Ethics of Cloning
November 30, 2000
The ethics of cloning depends on the reason it is to be used for.
1 What is cloning?
2 Uses of cloning?
3 Reasons for cloning
B Perfect children
II Good cloning
A Genetic diseases
B Extended life span
2 Organ donors
A “Home grown organs”
B No shortages
III Bad cloning
Cloning is defined by Webster is “a cell, cell product, or organism that is identical to the unit or individual it was asexually derived” (Webster 150). The actual process of cloning is considerably easier because of trial and error. This process can be helpful and can be deadly in the right hands. In this light, the ethics of cloning has, is, and will be one of the hottest topics of all time.
The clone has many different meanings in the modern world. The past identified a clone as something that that was copied from an original item or product. The term “The real McCoy” is an allusion to a patented train system, which everyone wanted but they did not want to buy that specific one. Nowadays the clone is an animal that has an identical DNA sequence to the donor of the DNA. The reasons for cloning is as varied as there are definitions. Many people would like to have the perfect child. Others can only have a baby by using cloning processes. Some believe that clones should be raised for their organs thus eliminating waiting lines for transplants since you get a genetically identical organ. There are several examples of cloning today. Dolly was the most popular since she was the first publicly announced cloning success. She was “born” on February 23, 1997. Bacteria are another example of cloning. They reproduce asexually and are identical to the original cell. This is used to our advantage by splicing specific strands of DNA into such bacteria so they become a transgenetic organism. Such an organism could be engineered to produce special chemicals like growth hormones and others required by the human body to function correctly. These engineered chemicals can be mass-produced in tanks and purified into an injection or powder for a pill. Cows that carry lactose digesting protein can be drank be the lactose intolerant without many problems. The growth hormones could be given to babies through their milk likewise if a growth defect has been detected early on. Some people
want the chance to eliminate such problems like lactose intolerance or lack to a growth hormone. These families want the perfect child. Such a child would have genes from known people that have the desired trait, like tall, thin, blue eyes, and strong muscles. This might be all and good to the parents, but some might get angry because they can not afford to build a child from scratch since the work put into making a baby by such methods is similar to the infertility treatments are very expensive.
One aspect of cloning are the organs that these clones would have. If a man were diagnosed with a fatal heart disease today, an option would be a heart transplant if a suitable heart can be found in time. Some people want to raise clones of people that have perfect organs just to harvest those organs. Technology could advance to the point where a DNA sample will yield the code the doctors need to produce a new organ designed to fit that person. There would be no need for he expensive drugs that weaken he immune system so the organ will not be rejected. This concept of cloning can be a valuable part of our life, but it could also bring around our destruction.
There are several good aspects to the cloning business. One such aspect is genetic disease that could be cured. One such disease is cancer. Although cancer has numerous forms, the triggers involved are mostly similar. If scientists can locate some type of chemical that would block these triggers from springing, then you have a vaccine for cancer. AIDS is just as important to research. This disease kills more and more people each year. Some day there will be a treatment that will alter your immune system to the point that it can effectively fight and conquer this epidemic.
Another important reason for cloning are animals. Some animals like the Dodo are extinct. Scientists are not far off from the reviving extinct species by using their fossilized DNA like on Jurassic Park. Some parts would be missing, so the scientists would fill in with appropriate substitute DNA sequences. The problem with this is if such revived species that were dangerous were to escape. Today the number of species on the endangered list is growing in leaps and bounds. Although countries are trying to protect these animals, they can not watch everyone in the world.
Although we would like to believe that cloning will be used for the good of man alone, there will be people that will use this technology for the harm of others and for power.
Word Count: 900
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