Cloning And Eugenics Essay, Research Paper
Cloning And Eugenics
Cloning and eugenics are some of the most controversial issues that face society entering the 21st century. The increasing knowledge that we are gaining from studies such as the Human Genome Project, are giving us the tools that we need to artificially produce living organisms. The main issues being debated in this field are whether it is ethically right for us to clone ourselves or, is it our place in God s creation to genetically enhance ourselves for medical purposes.
A poll conducted in 1997 stated 48% of Americans believe that cloning is wrong. It was also reported that 78% of the population believes that cloning is against God s will. These statistics only show the ethological conflicts in society that will prohibit cloning from becoming a widespread experimental science.
The basics of cloning consist of taking the nucleus of a somatic cell (or non-reproductive diploid cell), and transferring it inside of an enucleated oocyte (egg cell with the nucleus removed). This new cell will then when stimulated, begin the normal gestation process as if it were a naturally fertilized cell. This will then produce an exact genetic copy of the donor organism. This has been successfully completed with many types of animals but never on humans do to ethical issues. Dolly was the first sheep to be fully cloned on 1996. Following this President Clinton commissioned the National Bioethics Advisory Committee.
A few of the initial objections to cloning were either speculative or based on simple misunderstandings, such as, that cloning would allow for the instantaneous creation of a fully grown adult from the cells of an individual. Other fears stemmed from the incorrect idea that an exact copy, although much younger, of an existing person could be made. This fear reflects a mistaken belief that one’s genes bear a simple relationship to the physical and psychological traits that make up a person. Although genes provide the building blocks for each individual, it is the interaction among a person s genetic inheritance, the physical and cultural environment, and the process of learning that result in the uniqueness of each individual human. Thus, the idea that nuclear transplantation cloning could be used to recreate exemplary or evil people has no scientific basis and is simply false.
The Law States
Federal law already requires that clinics using assisted reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, be monitored. This requirement would appear to apply, to efforts to use somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning to create a child. This bill, the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992, covers all labs that involve manipulation of human eggs and embryos, and requires that rates of success at achieving pregnancies be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for publication in a consumer guide. It also directs DHHS to develop a model program for inspection and certification of labs that use human embryos, to be implemented by the states.
Enforcement of these protections lies primarily in the hands of Institutional Review Boards, (IRBs) committees appointed by institutions (such as universities) where research is conducted. IRBs review experiments before people can be enrolled. To the extent that efforts to clone human beings take place at institutions subject to these regulations or in experiments funded by the federal government, any serious question about the physical harms that might result would make it difficult for such experimentation to be approved.
Proposed Legislation Pertaining to Cloning Human Beings
Federal. S. 368, a bill to ban the use of federal funds for research with respect to the cloning of a human individual, defined as the replication of a human individual by the taking of a cell with genetic material and the cultivation of the cell through the egg, embryo, fetal, and newborn stages into a new human individual. . H.R. 922, providing that [n]one of the funds made available in any Federal law may be expended to conduct or support any project of research that involves the use of a human somatic cell for the process of producing a human clone. . H.R. 923, providing that it shall be unlawful for any human person to use a human somatic cell for the process of producing a human clone. StateBills that. ban the use of governmental funds for any research using cloned cells or tissue Alabama [A.B. 1082 (introduced April 23, 1997)]. ban the use of governmental funds for cloning an entire individualMissouri [1997 Mo. H.B. 824 (introduced March 6, 1997)] Maryland [Md. H.J.R. 28 (introduced March 20, 1997)]. ban cloning an entire individual, regardless of funding sourceAlabama [S.B. 511 (introduced March 7, 1997)]California [Cal. S.B. 1344 (introduced March 11, 1997)]Illinois [1997 Ill. H.B. 2235 5 (introduced March 10, 1997)]Illinois [1997 Ill. S.B. 1829 (introduced March 7, 1997)]New Jersey [N.J.A.B. 2849 1 (introduced March 24, 1997)]New York [1997 S.B. 2877 (introduced February 26, 1997)]North Carolina [S.B. 782 (introduced April 10, 1997]Oregon [Ore. S.B. 1017 1 (introduced March 19, 1997)]West Virginia [W. Va. S.B. 410 (introduced March 21, 1997)]. explicitly ban any research using cloned cells or tissueCalifornia [A.B. 1251 (introduced February 28, 1997)]Florida [Fla. H.B. 1237 (introduced March 7, 1997)]. might unintentionally ban research using cloned tissue or cellsSouth Carolina [H.B. 3617 16-17-745(B) (introduced March 11, 1997)]New York [Assembly Bill 5383 (introduced March 4, 1997)]
With regard to federal research funding, President Clinton announced in 1994 that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should not finance any research that involves creating embryos solely for research that would result in their destruction. Furthermore, Congress has passed prohibitions on the use of funds appropriated to the Departments of Labor, Education, and HHS for any research that involves exposing embryos to risk of destruction for non-therapeutic research. The net effect of these policies is to eliminate virtually all federal funding for research to perfect methods for cloning human beings, as even research aimed at initiating a pregnancy would probably involve creating and destroying many embryos that fail to develop normally.
