Human Cloning(Argumentative) Essay, Research Paper
30 March 2001
The Continuing Debate Over Human Cloning
In the past few years, human cloning has gone from a laboratory fantasy to a global debate. There are many arguments supporting both negative and positive effects of human cloning. Human cloning raises a lot of challenging questions about human liberty, dignity, and identity. Will human cloning be a great step for man, or will it lead to moral abyss? This question is asked all the time. With great research one would realize that with the implementation of human cloning, there would be a huge medical and non-medical advancement. People with superior or mental attributes would be cloned, large armies could be created, single and infertile parents could have children, and certain species could be saved from extinction. In contrast to all the positives of human cloning, there are more negatives related to the subject, mostly moral and ethical negatives coming from ethicists, psychologists, theologians and the church, as well as many mandated laws against the cloning of humans. Cloning could also cause a serious overpopulation crisis.
The first major point in favor of human cloning is that cancer patients would be able to have bone marrow transplants together with other organ transplants. The treatment for leukemia could be revolutionized. One of the more successful treatments for leukemia involves the transfer of the patient’s bone marrow through chemotherapy and the transplantation of healthy marrow cells. With marrow cells that are perfect
genetic matches for a leukemia patient could be created from that person with one’s own cell through the use of human cloning. Organ transplants and donations are not so efficient at this point in time. It does help, but more often it does not. This is because there are a lot of factors that are taken into account when an organ is replaced with a donated one. If someone dies, and has signed a paper allowing for his or her organs to be removed from his or her corpse and donated to people in need, and the organs proves to be healthy and working, then our donation policies prove effective. This, however, is not always the case. The fact that every second more people are born than die continues to limit the usefulness of this program. Cloning could undoubtedly remove all of these factors, by allowing corpses to rot away instead of being ripped open, and save thousands, maybe even millions, of lives. Cloning could also lead to a better treatment for heart attacks. According to the Human Cloning Foundation, doctors will be able to treat heart attack victims by cloning their healthy heart cells and injecting them into the areas of the heart that have been damaged. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and several other industrialized countries (Human Cloning Foundation 3). If heart disease can be cured, then human life expectancy will increase. In addition to better treatments for heart attacks, cloning may be able to ensure that one no longer suffers because of defective genes that cause cancer (Annas 2). Although scientist, do not know exactly how cells differentiate into specific kinds of tissues, nor understand why cancerous cells lose their differentiation, cloning, at last, could answer how to switch cells on and off, thus curing cancer.
Looking at human cloning from the non-medical point of view, scientist
could enhance cloning by understanding genetics. Human cloning, once perfected, could lead to the cloning of other things. Cows could be genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals in their milk. Babies could be brought up immune to diseases by simply mixing their formula with milk. One should think about the possibilities in third world countries like Somalia, where whole villages could be made healthy and immune to diseases, and hunger could be something from the past never to return again.
Another non-medical benefit from cloning is the potential for immortality. One hopes that cloning will help one to understand how to reverse DNA back to age twenty or whatever age one wanted to be (Mahendran 2). Could cloning be the long sought after fountain of youth? Furthermore, human cloning could also enhance cosmetic procedures. For instance, breast implants, which have the potential to cause immune diseases if not done correctly, would now cease to exist. Instead of using materials foreign to the body for such procedures, doctors would be able to manufacture fat, connective tissue, or cartilage that match the patient’s tissues exactly, thus ensuring that the needed tissue will be free of rejection by one’s immune system (Harris 4). Victims of terrible accidents that deform the face and body should now be able to have their features repaired with new, safer technology. Limbs for amputees will be able to be regenerated easily. Anyone would be able to have his or her appearance altered to satisfaction without the leaking of silicone gel into his or her body. Other problems that occur with present day plastic surgery would also be eliminated. Cloning could also have other medical benefits such as nerve and skin regeneration and treatment for specific diseases. It could enhance functions of mitochondrial genes in development, and speed the manufacturing of
therapeutic proteins, thus allowing it to be used in the treatment of rare medical conditions.
In addition, human cloning could be used to clone people with superior physical or mental attributes. With this technology one would be able to clone movie stars, athletes, and great thinkers. Very unique individuals would be cloned. This, in turn, would help the world grow into a better place for everyone. If one were to consider the specific example of Clint Eastwood, he is a great movie star. His films have grossed several billion dollars over thirty years (Genetic Encores 2). He is one of the most popular living movie stars. The cultural and economic value of cloning Clint Eastwood would be enormous. Tens of millions of fans would be delighted. His wife is of childbearing age, and could easily carry and deliver the child, which would be brought up in the family. If the Eastwood family decided they wanted to do this, why should the government prohibit it? This same argument applies to sports stars. For example, people have suggested cloning Michael Jordan, the super basketball player. Millions of basketball fans would applaud the announcement of the successful cloning of Michael Jordan. There would be widespread interest and incentives in the cloning of other major sports figures because sports is the number one form of entertainment in the United States (Harris 5). Noble prizewinners like Dr. Ian Wilmut, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein would definitely be worth cloning for the potential future contribution, which their twin might make. The potential for scientific advancement would be very high if these two scientists could be cloned and educated in the 21st century. If Newton and Einstein were cloned at the same time, and they collaborated scientifically, who could tell
what scientific marvels these two great minds might discover? Science could have surpassed its present position, and technology could be twenty years ahead of its time. World peace and a cure for AIDS could stem from the cloning of those great philosophers and scientists respectively.
