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A Smart Idea with a Questionable Outcome

Essay by   •  February 27, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,610 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,463 Views

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A Smart Idea with a Questionable Outcome

In modern times the thought of cloning a human being is very much alive in the minds of many scientists today. But, this idea wasn't brought to the people's attention until 1818, when Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was published. The thought of creating a human being without two parents present seemed impossible, if not completely immoral. But that wouldn't stop the wondering minds from trying to pursue it. People took this idea and started studying it, the more people learned from their studies the more doors opened up to what is now the study of Biotechnology. Who knew an illusory story could create a break through in history as big as this in the field of therapeutic cloning. Therapeutic cloning is a brilliant idea but is also very questionable. According to Michael Quinion, "The focus of ethics and public policy has shifted from an alarmist and rather fanciful preoccupation with human reproductive cloning to an emphasis on therapeutic cloning for cell and tissue replacement and repair (Quinion)."In the research of therapeutic cloning there are more positive benefits than negative. To relieve the strain of the lack of organs available for transplant, the regeneration of damaged organs and body tissues, and also the thoughts against human cloning.

Therapeutic cloning is a method used to generate cloned embryos. This type of cloning is also called "embryo cloning". Since most of the cloning is done by taking stem cells from embryos. Scientists only use the stems cells that they get from the cloned

embryos for repairing damaged or defective tissue. Some of these cells can be used to grow any variety of organs that are needed as a replacement without the fear of rejection from the person's body. The stems cells are from the parent of the cloned cells. "In some cases they might be used to create healthy nerve cells for people with Alzheimer's or Parkinson disease, or even skin cells could be derived from cloned stem cells for burn victims (Burton)." Biomedical researchers have done studies that have proven that stem cells can virtually generate any of the variety of cells in the human body. "Stems cells are extracted from the egg after it has divided for 5 days; at this stage of development the egg is called a blastocyst (Cloning Fact Sheet)." This process destroys the embryo but also raises a high variety of ethical concern.

When talking about therapeutic cloning it is often seen as a category by itself when really it is a sub-category of a larger subject, that subject is known as cloning. It all came into play in 1970's when genetic research first occurred from scientist began using the talent of plasmids, "a fragment of DNA independent of the chromosomes and capable of copying, happening in bacteria and yeast: used in recombinant DNA procedures to relocate genetic material from one cell to another, to speed up the process of genetic duplication (Cloning Debate)." The 70's was the time when many cloning feats took place. One of the biggest feats done in the 70's was in 1978, the first child to be conceived through in vitro fertilization was named Baby Louise, was born. But in 1993, Human embryos were first cloned. Many years went past when in 1996 embryologist Ian Wilmut in Scotland, at the Roslin Institute, cloned Dolly, a sheep that was cloned from a single living cell of an

adult female sheep. But the problems started towards the beginning of the 1990's when people started to want to ban the process of human cloning.

One of the benefits of therapeutic cloning is a person does not have to wait for donor organs. There will be no lack of organs or the possibility of rejection of the organs. People are dying by the hour due to circumstances beyond their control because there are no organs that match their blood type or whenever a match is found the body rejects the organ. This procedure is time consuming and costly with no guarantee. By cloning organs it would eliminate the waiting list for the organ transplants. Brain cells for brain damaged or injured victims, skin for burn victims ,spinal cords for people who are paraplegic or quadriplegic, heats, livers, lungs and kidneys could all be produced through therapeutic cloning. According Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, "Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world (Shelley 34)." Without therapeutic cloning more people will die at a faster rate. Without the research moving forward as Victor Frankenstein was doing, everything would just stop. Waiting list for donor organs would increase, good organs would decrease due to the multiple diseases and illnesses, and costs would be too high.

The second benefit of therapeutic cloning has to do with the ongoing research in the regeneration of damaged or injured organs and body tissues. This research, if allowed to progress will help in the succession of cures of most illnesses. "In today's society the research for cures for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, AIDS, all degenerative cell diseases, will be hasten to the discovery (Caplan)." Therapeutic cloning

can replace the infected cells with healthy cells. Although, therapeutic cloning is in the early stages of development, it can become a realistic treatment for the treatment of degenerative cell disorders. Therapeutic cloning or stem cell cloning will benefit the discovery of cures and the elimination of death due to these diseases. A positive result would be to eliminate the diseases and illnesses altogether, saving thousands of lives from pain and torture, in finding ways to manage human lives felled by these diseases and illnesses. "I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption (Shelley 34)." In the search for cures, scientists with be able to work forward in finding the cures instead of working backwards after

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