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Cloning (1818 words)

CloningShould we clone humans?
Cloning humans has become a possibility that seems easier in today’s society than it was
twenty years ago. It is a method that involves the production of a group of identical cells or
organisms that all derive from a single individual (Grolier 220). It is not known when or how
cloning humans really became a possibility, but it is known that there are two possible ways that
we can clone humans. The first way involves splitting an embryo into several halves and creating
many new individuals from that embryo. The second method of cloning a human involves taking
cells from an already existing human being and cloning them, in turn creating other individuals
that are identical to that particular person. These are two methods we should think about and
ask ourselves if we should clones humans. The overall idea of cloning humans is one that we
should accept as a possible reality for the future.

Although we cannot clone a human yet, this experiment occurred almost two years ago.
Evidence from these experiments got strange reactions from the public. Shannon Brownlee
claims, The Vatican condemned the technology of this experiment as being perverse; one
German magazine called the research unscupulous (24). This experiment opend the possibilities
of cloning to society and, even though it was unseccessful, it led people to ask themselves what
they would do if cloning were to happen. Common answers to the puzzling questions about
humans and cloning are still trying to be answered today, and scientists and the public are eager
to learn all they can about cloning. Many sources state that cloning is just simply an extension of
in vitro fertalization. In fact, it is ,and many couples that can not have babies should take this into

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Cloning embryos is different from the genetic process of in vitro fertilization, but still
holds many similarities with it. For example, the process of in vitro fertilization is pretty
straightfoward. It involves taking an egg from the woman and taking sperm from the man. The
embryo is then formed and implanted into the woman’s uterus. The embryo develops normally
and is born with unpredictable characteristics of both the man and the woman. The offspring
ends up as unique individual and excluding the special case of twins, has no other human bein
exactly like it. It uses one embryo that is from the beginning a distinct individual and creates only
one human that is basically completely original. Cloning also goes through this same process, but
it is unlike in vitro fertilization in that it takes the same type embryo and destroys its originality
through duplication. Research on in vitro fertilization helps to improve its techniques and also
aids scientists in their search for better ways to clone humans. Barbara Ehrenreich makes a
statement that seems to be quite sarcastic in its context, but it describes the way the society’s
attitude if cloning were to happen, she state, Why not make a few backup copies of the
embryo and keep a few in the freezer in case Junior needs a new kidney or cornea (86). I think
that if this happens a type of black market for embryo could easily someday develop, who
knows. Some people see this on the negative side when it could actually help our society.

On the positive side of this issue, however, embryonic cloning could be a valuable tool for
the studying of human development, genetically modifying embryos, and investigating new
transplant technologies (Hamilton 42). Using cloning to produce offspring for the sake of their
organs is an issue that we must also face and question whether or not it is morally right. No one
will say that it is okay to kill a human being for the sake of their organs, but many have no
objection to cloning thousands of individuals that look alike. Technology seems to take away many
of the morals that we have worked so hard to install in society. Most people only seem to want to
cater to their own needs and do not bother to consider the consequences that society and the
clone may have to face. The issue of in vitro fertilization among embryos only leads the public to
fear what may happen once cloning takes over, if it does.

