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Cloning

Essay by   •  September 7, 2010  •  Essay  •  3,052 Words (13 Pages)  •  3,089 Views

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Shortly after the announcement that British scientists had successfully cloned a sheep, Dolly, cloning humans has recently become a possibility that seems much more feasible in today\'s society. The word clone has been applied to cells as well as to organisms, so that a group of cells stemming from a single cell is also called a clone. Usually the members of a clone are identical in their inherited characteristics that is, in their genes except for any differences caused by mutation. Identical twins, for example, who originate by the division of a single fertilized egg, are members of a clone; whereas nonidentical twins, who derive from two separate fertilized eggs, are not clones. (Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia). There are two known 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. With these two methods at our desposal, we must ask ourselves two very important questions: Should we do this, and Can we? There is no doubt that many problems involving the technological and ethical sides of this issue will arise and will be virtually impossible to avoid, but the overall idea of cloning humans is one that we should accept as a possible reality for the future. Cloning humans is an idea that has always been thought of as something that could be found in science fiction novels, but never as a concept that society could actually experience. Today\'s technological speed has brought us to the piont to where almost anything is possible. Sarah B. Tegen, \'97 MIT Biology Undergraduate President states, \"I think the cloning of an entire mammal has shown me exactly how fast biology is moving ahead, I had no idea we were so close to this kind of accomplishment.\" Based on the current science , though, most of these dreams and fears are premature, say some MIT biologists. Many biologist claim that true human cloning is something still far in the future. This raises ethical questions now as towhether or not human cloning should even be attempted. (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/). There are many problems with cloning humans. One method of human cloning is splitting embryos. The main issue as to whether or not human cloning is possible through the splitting of embryos began in 1993 when experimentation was done at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington D.C. There Dr. Jerry Hall experimented with the possibility of human cloning and began this moral and ethical debate. There it was concluded that cloning is not something that can be done as of now, but it is quite a possibility for the future. These scientists experimented eagerly in aims of learning how to clone humans. Ruth Macklin of U.S. News & World Report writes, \"Hall and other scientists split single humans embryos into identical copies, a technology that opens a Pandora\'s box of ethical questions and has sparked a storm of controversy around the world\" (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/). They attempted to create seventeen human embryos in a laboratory dish and when it had grown enough, separated them into forty-eight individual cells. Two of the separated cells survived for a few days in the lab developed into new human embryos smaller than the head of a pin and consisting of thirty-two cells each. (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/) Although we cannot clone a human yet, this experiment occurred almost two years ago and triggered almost an ethical emergency. Evidence from these experiments received strange reactions from the public. Ruth Macklin states, \"Cloning is a radical challenge to the most fundamental laws of biology, so it\'s not unreasonable to be concerned that it might threaten human society and dignity. Yet much of the ethical opposition seems also to grow out of an unthinking disgust--a sort of \"yuk factor.\" And that makes it hard for even trained scientists and ethicists to see the matter clearly. While human cloning might not offer great benefits to humanity, no one has yet made a persuasive case that it would do any real harm, either.\" (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/). Theologians contend that to clone a human would violate human dignity. That would surely be true if a cloned individual were treated as a lesser being, with fewer rights or lower stature. But why suppose that cloned persons wouldn\'t share the same rights and dignity as the rest of us? If and when cloning comes about, will people be willing to pay anything for a clone of themselves? It is such a costly form of technology. As we see with so many other aspects of today\'s socity, people will do all kinds of things for money. (Will human cloning make a type of black market for embryos could easily someday develop?) Parents already spend a great deal of money on in vitro fertilization, and who knows how much they would be willing to pay for cloning their children? The question as to what cloning would do to society from both the moral and economic standpoints comes to the conclusion that for the most part cloning is too expensive and too dangerous. In the religious

circles the question of human cloning has stirred debate. Rev. Robert A. Martin states: \"It appears that from the beginning God reserved for Himself the right to create living souls. I understand that the philosophy of modern psychiatry is to teach that human beings are soulless, therefore we are just flesh and blood which can only respond to the environment with no ability to make conscious decisions for itself. In other words people are no differnet than animals to be used and manipulaated. Thus, there is, from the beginnging, a fundamental difference between what the Bible teaches and what psychiatry teaches. This being the case, it is little wonder then, that some people assume the prerogative of playing the role of god.\" (http://www.user.shentel.net/ramartin/applied/cloning.htm) Embryonic cloning could be a valuable tool for the studying of human development, genetically modifying embryos, and investigating new transplant technologies. 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 will many have no objection to cloning thousands of individuals for the sake of organ transplants? 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. With the issue of parents\' involvement

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