While these restrictions prohibit only federally funded research, a number of state laws regarding the management of embryos arguably could restrict even privately funded research. By and large, however, states do not have legislation directly regulating assisted reproduction techniques, leaving state medical malpractice law as the primary means for regulating clinical application of the technology.
OK. So in English, What s the Problem?
Virtually all people agree that the current risks of physical harm to children associated with somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning might justify a prohibition at this time on such experimentation. In addition to concerns about specific harms to children, people have frequently expressed fears that a widespread practice of such cloning would undermine important social values, such as opening the door to a form of eugenics or by tempting some to manipulate others as if they were objects instead of persons, and exceeding the moral boundaries inherent in the human condition. Arrayed against these concerns are other important social values, such as protecting personal choice, maintaining privacy and the freedom of scientific inquiry, and encouraging the possible development of new biomedical breakthroughs. As somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning could represent a means of human reproduction for some people, limitations on that choice must be made only when the societal benefits of prohibition clearly outweigh the value of maintaining the private nature of such highly personal decisions. Especially in light of some arguably convincing cases for attempting to create a child through somatic cell nuclear transfer, the ethics of policy making must strike a balance between the values we, as a society, wish to reflect and the freedom of individual choice and any liberties we propose to limit.
Aww, Its Not That Bad. Look on the Bright Side
At the molecular and cellular level, scientists have been cloning human and animal cells and genes for several decades. The scientific jstification for such cloning is that it provides greater quantities of identical cells or genes for study; each cell or molecule is identical to the others.
At the simplest level, molecular biologists routinely make clones of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the molecular basis of genes. DNA fragments containing genes are copied and amplified in a host cell, usually a bacterium. The availability of large quantities of identical
DNA makes possible many scientific experiments. This process, often called molecular cloning, is the basis of recombinant DNA technology and has led to the production of such important medicines as insulin to treat diabetes, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to dissolve clots after a heart attack, and erythropoietin (EPO) to treat anemia associated with dialysis for kidney disease.
Another type of cloning is conducted at the cellular level. In cellular cloning copies are made of cells derived from the soma, or body, by growing these cells in culture in a laboratory. The genetic makeup of the resulting cloned cells, called a cell line, is identical to that of the original cell. This, too, is a highly reliable procedure, which is also used to test and sometimes to produce new medicines such as those listed above. Since molecular and cellular cloning of this sort does not involve germ cells (eggs or sperm), the cloned cells are not capable of developing into a baby.
So, Would You Like to Know What I Think?
I personally believe that somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning is the next great, untaken step in the field of medicine. As far as cloning individuals is concerned, I believe it would be an interesting and new form, of reproduction. Well, technically it is reproduction, but it would give parents such as Rose the opportunity to have that perfect child . It would undeniably lower the rate of abandonment of children. To give parents the power to select the features of their children is to bring us, as a civilization, to yet another stepping stone above every other species we have yet formally encountered. An achievement of this magnitude to artificially reproduce and entire human being is that equivalent to reaching the moon. The possibilities of people creating super-armies of genetically enhanced clones will always be there. But it does appear to be the same risk as allowing nuclear explosives to be sold to terrorist on the black market. I believe that we should remember with every great technological advancement of mankind there will always be a risk of that technology falling into the wrong hands.