With the issue of parents’ involvement in cloning, Barbara Ehrenreich of Time, writes,
Any normal species would be delighted at the prospect of cloning. No more nasty surprises
like sickle cell or Down syndrome-just batch after batch of high-grade and, genetically
speaking, immortal offspring! She also believes that any culture that encourages in vitro
fertilization has no right to complain about the market of embryos. A society that accepts a
woman having an embryo implanted in her womb should be able to deal with it if those embryos
are genetically identical. Many people believe that genetic material is more valuable than life
itself. The issue of what parents and the clones should do and feel comes up frequently when we
ask our questions about the ethics of cloning. With the possibility of cloning their children,
parents for example, can build a family of clones by storing siblings identical to their child in a
freezer and thaw them out later when they decide to have another child. Although these children
would be of different ages, they would look identical to one another. Shannon Brownlee claims,
A bizarre possibility to consider is that a woman conceived from a split embryo could give birth
to her own twin (24). This possibility only begins the crazy affects that cloning can have on
society. What would one think if they were walking down the street and they saw a mother and
her children walking side by side and they were identical looking just of different ages. Many
ethicists maintain that parents have the right to do what they want to with their embryos, but
others think that they should not take away any child’s chance at individuality. Just think, how
would you explain the concept of cloning to your children, and what would their views about
society be?
One of the many questions brought up was regarding whether or not cloning should
be an option for parents that are considering having children. Many problems often occur with
couples involving the issue of infertility. Some people believe that cloning should aim its main
focus to helping infertile couples-and they will likely conclude that there is nothing wrong with it.
The scarcely hidden assumption that anything that helps overcome infertility is morally
appropriate. (McCormick 148). With in vitro fertilization so popular in today’s society among
infertile couples, who is to say that in the future, cloning won’t take over? Cloning is noted to be
better for treating infertility in the sense that it can eliminate health problems with the child from
the beginning. This proves to be beneficial in the way that a couple is more than likely
guaranteed a healthy child. Cloning does not, however, always prove to be beneficial. For
example, in the case where a certain disease is on the rise and one of say three clones get it.
The immune system of the other two clones is identical which proves that they have no guard
against diseases.
Cloning from an already existing adult is a second method that we must
consider when discussing the cloning of humans. This type of cloning would no doubt be a very
controversial issue any way that it is looked at, but it is necessary to understand the two ways
that it could be done if we were to clone humans. Unlike the process of cloning embryos,
cloning from already existing humans allows one to know exactly what their clone will look like
ahead of time. Before the clone is actually produced, the parents or the individual’s clone will
know exactly what to expect in their offspring as far as looks go. Personality and other factors
cannot be certain, but it is stated that if the clone is observed carefully and compared with its
other clones, many similarities will automatically arise. Cloning among adults is less obtainable
than embryonic cloning, but it seems to cause just as much controversy.
Since embryonic cloning has not been successful yet, no real experiments like the one
performed at George Washington University have been done yet. We do know, however, know
that cloning from an already existing human may effectively work in the near future.
Many parents have great concern in regards to having a child that has been cloned.
However, there are many excited parents looking forward to this breakthrough in technology.
By looking at the many different reasons for cloning a child, one can better understand why it
may seem appealing to parents. Cloning from an already existing human will provide the
opportunity for parents to pick their ideal child. They will be able to pick out every aspect of
their child and make sure that it is perfect before they decide to have it. For example, they can
choose their hair and eye color and build almost exactly by looking at the individual they were
cloned from (Voelker 331).
Whether or not cloning happens with embryos or adults, various groups in society may
react very differently to it. For example, there are many religious groups that feel cloning should
not be considered for any reasons whatsoever. Richard McCormick for Christian Century ,
believes that human cloning is an extremely social matter, not a question of mere personal
privacy. I see three dimensions to the moral question: the wholeness of life, the individuality of
life, and the respect for life (148). In his article based on religion and cloning, he explains that
all creatures come from God with their own certain uniqueness about them. He points out the
fact that the pre-embryo is human and is living even in it’s first stages of development. This
somehow parallels to the issue of abortion and whether or not it is morally right. Religion is the
root of many peoples’ values and their beliefs about things like cloning and abortion lie behind
these. Richard McCormick basically summarizes the statement that society is already pretty
messed up and with the idea of cloning in perspective, we need to beware as the future
No matter what we say or do, research for cloning will steadily continue and even more
moral and ethical issues will arise. Who knows which of the two kinds of cloning will become
the most popular in the future, but right now the main stand we need to take is whether or not it
can be done and should be done. Who knows if human cloning done in research labs presently
will go beyond the laboratory and affect individuals lives. What we do know however, is that
cloning seems to very appealing in some aspects and very frightening in others.


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