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The Real Possibilities Of Cloning Essay, Research Paper
The Real Possibilities Of Cloning
On February 22, 1999 news was announced that Dolly the lamb was the first successful animal cloned. Unlike the other cloning experiments done over the past 15 years, this was the first successful clone made with an adult cell. The cell was used to activate and program the egg from which Dolly grew. Past clones involved using the cell from a fertilized embryo in the early stages of development. As news of Ian Willmut’s cloned lamb got out across the globe, many people feared what they thought could possibly never come true. With the technology to clone identical animals, can humans be cloned too? Since then topic of discussion throughout the scientific world has centered on the cloning of humans. Recently, The University of Texas lab cloned the first headless creatures, headless mice. Since then, headless tadpoles have also been born at The University of Blath. This discovery is even more chilling because it opens up the door to headless humans, for purposes such as organ banks. Headless human production could also be used as a means for testing out new treatments for diseases such as cancer. Controversy is coming up more often considering the morals and ethics of cloning. Is headless cloning opening the gate to human immortality? Is a headless clone ever a living creature? Many people are beginning to wonder if cloning will be beneficial to our country.
The cloning of animals as well as human cloning could prove very beneficial to our nation. For instance, cloning research would be very beneficial to improving the vitro fertilization process. Vitro fertilization is when a woman’s egg is removed from her uterus, fertilized by a sperm donation, and replaced back in the uterus. John Robertson, an authority on reproductive technology and the law at the University of Texas School of Law says, “Even if they only produced three or four embryos, it could greatly improve the odds that it will work (Robertson, 3).” This could be very beneficial to couples that are having trouble having children the traditional way. As for animal cloning, we will be able to clone extinct animals, and increase the populations of endangered species. Animal cloning could also improve livestock for food. Randall Pranther, a professor of animal sciences at the University of Missouri stated this, “You could implant identical embryos of a cow with more meat, less fat and greater resistance to disease (Pranther 6).” I think these uses for cloning would be very beneficial to the health and medical knowledge of our country. Another use for cloning is as a donor bank for spare human organs. Since the discovery of headless cloned mice at The University of Texas, the idea of headless humans has been lingering in the public’s minds. There are some problems facing this procedure, such as finding sane women to carry these embryos in their bodies so they can grow. But eventually, these problems will be solved and headless cloning will be possible. Charles Krauthammer, a graduate of Harvard and a licensed psychiatrist, wrote an essay concerning headless cloning. In the essay he stated, “I find cloning personally distasteful, but given the shortage of organs, I do not think distaste is sufficient reason not to go ahead with something that would save lives (Krauthammer 470). So what is right and what is wrong? Although cloning does sound like a reasonable thing to do given the shortage of organs in the U.S., are we going to pave the way for human immortality? George Annas of Boston University’s School of Public health argues, “Cloning a person would change the definition of what it means to be human (Annas, 1).” Is this a problem we are willing to deal with as a consequence?
With this new breakthrough now cloning takes on two meanings. Cloning a person is certainly different than forming the identical body of a human that’s not alive, a body for the use of spare organs. In Charles Krauthammer’s essay Headless Mice?And Men, he addresses the problems with headless cloning. Is it cloning, or is it the gateway to immortality? And why did they even create them? It was said that these mice were created to learn how genes determine embryo development. But we can easily figure out that true utility of manufacturing headless creatures is for their organs. These organs from headless clones are perfectly formed and perfectly useful. Regular cloning can be looked at differently than this. After all, it is not really the same person, but a twin who looks identical to the original person. As for clones conscious, it could be completely different than the original persons conscious. But with this technology, the possibility of indefinite life has opened. Indefinite life is something that has never been looked at by the scientists that are cloning. If we clone for the purpose of body parts in a way we are playing god by creating lives that don’t have a chance to live. With these nonliving, identical organs ready to be used, human consciousness could stay alive for possibly ever. We were not created to be immortal, and who knows what could happen to human life if immortality was possible? Krauthammer states that, “If you create a clone, you cannot transfer your consciousness into it to truly live on. But if you create a headless clone of just your body, you have created a ready source of replacement parts to keep you-your consciousness-going indefinitely (Krauthammer 470).” Krauthammer even compares headless creation of human bodies to narcissism, “nothing satisfies narcissism like immortality (Krauthammer 470).” Like Charles Krauthammer, theologian Paul Ramsey thinks the idea of cloning is dangerous to human life. In his 1970 book Fabricated Man, he says, “Humanity will not have the wisdom to manage the power that comes with gaining total control over its own destiny (Ramsey 2).”
With all these issues surrounding cloning, it has become a very controversial topic with no correct answer. Is it the right thing to do, or is it going to hurt our nation and take the meaning of humaness away from us? I say that cloning is wrong, and shouldn’t be tolerated in America, at least headless human cloning. Why do I think that cloning should be banned? Well, I base my decision on many arguments that cloning is unhealthy for our nation and even possibly dangerous. There is no equal to sheer immortality than the purposeful creation of these animal monsters. I think that with the cloning headless creatures, we would take life for granted because we can always fix ourselves with these spare organs we have waiting aside. Cloning animals for the purpose of food might sound good, but is not worth the problems cloning could possibly bring. “Designer animals” are unethical and dangerous. I agree with Jeremy Rifkin when he says, “Every creature that comes into being ought to have the right to its individual genetic makeup (Rifkin 7).” We should look at the whole spectrum of the cloning subject and not just the positive aspects of it before we leap into a way of life we are not ready for.
Ramsey, Paul. Fabricated Man: The Ethics of Genetic Control, Yale University Press,
Krauthammer, Charles. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: Of headless mice? and
Men, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
Elshtain, Jean Bethke. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: Ewegenics, St. Martin’s
Cloning (Editorial). CQResearcher, http://library.cp.com/search/, 1998.
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