The Power of Cloning by David Jose Guillen,

guil7708@blue.unco.edu

David is a University freshman.  He was assigned to construct an argumentative essay for his English class in support of the cloning process. 

Imagine being a first year medical surgeon just out of the highest ranking university in the nation.  You are placed in the ER, in the Los Angeles General Hospital building, as your days are spent saving people from the cruel realities that they are forced to live among.  Day after 
day, you see handfuls of people coming in with a variety of gunshot, knife, and domestic violence wounds.  Your troubles are easily compensated, however, by receiving over $200,000 a year, a brand new Mercedes, and a house upon the palisade shores.  Suppose for a moment that one evening while you are on duty, an ambulance radios in and informs the hospital staff that they are bringing in a multiple gunshot wound victim and to prepare the ER for an immediate operation.  You begin to order people around and dictate what needs to be prepared before the ambulance arrives.  Finally the victim is present, only to show that he is not the average gangster or policeman, instead it is the near lifeless body of your own son.  Your blood freezes, your brain shuts down, as you see every precious second slip away through the lifeless gaze of your child’s eyes.

His life and future all depend on you saving his life.  He has been shot twice in the chest and his little heart is working ten fold to keep him alive.  You realize that the only way to save him is an immediate heart transplant and you have not a second to lose.  You yell at the assistant to find the nearest heart donor in hopes that your young son will make it through the night.  Unfortunately your hopes are destroyed as the medical assistant informs you that the nearest heart donor is in Spokane, Washington 2,000+ miles away.  You slowly turn to see the dying face of your son, and only wish to take all the burden from his shoulders and hoist it upon yours.  Your son gives you an unforgettable look of fear as he slips away into the gates of heaven far from his warm and safe family. You drop to your knees in tears, and you swear you could hear the voice of your deceased son say, “Why?  Why didn’t you save me daddy?”

Similar instances are faced daily in hospitals all over the world. Children, adults, grandparents, and loved ones all come in one at a time with the hopes of survival in their heads, but with the taste of death in their mouths.  All these people could have been saved if the proper organs 
would have been waiting for them in the hospitals.  This is one of the many benefits that the power of cloning offers to current day society.  By cloning such vital organs such as hearts, livers, and lungs people and their families can be saved from death and much unneeded anguish.  As the millenium now comes to a close, and the human race sits on the threshold of technology, a new issue has risen and struck up much confrontation all over the world.  The issue of cloning has been apart of society for the past century.  In many past science fiction novels, authors described how races of clones would take over the world and universe.  In more recent 
times, however, cloning has now become a serious issue now that it is possible to clone organs, animals, and even humans.  Although the concept of cloning may seem unethical, many medical and social advantages lay within its unexplored perimeters.  Through government funding and support, these advantages can be put to use as solutions for many of the problems that society is currently facing.

Many people throughout the world feel that the issue of cloning is absolutely preposterous and extremely unethical.  Such opinions are understandable, considering that the majority of people are always going to be afraid of the unknown.  Cloning is a relatively new aspect of our 
technological outreach and should be allowed to be further examined.  The power and benefits that lay within these perimeters is amazing and should not be over looked.  Many arguments offered against cloning, have been those such as “we would be playing the role of God” and “it is power that humans can not handle.”  First, the issue of playing God has been used many times before.  “At one time birth control pills, in vitro fertilization, and heart transplants were criticized on the same grounds”(Vere 7).  Throughout time people have always been afraid of new technology and the power it might posses.  Another argument which is often used in rebuttal against cloning, is that the technology has not been perfected.  Many governments around the world will not support such a project by any means.  Because the risks outweigh the results, no 
particular government wants to be responsible for any mishaps that might occur.  “Thirty thousand people perished on the Oregon Trail.  Forty thousand people die in automobile accidents every year in the United States.  There are many fatal airplane crashes, with hundreds of people and dozens of children dying in a single accident.  Many adults and children choke to death on chicken bones every year.  Yet we do not think of banning automobiles, airplanes, or fried chicken because the positive benefits outweigh the risks.  If airplanes were to be invented now instead of 90 years ago, I’m afraid there would be serious proposals to ban airplanes because of the risk of injury and death.  It is absurd to ban a new technological breakthrough just because, initially, it is not perfectly safe”(vere 5).

