Greg is in the 12th grade and wrote this essay for an expository writing class. He will be attending Cabrini college next year and will be majoring in Micro-Biology. He hopes to either focus on genetics or virology.
On February 23, 1997 the face of the world changed forever. Whether or not you believe that it was for the good is another question entirely upon itself. You can not dispute the fact that on this day Edinburgh scientists made a major breakthrough in cloning technology. With a lot of time and effort these scientists were able to successfully clone a sheep. Thus, Dolly was born. This has, and will continue to be a controversial issue for a long time to come.
Sometimes people often question whether or not we as a scientific nation are trying to play the role of God. I feel that we are not trying to play God, merely help to improve the lives of his people. Many people say that we should not try to interfere with nature, that is fine if in everyday life we did not try to change our habitat every single second of every single day. More than likely at one point and time the land on which your house sits was covered by either a pasture of woodlands. That is interference. If we try to clone organs for transplant patients that are in their final hour then we are actually improving their life. If improvement in the quality of life of a sickly individual is playing god, then is that necessarily a bad thing.
Some often question whether of not we have the right to clone. We are all guaranteed rights by the fact that we are human beings. Those rights include the right to pursue areas of scientific study. Not many people vocalized his or her disapproval of space exploration. At the time that there was no talk of how morally wrong Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon was going to be. They could have argued the fact that the species of man was not meant to walk on another celestial body other then our own. If they did, and the program did not lift off then we would not have some of the technologies that we have today. Cloning can only yield new technologies that will be beneficial to society.
One misconception that many people have is that this technology can fall into the “wrong hands” and wreak havoc. That is totally outrageous. We could not clone a past figure to be the same person that he or she was before. If we were to even do that then it would be near impossible to spawn the same character. They would like any other ordinary human, would be conceived, developed, then born as all other babies. They would have the same appearance and genetic makeup as their counterpart. This does not mean that they would have the same mental capacity as their previous life. There are many things that lead to a personality; genetic makeup does not have as significant role as many believe.
As touched upon earlier organ cloning is something that would be extremely beneficial to society. Imagine the ability to “create” a liver for James Earl Ray. He was the man that was accused in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He died Monday, April 20th , of liver failure, it caused him to slip into a coma Monday and he never regained consciousness. Recently, evidence was brought to light that was causing people to believe that Ray was not responsible for his death. The murder of Dr. King has been a very troubling story in that the truth has never actually come to the surface.
Imagine if the technology was available to clone his liver in order to prolong his life so that the truth could be shown. That would solve an important mystery and save the life of one person on the waiting list to receive a new organ. In this country there are thousands of people on waiting lists to receive new organs that will help prolong their life. Many of these people will die because there is not a suitable donor that matches their needs. Imagine the lives that will be saved if an individual can clone their own liver, or any other organ that is needed to survive an illness.
Related to organ cloning would be tissue cloning for the use of skin grafts. Many patients are burned to their muscle and if they had their own skin to be grafted then that will eliminate the chance of rejection. That is the problem when they try to use the artificial skin, it will not always “take” and the infection will set in. There are many problems that could be alleviated by cloning. If they are allowed to clone an individual then we can use them for the use of research on genes. If they can find out the sequencing for certain genes then we can help to prevent the diseases. We can find them though amniocentesis, which will allow you to decide what course of action will be taken to solve that problem. I am not saying that it is appropriate for people to have an abortion because an embryo has a disease, but that is their option and we should not judge.
Whether or not you believe in the “art” of cloning you have to agree that there are definitely some good things that can come from all of this research. Researchers say that within 5 years a pill that will help prevent cancer will be introduced on the market. That is great if you do not already have it. If we find the gene that has been mutated then we will be able to correct that, alleviating all of the signs of the cancer.
Cloning will change the face of the planet forever. We should be excited that we are able to duplicate such a complex sequence of genes. Whatever you feel is morally right we should allow this to happen because if we never explore the risks then we can never enjoy the benefits. As previously stated the space exploration yielded many new technologies that will forever aid in the bettering of society. We can not continue to prohibit the exploration of scientific study. If this practice continues then we will not be able to continue to develop advancements in the prolonging of the human species. We can not impose a ban on cloning, if we do then who is to say that we will not impose a ban on the research that will hopefully one day lead to a cure for aids.
E-mail Greg Kulnis (firstname.lastname@example.org)