part of the cell that contains the DNA, are carefully removed from an unfertilized female egg then replaced with the DNA from the cell of another person (Harris). The egg with the DNA from another person is then manipulated into believing it has been fertilized and is implanted into the womb of the mother just as is done in the process of vitro fertilization. Afterwards the fetus develops and is born after nine months, just like a natural baby (Dumesic). What this means is that the clone shares only the same DNA as the person from which it was cloned. It shares none of the same memories, knows none of the same people, and it will experience completely different things. The clone is like a much younger identical twin. The person and the clone of the person share the same genetic structure, which means the clone will look the exact same as the original. Studies have shown that identical twins who are raised apart often share similar personalities and intelligence, even though possessed of entirely different experience and background.
A mixture between two people’s genetic structure could provide a way for infertile couples or homosexual couples with a way to create a genetically related child. There are many couples in the world of which one of the partners is unable to naturally donate his/her genes for the purpose of procreation. Only through cloning technology will they be able to give birth to a child that is related to them genetically. Ensuring that the families genes are passed on to future generations would be more appealing to parents than adoption or using sperm and eggs from an unrelated donor. In late 1997 Richard Seed announced that he would attempt to create a child using cloning technology, and his post menopausal wife would be carrying the child. “Seed, with no medical credentials or funding, is not expected to succeed (McFarling) . . .”
It is possible to create a full human being by cloning, but the clone does not have to develop into a full human. Inhibitors can be injected into a growing clone so that only certain organs will be produced. This process does not require a mother to carry the child for 9 months, and can be done in a laboratory petri dish. This gives doctors a way to create “spare parts” to be used in transplants. The major problems with transplants today are organ rejections; it is important to find a donor that matches certain criteria so that the immune system does not destroy the organ. For example, a liver can be grown outside the body using the patients own DNA and used in a transplant without fear of rejection. This will eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs and provide for a healthier recovery. Simple tissues such as skin cells have already been cloned in laboratories for use in skin grafts for burn victims. Other things that have been cloned include blood clotting factors for hemophiliacs, and plans to create specialized nerve cells to repair brain damage have begun (McFarling).
Another possible medical advance that could be developed further through cloning research is the early diagnosis and even the curing of genetic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A method called gene therapy is being developed by where a solution is injected into the patient; Once inside, the solution alters the area of the DNA where the disease is and fixes the problem (Blaese). Diabetes is a disease in which the cells cannot accept sugars from the blood without the help of insulin from either injection or oral pills. Diabetics could undergo gene therapy, and insulin could start being produced naturally again. Other products that are needed by humans, could be artificially produced by animals through cloning and genetic engineering. Genes from humans that produce necessary proteins, for example, could be included in the animal DNA so that the animal would produce that protein in its milk or blood. The protein could then be extracted and used in human treatments for various diseases or disorders (Dumesic).
This could also lead to a prevention and or cure for AIDS and cancer. A few people have successfully continued to live with AIDS or cancer, and in some cases the disease has gone away. Part of their genetic structure has strengthened the immune system to the point that it rids the body of these diseases. Their genes could be used in gene therapy, and help to strengthen peoples immune systems so they too can rid their bodies of these diseases.
Genetic defects could also be cured with cloning technology. A genetic defect is a mutation in which the DNA has been altered and caused an abnormality in the body. People who wish to have a child, could be tested for possible mutations in the DNA, and a genetic solution could be created and injected into the still developing egg (Blaese). Mutations are natural, but when it causes an abnormality it is a hard thing for a person to live with. Through cloning technology, genetic defects could be treated to the point where the person affected could live a normal life.
The call for the ban of human cloning has been premature in the development of the procedure. The benefits of cloning are innumerable to the medical field and could revolutionize potentially fatal procedures. Humankind could benefit greatly from this new technology, and it should not be banned. If God was the original “cloner” when he created Eve from Adam’s rib, and Jesus was a clone of god. If we are wrong in cloning, would not God also be?