Although the opposing party has some very interesting rebuttals to the idea of the worldwide support of cloning, there are several more, scientifically supported examples that address the positive aspects of cloning.  To properly understand the arguments that are made in support of 
cloning, one has to first know the fundamentals and processes that are undergone.  Cloning is simply the process of making an identical, yet time delayed, replica.  When cloning such items like organs, cells, and muscles, a sample of blood and tissue is needed from that specific area. 
The cells within the tissue are cloned again and again until there are enough to replicate the original structure.  For example if a liver were to be cloned, some cells from that area are need to be copied.  Once the cells are copied, they are placed back into the liver where they would 
rebuild the damaged areas.  In the case of cloning humans or animals, the process is a little bit more complicated.  First a donor cell needs to be found and placed in a petrie dish so that it may live in a controlled environment.  Next the cell of the entity to be cloned is placed in the 
same petri dish where an electric charge is used to fuse the cells together and activate the development of the embryo.  Assuming the embryo survives, the egg is placed in a surrogate mother where it stays until the clone is ready to be born.  In human cases, the embryo will grow for nine months in the mother’s womb and be born naturally.  If everything has gone according to plan through this point, an exact copy of the cell donor is made.  This clearly shows that the clone, whether it’s human or animal, is born of natural causes and is not some preposterous monster like so many people believe.

Now that a proper basis of the cloning process has been provided, many of the arguments supporting them can be understood.  The first argument is that through cloning many couples that suffer from infertility, can now share in the joy of having children.  According to the Human Cloning Foundation, less than 10 percent of the current infertility treatments are successful.  The process is very similar to the explanation previously given.  One of the parents will donate a cell and it will be cloned in a lab.  It will then be placed inside the woman’s womb and born naturally in nine months.  The only real drawback to that is that it will not be a combination of the parents’ traits, but instead a time delayed copy of one of them.  Why should a couple go through so much suffering when they can have children just like everyone else?

Another reason for the worldwide legalization of cloning, is to not only help infertile couples, but to save the lives of others as well. Through the power of cloning, people who have been permanently disabled can once again have the opportunity to walk among the rest of society.  By 
cloning the embryonic stem cells, they can be injected were the damaged ones once worked.  In time the cells will duplicate and rebuild the spinal cord and nervous system so that many quadriplegics and paraplegics may experience life the proper way for a second time.  Cloning can also rebuild such structures as skin, organs, and muscle so that the victims of numerous accidents can recover faster.  Burn victims can have their skin rebuilt like new as the cloned skin cells replace the old.  People who have liver damage can re-grow and renew all the functions that were damaged within.

According to the Human Cloning Foundation, “the average human person carries eight defective genes inside them.  Such defective genes allow people to become sick when they ould otherwise remain healthy”(HCF 2).  Through cloning, such genes can be removed from the donor cells and 
as the new clone is created, it is born without any of the genetic defects the other might have carried.  Such defective genes, may result in such cases such as down’s syndrome, tay-sachs disease, and cystic fibrosis. Any of these diseases can be avoided through the miracle and powers of cloning.  As mankind leaves the current millenium and proceeds into the next, many new types of medical epidemics are faced.  The biggest and probably most common epidemic is that of the many faces of cancer.  Cancer is the mutation of cells through the process of radiation exposure or genetic makeup.  Currently there are hundreds of different forms of cancer and none are entirely curable.  Cloning may just be the only key to open the door, which contains the cure for cancer.  Cloning can remove the cancerous  cells, assuming it has not spread throughout the whole body, and be replaced by newly created cells.  One last medical reason why cloning is such a promising horizon, is that it also has many benefits in the cosmetic regions.  Over the past 30 years, breast implants and other forms of cosmetic surgery have become very popular between hundreds of thousands of women.  The drawback of these procedures, however, is that 
the silicone in the breast implants have had a tendency to leak inside the patients body over time.  Because silicon is such an unhealthy substance to introduce to the body, the patients ended up with cancer and made their lives full of illness.  Of course now a days, the procedures are safer, but none the less there is still a risk.  By applying the power of cloning, material such as bone, fat, tissue, and muscle can be made and placed inside the body.  Unlike current breast augmentations, this system will build breast structure with the same person’s tissue.  “Anyone will able to have their appearance altered to their satisfaction without the leaking of silicone gel into their bodies or the other problems that occur with present day plastic surgery”(HCF 1).

The benefits of cloning not only apply to humans or organs, but to the agricultural society as well.  Farmers and ranchers can have the ability to create a perfect herd of cows, bulls, sheep, and basically any other type of farm animal.  For example, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first 
mammal was cloned on a farm.  The infamous “Dolly” was born in February of 1997 and woke up the world to the real power that is available to mankind. Farm animals can be genetically constructed to the point where all the defects are removed and the only the qualities are left.  This is an excellent benefit because many of the agricultural problems such as mad cow disease and improper milk concentration can be eliminated so that people will not get sick.  By genetically engineering such animals like bulls, it can be arranged so that when the bull reproduces the offspring will share in its perfection.

