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The Ethics Of Cloning

?To Clone, Or Not To Clone?? Did you ever imagine having a child that is the exact replica of you? Did you ever imagine of having the cure for heart disease or cancer? Well, these fantasies are not far from reach. The way we could reach these fantasies is through a process called cloning. Cloning is topic with which there is heated debate, and one that I feel that can be used for the better of all man kind. In this essay I will outline some of the key arguments and counter arguments surrounding this topic, as well as the advantages and the disadvantages.

A very momentous argument opposing cloning is we are taking nature into our own hands by cloning animals or people. People question when we will draw the line for getting involved in natural events. Religious organizations consider nuclear transfer to cause men to be reproductively obsolete. This claim was deduced by gathering of the information that cloning requires only oocytes, any cell, and a woman to develop in. They also claim that cloning does not respect the fact that humans have souls. They also consider cloning unnatural, and say we are taking the work of God into our own hands. There is also a debate as to the moral rights of clones. Some say their rights will be defied because clones are not granted the birth of newness. That we would not receive clones with such excitement as a child of a couple who conceived naturally. If natural reproduction were to occur, genetic variation would occur. They say cloning would deprive a person of uniqueness. They argue that identical twins are not unique from each other, but that they are new in genetic variation and unique. People also wonder what mental and emotional problems would result if a clone were to find out that he or she was cloned.

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A major problem with the use of cloning on a large is scale is the decline in genetic diversity, and decline in gene pool. Think about it, if everyone has the same genetic material, what happens if we lose the ability to clone. We would have to resort to natural reproduction, causing us to inbreed, which will cause many problems. Also, if a population of organisms has the same genetic information, then the disease would wipe out the entire population. Helping endangered species by cloning will not help the problem. Currently, zoologists and environmentalists trying to save endangered species are not so much having trouble keeping population numbers up, but not having any animals to breed that are not cousins. The technique of cloning is also early in its developmental stages. Thus, errors are occurring when scientists carry out the procedure. For instance, it took 277 tries to produce Dolly, and Roslin scientists produced many lambs with abnormalities. If we tried to clone endangered species we could possibly kill the last females integral to the survival of a species. This may be the main reason science is holding out on cloning humans.

Besides the pitfalls of cloning some people fail to recognize many of cloning’s benefits. Scientists ponder the idea of cloning endangered species to increase their population. The possibilities are endless. However, we are actually doing much of this research for the improvement of life for humans. Some of the ways that people could be helped are: create enriched dairy products. For example, cloning provides scientists a method to engineer cows to produce certain medicines or enzymes in there milk. Cure life threatening diseases and repair cosmetic defects. Produce new, fresh tissue for burn victims, or new nerve tissue for burns or back injuries Produce new heart cells for people with bad hearts. Totally reduce organ donor lists. Scientists foresee the cloning of monkeys that will produce organs that will not be rejected by humans. Also, as mentioned earlier, livestock can produce biological proteins helping people who have diseases including diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Cystic Fibrosis. Cloning also provides better research capabilities for finding cures to many diseases. There are also possibilities that nuclear transfer could provide benefits to those who would like children. For instance, couples who are infertile, or have genetic disorders, could use cloning to produce a child. Equally important, women who are single could have a child using cloning instead of in-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. Nuclear transfer could also provide children who need organ transplants to have a clone born to donate organs. Cloning could also provide a copy of a child for a couple whose child had died. Cloning could also directly offer a means of curing diseases or a technique that could extend means to acquiring new data for the sciences of embryology and how organisms develop as a whole over time.

A benefit of cloning is shown through the future of the medical field. Heart disease is the number one killer in North America. Scientists predict that in the near future they will be able to clone healthy heart cells and inject them into damaged areas. Technology like this is obviously in great need but is harder and harder with the current bans on cloning. Yet another discovery that scientists and doctors are anticipating is the cloning of cells and tissues. If doctors can take healthy cells and tissue from a patient’s body and use them to make organs, the chance that the body would reject the organ is drastically reduced, if not eliminated. This would undoubtedly increase the survival rate of patients undergoing organ transplants. With continued research in cloning procedures, scientists predict they will be able to find a cure for cancer by learning how to switch cells on and off. An increasing amount of people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and a cure for this dreadful disease is long past due. But, cures for these diseases are nearly impossible with the government’s ban and the absence of federal funding. Through these kinds of reasons, cloning shows an infinite amount of advantages in the medical field.

My view on cloning and nuclear transfer is that it is ethical. This is my view if we were to attempt to clone using nuclear transfer only once, and that it was going to be successful. Otherwise, I would think twice about it. So actually I find no reason to clone presently. I have this opinion currently, because scientists are unable to successfully clone using nuclear transfer as of today. I also have a problem with the possible effects of using nuclear transfer on a large scale. This is because I fear that cloning could greatly reduce our genetic diversity. I believe if we were to interfere with the genetic diversity of an entire population we would undoubtedly fail. All other aspects of cloning I have no problem with. In conclusion, cloning is a study in biotechnology that has unlimited possibilities. There are benefits such as cures for diseases and disadvantages such as not perfecting the technique of cloning. Despite this fact, cloning will be an ongoing process and will be tested. Hopefully cloning will not be a downfall to human history but rather a step closer to a better society.


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