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Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human (not usually referring to monozygotic multiple births), human cell, or human tissue. The ethics of cloning is an extremely controversial issue. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning; human clones in the form of identical twins are commonplace, with their cloning occurring during the natural process of reproduction. There are two commonly discussed types of human cloning: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells from an adult for use in medicine and is an active area of research, while reproductive cloning would involve making cloned humans. Such reproductive cloning has not been performed and is illegal in many countries. A third type of cloning called replacement cloning is a theoretical possibility, and would be a combination of therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Replacement cloning would entail the replacement of an extensively damaged, failed, or failing body through cloning followed by whole or partial brain transplant.
BENEFITS OF HUMAN CLONING
Regenerative Medicine Embryonic stem cells hold the genetic information necessary to become almost any tissue in the human body. If you were suffering from a disability, you could clone yourself for the purpose of extracting stem cells from the embryo within the 5th day of post-fertilization, thereby enabling scientists to grow and replace specific body parts or organs customized to your needs. The embryo is destroyed in the process. Therapeutic Cloning The benefit of therapeutic cloning is that it reduces the probability of a patient's immune system rejecting any treatment. The host's genetic information is inserted into a donor egg, void of its nucleus, followed by a small and artificially produced electrical current, which encourages the egg and DNA to combine, thereby activating cellular division within the egg. The result is almost a perfect copy of that individual in the earliest stages of life. The process just described is called somatic cell nuclear transfer. Cloning a Deceased Child Cloning a child that passed away may be therapeutic for a grieving family. The idea of having an exact genetic replica of a deceased child may aid parents in lessening sentiments of loss. The cloned child may be appreciated as a second chance, thereby empowering the parents to move forward with their lives. Moreover, the psychological stability of the child-clone may be affected, possibly for the better, by replacing his notion of uniqueness with indifference toward originality; and may empower him to make choices involving others that might otherwise be tragic from a "humanity as a novelty" viewpoint.
Cloning Yourself Aside from humankind's tendencies to favor narcissistic activities, the advantages of human cloning may be genetic duplicates of you as offspring. The reasons may range from the simply nostalgia of the idea to the continuity of an agenda. For example, although raising an exact copy of yourself doesn't diminish the distinctiveness of life experiences unique to your younger self, the way parent and identical child process information may be in fact very similar; and who best to teach yourself than yourself? Agenda inheritance like wealth inheritance is a commonly observed practice among human affairs; passing down wealth or ambitions to your clone may merely be a refinement of the phenomenon. Cloning Prominent People The prospect of cloning people exceptional in some way, such as Bruce Lee, David Foster Wallace, mathematical geniuses and supermodels, may inspire a set of eerie legal circumstances involving trademark rights or a sort of agenda inheritance redefining how we measure a person's "life success" by an everexpanding expectation of multilife accomplishments.
Human cloning technology could be used to reverse heart attacks. Scientists believe that they may be able to treat heart attack victims by cloning their healthy heart cells and injecting them into the areas of the heart that have been damaged. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and several other industrialized countries.
There has been a breakthrough with human stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can be grown to produce organs or tissues to repair or replace damaged ones. Skin for burn victims, brain cells for the brain damaged, spinal cord cells for quadriplegics and paraplegics, hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys could be produced. By combining this technology with human cloning technology it may be possible to produce needed tissue for suffering people that will be free of rejection by their immune systems. Conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, and other problems may be made curable if human cloning and its technology are not banned.
Infertility. With cloning, infertile couples could have children. Despite getting a fair amount of publicity in the news current treatments for infertility, in terms of percentages, are not very successful. One estimate is that current infertility treatments are less than 10 percent successful. Couples go through physically and emotionally painful procedures for a small chance of having children. Many couples run out of time and money without successfully having children. Human cloning could make it possible for many more infertile couples to have children than ever before possible.
Plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery. Because of human cloning and its technology the days of silicone breast implants and other cosmetic procedures that may cause immune disease should soon be over. With the new technology, instead of using materials foreign to the body for such procedures, doctors will be able to manufacture bone, fat, connective tissue, or cartilage that matches the patient s tissues exactly. 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. Victims of terrible accidents that deform the face should now be able to have their features repaired with new, safer, technology. Limbs for amputees may be able to be regenerated. y Rejuvenation.
Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, suggests that it may someday be possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from cloning.
Breast implants. Most people are aware of the breast implant fiasco in which hundreds of thousands of women received silicone breast implants for cosmetic reasons. Many came to believe that the implants were making them ill with diseases of their immune systems. With human cloning and its technology breast augmentation and other forms of cosmetic surgery could be done with implants that would not be any different from the person's normal tissues.
Defective genes. The average person carries 8 defective genes inside them. These defective genes allow people to become sick when they would otherwise remain healthy. With human cloning and its technology it may be possible to ensure that we no longer suffer because of our defective genes.
Down's syndrome. Those women at high risk for Down's syndrome can avoid that risk by cloning.
Tay-Sachs disease. This is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder could be prevented by using cloning to ensure that a child does not express the gene for the disorder
Liver failure. Kidney failure. We may be able to clone livers for liver transplants and kidney transplants
Leukemia. We should be able to clone the bone marrow for children and adults suffering from leukemia. This is expected to be one of the first benefits to come from cloning technology.
Cancer. We may learn how to switch cells on and off through cloning and thus be able to cure cancer. Scientists still do not know exactly how cells differentiate into specific kinds of tissue, nor to they understand why cancerous cells lose their differentiation. Cloning, at long last, may be the key to understanding differentiation and cancer.
Cystic fibrosis. We may be able to produce effective genetic therapy against cystic fibrosis. Ian Wilmut and colleagues are already working on this problem.
Spinal cord injury. We may learn to grow nerves or the spinal cord back again when they are injured. Quadriplegics might be able to get out of their wheelchairs and walk again. Christopher Reeves, the man who played Superman, might be able to walk again.
Testing for genetic disease. Cloning technology can be used to test for and perhaps cure genetic diseases.
DISADVANTAGES OF CLONING
June 1998, President Clinton publicly condemned human cloning. He opined that µany discovery that touches upon human creation is not simply a matter of scientific inquiry. It is a matter of morality and spirituality as well. Each human life is unique, born of a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science.¶ When did president Clinton condemn human cloning so resolutely? What are the reasons lurking behind actually? Let us start discussing the reasons of opposing cloning deeply.
The uncertainty of science technology
Science and technology cannot solve everything. What if we allow to human cloning? Have we ever thought of the results of that? Will the results be controllable? Even scientists cannot promise they can. Obviously, there are some potential crises lurking behind. Of course, these kinds of uncertainty are not reasonable to stop all the developments of science and technology. But we believe that we should ban such extreme cases (such as human cloning) as long as they have potential in damaging humans future. Furthermore, in cloning Dolly, it resulted in the death of many embryos and newborns before success achieved. (The Dolly experiment started with 277 fused eggs, of which only 29 became embryos. All the embryos were transferred to 13 sheep. 1 became pregnant with Dolly.) In addition, even if the human clone survived, it is not guaranteed that it would develop normally. The genetic material in cloning Dolly came from a 6 year old mammal (what is an old stage of sheep). Dolly s chromosomes could be found in older animals only. This finding made scientists start wondering whether Dolly, looking totally normal from its appearance, might have inherited genetic damage that would be shown in older age only or some other abnormalism.
Losing the diversity of genes
Human can live on the Earth relies on the diversity of genes. And the diversity of genes comes from parents having different sets of genes. The most horrendous part of identical genes is that it will weaken our power and adaptations, which make us subjected to great diseases easily. In addition, human cloning is just copying the identical genes, which means it will decrease the diversity of genes. Furthermore, the beauty of humanity lies in the differences we see in each other. Cloning would eliminate surprise and predict expectancy.
The great diseases and leading to extinction
As mentioned above, in human cloning, all human beings will be identical. Which means that entire human is at a risk of getting infected by the same type of pathogen. In scientific point of view, if everyone has the same type of genes and they are closed to each other they may not defend against the same kind of serious disease. Then cloning will be detrimental in terms of a great disaster. Another negative effect of cloning is inbreeding, as everyone has the same genotype and keep reproducing among themselves. This would lead us to our own extinction finally. Richard Nicholson of the British Bulletin of Medical Ethics said that cloning research may well be sowing the seeds of our own destruction.