Along with all the other cloning processes, the most significant, as well as the most controversial, is the idea of cloning humans.  This topic, is what many of the people around the world are deathly afraid of. Many people are convinced that there are going to be millions of clones running around and taking over the earth.  The reality of the situation, is that everyone is so paranoid and uninformed, that they are creating many false images of the technology at hand.  Because the process of cloning is so costly and time consuming, it would literally take decades 
for the clone population to reach one million.  Another fear that the majority of the population has constructed, is that the entity being cloned will not only look the same, but act and think the same as well. This statement is not true by any means.  Clones might look exactly the same, but personalities and modes of thought are not genetically linked. For example, if Adolph Hitler was cloned, that does not particularly mean that the clone will want to wipe out the world’s minority population. Some benefits rather, would be such things like cloning someone just until 
the embryonic stage is reached and then extract the needed cells and place them into the original donor to cure the problem at hand.  Some pro-life groups will argue, however, that this particular process is the equivalent to an abortion since it is the creation of life and then the destruction before birth.  The only problem with that argument, is that the clone never starts to live inside the womb.  No heart, lungs, brain, or nervous system, so how can the baby be killed?  In the social aspect, human cloning can be very profitable in the entertainment industry.  For example, now that such actors as Charleston Heston and Clint Eastwood have reached old age, their acting careers are coming to an end and many of their fans around the world are going to be very disappointed in their departure from the silver screen.  Through cloning, an embryo can be placed in the womb of the actor’s wife and a time-delayed copy will be born.  This does not actually mean that the child will be just as good an actor, but it will turn out just like his father.

With any sort of power, there must also come some sort of regulation so that it is not abused.  Currently, the legality of the cloning process around the world is different all over.  In the United States, President Clinton has imposed a ban on federal funds for cloning research.  This means that any research that is needed, has to be privately funded and have absolutely no connection to the federal government.  California and Rhode Island currently have a 5-year 
moratorium and severe penalties, and Michigan has a permanent ban on any human cloning studies conducted.  One of the many worldwide concerns, is the possibility of an evil dictator using the power of cloning for the sole purpose of destruction.  Regulations that would limit control over such technology would only work to control whom uses what and when.  Even 
though such regulatory processes are pretty much incapable of working, it is at least some sort of guideline for any government to follow. As it has been clearly proven throughout the previously stated arguments, the many benefits of cloning drastically outweigh the drawbacks and rebuttals addressed.  Cloning offers the ability to stop such fatal factors of life such as heart attacks, genetic defects, and even cancer itself.  Cloning also can produce the ideal herd of cattle or perfect group of farm animals, which will lead to a healthier produce production. 
Although the current technology is a little unstable and unperfected, there should not be any bans on cloning research that would not able scientist to perfect and secure the cloning process.  By being governmentally funded, the power of cloning can be further studied and perfected so that there is less room for error.  By allowing this technology to be persued, so many lives can be saved and at the same time created.  So many of the problems that current day society is facing, can be put to rest as solutions are found and problems are solved.  By not governmentally funding the research or placing a worldwide ban on cloning, people will only be purged to explore these realms behind the government’s back and cause many more problems than are necessary.  Mankind now sits on the verge of discovery much like Christopher Columbus hundreds of years ago.  By not allowing scientists to sail upon the seas of ingenuity, a 
better-structured society is very far from being discovered.

David Jose Guillen (guil7708@blue.unco.edu
Works Cited 
Beddington, Rosa.  “Cloning” Online.  Available http://www.nimr.mrc.ac.uk/mhe97/cloning.htm

Church of Scotland.  “Society, Religion and Technology Project” Online.  Available 
http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/srtscot/cloning.shtml

Church of Scotland.  “Should We Clone Humans” Online.  Available http://dspace.dial.popex.com/srtscot/clonhum2.htm

Church of Scotland.  “Should We Clone Animals” Online.  Available 
http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/srtscot/clonan3.htm

Church of Scotland.  “Should We Use Human Cloning For Fertility Treatment” 
Online.  Available http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/srtscot/clonfert.htm

Church of Scotland.  “1997 General Assembly Report – Cloning Animals and 
Humans” Online.  Available 
http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/srtscot/ga97clon.shtml

“Cloning.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education  18 July 1997: 13

“The Future of Cloning.”  U.S. News and World Report  10 March 1997: 64

Human Cloning Foundation.  “The Benefits of Human Cloning” Online.  Available http://www.humancloning.org/benefits.htm

Human Cloning Foundation.  “The Three Ways to Clone Mammals” Online.  Available http://www.humancloning.org/threeways.htm

Human Cloning Foundation.  “The Legality of Human Cloning” Online.  Available http://www.humancloning.org/legality.htm

Mayor, Federico.  “Considering Cloning.”  The UN Chronicle   Fall 1998: 33

Princeton Info.com.  “A Spark of Science, a Storm of Controversy” Online.  Available http://www.princetoninfo.com/clone.html

Vere, Steven.  “The Case for Cloning Humans” Online.  Available http://www.best.com/~vere/cloning.htm

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