Joe is a high school student in Tennessee. He recently had to research a topic of his choice and decided upon human cloning.
With the invention of cloning, many serious questions have arisen. There are many mistaken views of what human cloning involves. According to Aaron Hawley a clone is “an organism that has the same genetic information as another” (Hawley 1). This means that any identical twin could also be considered a clone. The first attempts at artificial cloning were as early as the beginning of this century. A biologist by the name of Adolph Edward Driesch allowed the eggs of a sea urchin to develop into the two-blastosphere stage, then he separated them by shaking them in a flask and allowing them to grow (Hawley, 2). He could not explain his experiments and soon gave up his study of embryology. Throughout the following years, many scientists tried to duplicate Driesch but their attempts failed. The most recent event in cloning occured during March 1997. Dr. Iam Wilmut announced that he had successfully cloned an adult sheep. Cloning humans will help better humanity, but certain limits must be set to keep the rest of mankind safe. Laws must be put into effect immediately to keep criminals from getting a head start on illegal cloning, such as the law in which a human clone has the same rights as any other individual regardless whether or not their genetic code is unique. Certain laws and restrictions such as this must be set in order to avoid a complete ban of cloning. Cloning should be legalized because it allows couples another alternative to conception, it allows the curing and prevention of diseases, and it allows one to clone organs and cells to improve treatment of life threatening-illnesses.
Through human cloning, couples along with single women, will have another alternative to conception. First of all, human cloning will benefit couples in which one or both partners have a rare genetic disease, and if conception is possible, but the rare genetic trait will have disastrous, even fatal, effects if the child were conceived naturally (Herbert 6-7). Thus, through human cloning, the child could have the genetic strand altered to prevent the rare genetic disease from appearing (Herbert 4). Secondly, if the parent(s) became infertile they could use human cloning to clone the cells of either the mother or father and have a genetically related child whose DNA was similar to those of the parent (“The Benefits of Human Cloning” 2). Finally, cloning humans will benefit single women with the new option of having a child of their own DNA, which is currently only done via invitro-fertilization (“The Benefits of Human Cloning” 2). However in the case of some infertile women, the woman wanting to have the child would still not actually conceive the child. Instead, the child would be born to a surrogate mother, a mother in which the child is not theirs, but someone else’s (“The Benefits of Human Cloning” 2). Through cloning, single women and couples have more options of conception than ever before.
Through cloning, mankind can cure and prevent some of today’s most common and deadliest diseases. First of all, human cloning technology would allow humans to go further into the field of studying genetic diseases so that humans could test for them and perhaps find a cure someday. The advancements in testing for genetic diseases could spark cures for diseases such as cancer, Tay-sachs, and leukemia (“The Benefits of Human Cloning” 1). Tay-sachs could be prevented by using cloning technology to ensure the sex of a baby in sex related diseases (“The Benefits of Human Cloning 1”). The list goes on and on, but the most deadly disease that mankind might cure would be cancer (“Why Clone Human Embryos?” 1). Cancer strikes an estimated 125,000 people each year, and since 1973 approximately 2.2 million cases have been documented (“Seer Cancer Statistics Review” 1). According to “Why Clone Human Embryos?”, “Onocologists believe that embryonic study will advance understanding of the rapid cell growth of cancer” (1). Leukemia patients would no longer experience the agonizing wait for a bone-marrow transplant. How many more people must die, how many more must suffer? Just think how many humans could be helped if human cloning were legalized. Through cloning, humans will find many new treatments for humanity’s diseases.
Through human cloning, mankind will be provided with organs and cells with which human’s lives will be saved. If a person needs an organ transplant the normal means of transplantation would involve the removal of an organ from another person. This organ could be rejected and many complications could arise. Human cloning would involve using the person’s own cells that could be cloned to produce a healthy, normal organ for use in the person. Through this process, there would be no need for anti-rejection drugs to keep the foreign organ alive and working. This is because the organ is essentially the person’s own, being a clone of their own cells. Cloning would not be limited to just organs. For instance, a burn victim is badly burned and needs a skin graft. The normal way of acquiring this new skin would be to artificially grow it in a special lab and attach it to the body in hopes that the body would not reject it. If cloning were used, a sample of the skin could be taken, cloned and then additional cells grown that would be their own cells and would function as normal skin would with no danger of rejection (Nash 2).
Cloning could also help those who suffer from heart disease. According to the American Heart Association over 12 million deaths occur each year from heart disease alone (“International Cardiovascular Disease Statistics” 1). Heart cells die during a heart attack due to a lack of oxygen when an artery becomes blocked (“Heart” 3). Cloning technology could be used to prevent cell death. Through cloning, heart disease victims could have their good heart cells cloned then have the healthy tissue re-implanted directly into the damaged area of the heart (The Benefits of Human Cloning 1).
Leukemia is a very tough disease from which to recover. Leukemia is a cancer of bone marrow and blood that involves unregulated growth of blood cells. The blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow do not function because they are immature. This results in anemia and a lack of normal white cells that decrease resistance to infections (“Leukemia Society of America 1”). Treatment of Leukemia often involves multiple very painful bone-marrow transplants. Using current methods only 42 percent of Leukemia patients survive a five year period (“Leukemia Society of America” 3). If cloning was used to treat these patients they would have a much better chance at survival from this horrible disease. Through cloning certain cells and organs, numerous lives will be saved.
Human cloning should be legalized. Cloning should be allowed to be researcher further and not be banned simply because society does not understand it. Thousands of people perished on the Oregon Trail. Thousands of people die in automobile accidents every year in the United States alone. There are many fatal airplane crashes, with hundreds of people dying in one accident. Many adults and children choke to death on chicken bones every year. Yet mankind does not think of banning automobiles, airplanes, or fried chicken because the positive benefits outweigh the risks. As with many scientifical or technological breakthroughs, the most important question to be asked of human cloning, is whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks.
“The Benefits of Human Cloning.” Human Cloning Foundation. 10 Oct. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 15 Nov. 1998. Available WWW: http://www.humancloning.org/benefits.htm
Hawley, Aaron. “Cloning.” 2 March 1998: n.pag. On-line. Internet. 28 Nov. 1998. Available WWW: http://www.humancloning.org/hawley.html
“Heart.” Microsoft ® Encarta. Copyright © 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright © 1994 Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. 3 Dec. 1998. Encarta. 4 March 1994.
Herbert, Wray et al. “The World After Cloning.” U.S.News and World Report 10 March 1997: 59-64
“International Cardiovascular Disease Statistics.” American Heart Association. 2 Dec. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 2 Nov. 1993. Available WWW: Http://americanheart.org/Heart_and_Stroke_A_Z_Guid e/B1o1n.html
“Leukemia.” 2 Dec. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 4 July 1996. Available WWW: http://www.leukemia.org/docs/leuk_rel/tc_Leukemia. Html
Nash, Madeleine. “The Case for Cloning.” Time-Online Database. 151.5. 21 Nov. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 9 Feb. 1998
“Seer Cancer Statistics Review.” National Cancer Institute. 1 Dec. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 21 Sept. 1998. Available WWW: Http://www- Seer.ims.nci.n1h.gov.Publications.CSR7395/
“Why Clone Human Embryos?.” Reasons for Embryo Research. 2 Dec. 1998: n.pag. Online. Internet. 29 Jan. 1996. Available WWW: http://www.cac.psu.edu/~gsg109/qs/em01003.html
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