It’s Unethical To Ban Human Cloning

Human cloning offers so many promises of medical and scientific advancement that it is unethical to ban human cloning. The medical discoveries that will be made during the course of cloning research will contribute to the never-ending quest for understanding ourselves and defining who we are. Scientists will be working on a genetic level never before approached. They will be directly studying genes and DNA, the very building blocks of humans and the source of potentials, physical make up, and tendencies; the information that defines who we are and what we become.  DNA also holds the information that we need to discover the cures for, and nature of, many complex genetic diseases that plague the human race and cause so much suffering. The answer to cancer and diabetes lie in our genes. Cloning research will lead us to the cure for what we now define as incurable diseases, for infertility, as well as creating  another fertility option. The secret of cancer and aging are also found at this genetic level. Cloning is also capable of regenerating  specific cells – spinal cord, skin, and even bone marrow from victims of leukemia. A greater, more accurate genetic map will be created through cloning, and through this new tests for genetic diseases will be developed.  Medical advancements are taken a step further every time a discovery of a new outlet for research is made. We cannot ignore the possibilities of another “medical revolution.” Cloning is the scientific breakthrough of the year. We cannot, out of misinformed media-fed human fear, ban this new branch of genetic science before its potentials are discovered. Cloning and cloning-related genetic research hold the possibly of answering endless questions pertaining to the make-up of human beings and the genetic diseases that plague us.

 Cloning holds the potential to revolutionize the way we practice medicine. Cloning will simplify everyday medical procedures as well as what is now very complicated, risky surgery. Dr. Wilmut , the doctor who created Dolly (the first animal to be clone from adult DNA), said that it is possible to regenerate human tissue through a cloning process. Not all cloned tissue has to grow into a fetus.  Additions added to cells would ensue that cells would grow into very specific things. The process involved in cloning  specific cells (specific tissue) starts with collecting healthy cells from a patient, then transplanting the nuclei of cells  into unfertilized eggs (removing the nuclei first). The cells would began to divide and grow in a laboratory dish. Since DNA is programed to “copy” itself, in a relatively short amount of time there would be enough new tissue to replace the destroyed, damaged or demised tissue. This process is possible now. In fact this process, with the addition of a few steps, is the process Dr. Ian Wilmut used to created Dolly.  Examples of specific cloned cells and their use are skin for burn victims and bone marrow for leukemia patients. Many leukemia patients die because of lack of bone marrow donors, but the cloning of specific cells would make it possible for the patients own bone marrow to be cloned. Copying a leukemia patient’s own healthy bone marrow would eliminate the possibility of rejection. Because  a patient would be receiving his own cells there would be no need for the standard strong drugs that weaken the immune system to dangerous levels so that bone marrow is not rejected. Spinal cells would also be possible to clone. Another medical implication for cloning in the future will be the cloning of retinal tissue for victims of muscular diseases that destroy vision. Their vision could be saved.  Stem cell differentiation studies would provide us with information on cancer causes, cancer and aging. Cloned cells could be cultivated in a lab dish from a patient’s own cells.   Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D. and Nadia A. Rosenthal stated in a editorial for The New England Journal of Medicine, “The treatment of such diseases as diabetes mellitus, leukemia, and genetic disorders might change dramatically with the availability of genetically altered cell lines that would be immunologically compatible with a given patient and therefore not seen by the immune system as foreign.” After the basic initial research is done, cloning tissue will be easier than most of the present day medical procedures. Cloning related medicine will have incredibly diverse application. Since the medical use of cloning promises to change the way medicine is practiced, cloning has the possibility to become the next medical revolution…  Some of the greatest benefit of cloning are medical related discoveries, that could benefit everyone lives.