Cloning could also be used in creating large armies of superhuman fighters and
workers. These superhuman fighters would be able to go to work with the police to help reduce the crime rate. Crime offenders would be deterred when they acknowledged that superhuman fighters are helping fight crime. When there is a war, superhuman fighters could be used in battle to intimidate the opposing side. Pertaining to the superhuman workers, construction would be at a faster pace and there would be mass production, meaning that clones would be able to replace non-clones in very strenuous and tedious tasks, producing about five times the progress that the regular workers would have made. This would be a great benefit because it could be done for very reasonable prices compared to expensive machines and robotics. One would also be able to benefit from this due to unlimited labor availability. Someone could be cloned at any time, once the technology is available.
Cloning would also provide a great scientific breakthrough for both men and women. Single women would be able to clone children of their choices without men or the fear of sexually transmitted diseases. Infertile and sterile couples would be able to have children, which could actually look like them. With the help of surrogate mothers to carry babies, men would be able to produce their own offspring without the trouble of having to mate. Cloning has the power to cure infertility. The current options for infertile
couples are insufficient, painful, expensive, and heart breaking (Genetic Encore 5). Many couples run out of time and money without successfully having children. Cloning could make it possible for many infertile couples to have children by boosting efficiency through nuclear transfer. Individuals should be free to choose whatever methods are effective for enabling them to have children.
Furthermore, human cloning could be used to save a species from extinction by cloning the dying members of the breed that is going extinct. For example, there might be a war between the human race, and almost everyone could be destroyed due to the atomic bomb. Thus, one could salvage the remains of the population after the war through means of cloning. Ethicists might all have a very different viewpoint and think that one should not simply modify the evolutionary change imposed by nature. Contrary to this belief, one should believe that cloning should be used to save a species from going extinct.
In contrast, people believe that cloning is extremely unethical, immoral, and, as the church feels, against God’s will. There are a lot of negative effects of cloning. The major one is that it is observed as being a moral issue for a lot of people. If cloning were to come about, it might threaten moral and social values by encouraging a form of eugenics and objectification. God has created a universe in which every species has its place and character. Human beings are the only species with the knowledge and will to alter things in the world, and from past experiences with other scientific experiments, one has seen that arrogant altering can lead to great disaster. Human cloning would be useful as an infertility treatment, but there are several infertility treatments that are also ethically
problematic. Human cloning would just be one more form of technology that erases the
lines between parentages, conception and birth. Human descent is not just a matter of
DNA, but of family and ancestry. It was not meant to be a commodity. If cloning human beings begins, one will have changed the definition of what it means to be a human being and erased the stamp of God. Also, anyone to be cloned is at high risk because human cloning is still in the experimental stage.
The cloning of human beings would radically alter one’s definition of oneself by producing the world’s first human with a single genetic parent (Human Cloning Foundation 4). This would simply undermine human dignity and individuality and encourage one to treat one’s children like commodities. The psychological risks taken by cloning could prove to be disastrous. No one knows what the effect would be on human identity and relationships of creating someone who is the twin of someone’s father or mother, but born in a different generation and environment. The clone might then feel that he was just a copy of someone who already existed and not really himself. Over the years supporters have tried to come up with all kind of excuses and hypotheticals to sell the technique of cloning. These hypotheticals have only demonstrated that the risks of dehumanization and commodification are real. One might put forward the proposal that the parents of a dying child should be able to clone the child for replacement. But when a child is cloned, it is not the parents who are replicated, but the child. No one should have such dominion over a child as to be allowed to use his or her genes to create the child’s child (Arnest 69). The other factor contributing negativity towards human cloning is that
certain parts of the world are already overpopulated. With human cloning implemented,
the whole world would definitely be overpopulated, and without proper supervision, human cloning would be ridiculously abused.(Mahendran 3). For example, evil dictators such as Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein might try to perpetuate their power by creating clones of themselves and transferring power to the clone when they die. It is also possible that such people might try to create a super army of thousands of clones of Arnold Schwarzenegger. These possibilities cannot be dismissed.
In conclusion, with both the positive and negative views closely examined, one would have to admit that the pros outweigh the cons when looking at the topic of human cloning. With every advancement comes risks, and this is no different. It should be strongly regulated and used only for medical purposes. Several questions still exist, however. Experimentation should continue until these answers are as certain as possible. Until a real human is cloned and brought to the eyes of the world, all of the questions and answers will, however, remain a mystery.
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