In Support Of Human Cloning Human cloning is inevitable. As part of the progress of science, human cloning will take place regardless of who opposes it. In this paper I will explain what human cloning is, some of the ethical and moral objections to it, some medical benefits it could serve, what many different religions think of cloning humans, and ultimately why I feel that this would be beneficial to our society. In order to understand the objections and the potential of human cloning, one must know exactly it is and how it is done. In order to clone a living being (animal or human), scientists begin with an egg (ovum) of an adult female.
Women generally produce only one each month but can be chemically stimulated to produce more. Researchers remove the DNA-containing nucleus from the egg. Cells from the subject to be cloned are obtained by various methods including a scraping the inside of the cheek, and the DNA-containing nucleus is removed from one of these. Next the adult-cell nucleus is inserted into the egg with a sophisticated nuclear transfer, and the egg is stimulated (electrically or chemically) to trick it into dividing just like an embryo. When the embryo reaches the appropriate stage, you implant it into the uterus of the woman who will give birth to it.
After gestation, the clone is born in the normal way (Eibert, par. 2-5). The child that is born as a result of cloning would be nearly genetically identical (the egg holds some mitochondrial DNA that may potentially alter the new DNA slightly) to the subject cloned. The clone should look similar to the adult it was cloned from, but thats where the similarities would end. The clone would have a completely different set of life experiences. It would be raised by different parents, grow up in a different era and different location, and have different circumstances happen to it along the way.
It wouldnt be the same person it was cloned from; it would be its own unique individual who just happened to have the same DNA. The characteristics of a person (physical as well as social) are activated by random choices on the DNA. A person has twenty-three chromosomes from his or her mother and twenty-three from the father. Whether or not a person has blue eyes is a random pick from the two sets of chromosomes. Identical twins are also quite different from each other: their fingerprints are different, sometimes one twin will be obese and one not, and sometimes one is gay and one is not. It is these random activations that we cant control, and these random activations may be different in a clone than they were in the original person.(Eibert, par.
40). So what is society so afraid of? Why is the subject of human cloning almost taboo? I think the majority of the population envisions cloning as some sort of mass-market where one can order a baby or create millions of identical people. This was the same sort of fear that in-vitro fertilization (IVF, test-tube babies) created when it was started in the 1970s, and, in theory, this couldnt be more wrong. One of the main problems that most people have with cloning of humans is they believe that in an attempt to create another person there will be many unsuccessful attempts. There is a fear that in forming embryos there will be many that are deformed, destroyed, or otherwise experimented on for scientific gain. Marc Zabludoff writes in Fear and longing that to get one successful birth, many babies would have to die in failed procedures an absolutely unacceptable practice (6) It has been widely publicized that in creating Dolly, the cloned sheep, it took 277 tries.
This isnt quite true. What it took to clone Dolly was 277 eggs with a fused nucleus. Only 27 of them divided past the 2-cell stage. Only 13 of these formed embryos and were implanted into a sheep uterus; of these 13, only 1, Dolly, was born. It wasnt that any of the sheep embryos were deformed or manipulated, the adult sheep simply failed to conceive, much like an unsuccessful test-tube conception (Eibert, par. 12). So this fear of deformed or destroyed humans as a result of cloning is simply an ignorance of the technology used in the cloning process.
There is also a very common fear that a clone of a person will be just like that person. This theory is at the heart of many debates on nature vs. nurture. Would a clone be simply a copy of another person? We all know that an original piece of artwork is far more valuable than any prints made of it. Would that apply also for humans? We have clones existing all over the world today: identical twins. Genes alone cannot determine who we are.
A clone of Michael Jordan may prefer playing the violin over basketball. Twins have the exact same DNA and are generally brought up in a very close environment, yet anyone who knows twins knows that they are still uniquely different. Many times one twin can be overweight or gay or an alcoholic, and the genetics are identical, arent they? If we do not fear these natural clones, why should we fear deliberate ones? (Colvin 39) Another problem that many fear with cloning is the clone (the child) would have no real parents or that cloning would eliminate the need for the male role in reproduction. It is my opinion that the woman who gives birth to the child is its mother. In rare cases a woman is unable to give birth herself and a surrogate is hired as a gestational mother to carry the baby to term. In this case, the woman initiating the cloning process would be the parent, and the surrogate would sign over the baby for adoption.
There simply cant be millions of one person created as there would have to be millions of women to carry them (Many oppose 20). These clones would be born to a mother who wanted them, a mother who sought out the technology available, took the necessary medications, and carried a child that she wanted. To me, this would be a good parent. There are many single women and lesbian couples who have children; the male role is obsolete in their lives too, but they still can be good parents. If a child has one parent who loves him or her more than anything, that child is a very lucky person. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) can be compared in many ways to current issues in human cloning.
Jonathan Colvin discusses some of the topics relating to this in his article Me, my clone, and I (or in defense of human cloning) by stating Many of the attitudes concerning human cloning are reminiscent of the arguments against in vitro fertilization in the 1960s when accusations of playing God and interfering with nature were common. Today, however, test tube babies are celebrated for their own individuality and as people in their own right (39). Like cloning, IVF takes place in a test tube with an embryo being implanted into the uterus. IVF doesnt always produce a child, much like cloning cant be guaranteed. In-vitro fertilization is becoming extremely popular with more than 300,000 births worldwide.
Even many Catholic ethicists now question the churchs opposition to this process. Isnt it possible that human cloning may become as commonly used? (Clarke 12-13) Cloning of a human would be very beneficial for infertile couples who cannot conceive naturally or through artificial techniques. Women who have blocked fallopian tubes or cannot produce viable eggs would be able to have a genetically related child through cloning. There can be complications with IVF: anonymity of a sperm donor, a child with genetic flaws, inability of the body to accept a foreign embryo. All of these would be eliminated through cloning. This would lower the necessity for surrogates and sperm donors (Eibert, par. 52). Couples (or women …