Cloning is in danger of being banned. All over the world law are being rushed to ban human cloning . Often the quickly passed cloning laws hurt other branches of genetic science.  The U.S. Senate drafted a bill (The Bond Bill) and the House of Representatives drafted the Ehlers Bill. Both of these bills go far beyond restricting human cloning. The bills also ban Somatic-cell-/ nuclear- transfer technology, the experiments that will lead to the creation of specific cells (skin cells and spinal tissue).  Florida hastily considered  anti-cloning legislation that was too restrictive . The new legislation barred the cloning of human DNA, routine procedure in bio-chemical research. California  passed legislation that temporarily  banned not only  human cloning in all forms but also a new promising treatment for infertility. Nineteen European nations have signed an anti-cloning treaty. The Clinton Administration backs a plan for a five-year moratorium on human cloning. Madeleine Nash of Time Magazine writes, “Spurred by the fear that maverick physicist Richard seed, or some one like him, will open a cloning clinic, lawmakers are rushing to enact broad restrictions against human cloning.”  Cloning is in danger of being completely banned before the potentials of this new science are realized. For logical reasons, cloning should be looked at as just another reproduction option. Cloning would be the only way for infertile couples to give birth to a baby with their own DNA.  The child would not inherit memories or experiences of the DNA donor. The child would be a time delayed twin of the father, mother or anyone else that donates DNA. Like a identical twin the cloned child would not have the same fingerprints as the DNA donor. In most cases, there would also be a considerable age difference between the clone and the DNA donor. This would make it unlikely that the two would get mistaken for each other. To say that people that are genetic copies of each other are not acceptable is saying identical twins and triplets are not acceptable since, they are exact genetic “copies” of each other. Cloned children are not created in jars or glass tubes. To created a clone, a DNA donor is needed. A nucleus of a cell from the donor is removed from its original cell and placed in a unfertilized egg. The DNA then rests for a while, then it is jolted into a growth stage. At this point, a mother is needed for the cloned child.  The egg is injected into her. The cloned child goes through the prenatal  stages of development that we all did. In nine months the baby is born, a time delayed twin of the DNA donor. Cloning would solve a lot of infertile want-to-be parents’ fertility problems. Cloning will lead to many scientific discoveries and advancements, that will benefit a large percentage of humanity, especially where genetics  is concerned.  One of the most staggering benefits of using human cloning to study human genetics is the possibility of improving our current map of disease-causing genes. Currently the process involved in isolating genetic disease on a genetic level is long and difficult with a endless margin for error. The essential requirements involved are:1.) A sufficient number of families with the same genetic disease (this large data pool helps ensure a linkage), and 2.( An accurate,  informed DNA marker.  DNA markers are now rather common, thanks to the Gnome Project, but finding families  is not as easy. The challenge is further complicated when the disease in question is one that causes death at an early age. The current processes involved in mapping the location of genetic disease is a roundabout process. The process starts with a scientist going in and looking for a particular DNA sequence (nucleotide ordering) and locations (specific marker locations). The process is long and full of weak points. One of the main flaws in the current system of mapping the origins of genetic disease is the inability to initially get close to the genes in question. Cloning would enable us to solve this problem as well as eliminating a lot of the current human error factor. Presymptomatic testing is made easier with cloning because more specific regions of DNA can be sequenced and the involvement of family members is eliminated. The specific function of normal non-disease causing genes will also be easier to isolate and map through simple standard cloning procedures.  Through this research, tests for genetic diseases will be relatively easy to develop. Doctors will be able to make more accurate diagnoses with fewer tests. This will lead to our further understanding of ourselves on a genetic level. Cloning, the scientific breakthrough of the year, will surely be the catalyst for breakthroughs in the near future, especially in the field of human genetics. Because of the unforeseen advantages for the advancement for the human race, scientifically and medically,  we cannot afford to ban cloning. Cloning promises to revolutionize the way we practice medicine. With specific cell cloning, an abundance of tissue would be available for people with medical problems ranging from burns to leukemia. Through the development of specific cell cloning processes we will learn more about aging and cancer and its causes. Cloning procedures have the potential to improve many branches of medicine as well as revolutionize medicine. Cloning bans are too restrictive.  The bans outlaw already existing branches of genetic science as well as prohibiting the research we need to do in order to realize the potentials of cloning. Cloning enables us to get closer to specific genes. This will lead to a complete, more accurate genetic map. Cloning will significantly simplify the process of isolating genes and determining their function. This is especially valuable when disease causing genes are involved. A better understanding of ourselves on a genetic level will be obtained. Human cloning offers so many promises of medical and scientific advancement that it is unethical to ban human cloning.

Maria was a sophomore in high school when she wrote this paper for her World Cultures class. Maria has gathered a lot of information about human cloning and is willing to help others learn about cloning via e-mail. She will answer questions and has all her information that she used for her original paper. 

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