Cloning is playing God
The clergymen opined human cloning is playing the role of god. Bishop of Catholic Albert Moraczewski mentioned that the power that God gives humans is over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small. (Genesis, chapter1, verse 26). Adam and Eve have all the power, except they cannot eat the fruit of the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. If they do so, they will die. So, Albert Moraczewski believes that human cloning is out of the God s permission. There is no evidence that proves humans have the right to change God s will.
Transgressing the nature
Human cloning transgresses nature, because it is not via the natural reproductive process, which is by a man and a woman. Human cloning is creating life.
A clone makes no differences as us. A clone must eat, drink and carry out any other metabolic processes in order to survive. The clone may even be better than his original host. It would be inhumane to treat them as special species . If human is cloned, this will turn us to be a property which can be sold to anybody else. In other words, selling humans is unethical, inhumane and immoral.
Devastate parenting and family life
The basic concept of a family is a couple falls in love and determines to care each other. Then the couple may decide to have children which they will love them dearly. But parents of clones might value their children according to how much they look like to themselves. Cloning, at a result, undermine the basic elements of loving, nurturing family and to accept each child as an unique individual.
Cause unbalance to the society
Cloning may arouses social side effects. It is ridiculous that reproduction is separated from love and other human relationship. The entire world may use cloning for eugenics that would lead to efforts to selectively breed children who are of more intelligent, heavier and extraordinary.
Persons that oppose cloning
~ In 1997- Feb, Carl Felbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization said: One of the prospects should not be, perhaps should never be, the extension of this technique to human beings. Now that it may be possible we would say its should be prohibited if necessary by law. ~ Stephen Grebe, an associate professor of biology at American University in Washington said: we are going to be facing this issue with humans. With that possibility open, I am concerned without adequate safeguards that this will become a reality. It may very well already be. ~ Jesse Rainbow, a university sophomore, lists reasons why some people have a knee-jerk aversion to embryo cloning. A clone would not be a real person . But a clone would have exactly the same status that an identical twin already does. Both are derived from a single fertilized ovum.
From e-mail to the Human Cloning Foundation it is clear that many people would support human cloning in the following situations: 1) A couple has one child then they become infertile and cannot have more children. Cloning would enable such a couple to have a second child, perhaps a younger twin of the child they already have. 2) A child is lost soon after birth to a tragic accident. Many parents have written the HCF after losing a baby in a fire, car accident, or other unavoidable disaster. These grief stricken parents often say that they would like to have their perfect baby back. Human cloning would allow such parents to have a twin of their lost baby, but it would be like other twins, a unique individual and not a carbon copy of the child that was lost under heartbreaking circumstances. 3) A woman who through some medical emergency ended up having a hysterectomy before being married or having children. Such women have been stripped of their ability to have children. These women need a surrogate mother to have a child of their own DNA, which can be done either by human cloning or by in vitro fertilization.
4) A boy graduates from high school at age 18. He goes to a pool party to celebrate. He confuses the deep end and shallow end and dives head first into the pool, breaking his neck and becoming a quadriplegic. At age 19 he has his first urinary tract infection because of an indwelling urinary catheter and continues to suffer from them the rest of his life. At age 20 he comes down with herpes zoster of the trigeminal nerve. He suffers chronic unbearable pain. At age 21 he inherits a 10 million dollar trust fund. He never marries or has children. At age 40 after hearing about Dolly being a clone, he changes his will and has his DNA stored for future human cloning. His future mother will be awarded one million dollars to have him and raise him. His DNA clone will inherit a trust fund. He leaves five million to spinal cord research. He dies feeling that although he was robbed of normal life, his twin/clone will lead a better life.
5) Two parents have a baby boy. Unfortunately the baby has muscular dystrophy. They have another child and it's another boy with muscular dystrophy. They decide not to have any more children. Each boy has over 20 operations as doctors attempt to keep them healthy and mobile. Both boys die as teenagers. The childless parents donate their estate to curing muscular dystrophy and to having their boys cloned when medical science advances enough so that their DNA can live again, but free of muscular dystrophy.
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