by Simon Smith
Medical breakthroughs - Human cloning technology is expected to result in several miraculous medical breakthroughs. We may be able to cure cancer if cloning leads to a better understanding of cell differentiation. Theories exist about how cloning may lead to a cure for heart attacks, a revolution in cosmetic surgery, organs for organ transplantation, and predictions abound about how cloning technology will save thousands of lives. You can read about many of the expected medical benefits in the essay "The Benefits of Human Cloning."
Medical tragedies - Many people have suffered accidental medical tragedies during their lifetimes. Read about a girl who needs a kidney, a burn victim, a girl born with cosmetic deformities, a man who needs a liver, a woman who is infertile because of cancer, and a father who lost his only son. All these people favor cloning and want the science to proceed.
To cure infertility - Infertile people are discriminated against. Men are made to feel like they are not "real men." Women are made to feel as if they are useless barren vessels. Worse, being infertile is often not considered a "real medical problem" and insurance companies and governments are not sympathetic. The current options for infertile couples are painful, expensive, and heart-breaking. Cloning has the potential to change the world for infertile couples almost overnight.
To fund research - People whose lives have been destroyed or have not been able to reproduce in this lifetime due to tragedy could arrange to have their DNA continued and fund research at the same time. For example: 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.
Bad parents - Did your parents destroy your life? Were they alcoholic, child-beating molesters? Did you never have a chance? Interestingly, human cloning allows you the opportunity to participate in choosing the parents for your clone.
A Child's right to be better than its parents - It's been suggested that parents have a duty to see that their children have better lives than they do. This may mean making our children live longer, helping them to be resistant to cancer, heart disease, any familial diseases, and all the other problems that can be cured using what we learn from human cloning technology.
To take a step towards immortality - Human cloning essentially means taking a human being's DNA and reversing its age back to zero. Dr. Richard Seed, one of cloning's leading proponents, hopes that cloning will help us understand how to reverse DNA back to age 20 or whatever age we want to be. Cloning would be a step towards a fountain of youth.
To make a future couple financially secure - With human cloning you could give a couple in the future both a child from your DNA and the financial assets from your lifetime to start out financially secure instead of struggling as most couples do now.
Because you believe in freedom - Freedom sometimes means having tolerance for others and their beliefs. In America, some people believe gun control and some don't. Some people believe in one religion and others in another. In a free society we know that we must tolerate some views that we don't agree with so that we all may be free. For this reason human cloning should be allowed.
To be a better parent - Human cloning can improve the parent-child relationship. Raising a clone would be like having a child with an instruction manual. You would have a head start on the needs and talents of your child. We are not saying that a clone would be a carbon copy with no individuality. Our talents and desires are genetic, developmental, and environmental. We would have a head start on understanding the genetic component of a cloned child.
Endangered species could be saved - Through the research leading up to human cloning we will perfect the technology to clone animals, and thus we could forever preserve endangered species, including human beings.
Animals and plants could be cloned for medical purposes - Through the research leading up to human cloning, we should discover how to clone animals and plants to produce life-saving medications.
You want your clone to lead the life that was meant to be yours - The Human Cloning Foundation has been surprised by the number of people that write to say that they would like to have a clone so that it may lead the life that was meant to be theirs. Typically, these are people who have suffered some terrible physical or mental handicap and feel robbed of the opportunities they should have had in life. Some see this life as a sacrifice so that the life of their clone may be enriched.
To have a better sense of identity - If we had some information about ourselves, perhaps we could sooner or better discovery who we are. A clone would have access to a tremendous amount of information about his or her parent that could greatly help in understanding one's psyche and physical attributes. All of this information could provide a better sense of identity.
Because so many people want cloning - Please read the dozens of essays by people from all over the world in support of human cloning and published by the Human Cloning Foundation.
Religious Freedom - At least two religions, the Raelian Religion and the Summum Religion, believe in cloning as one of their tenets.
Because of the special relationship that twins have - Twins often have very special relationships. While many people go through their lives never having a special relationship with another person, there are stories of twins in which they are so close they are perhaps psychically connected. More than one person has written the Human Cloning Foundation (including a twin that feels close to her identical twin) that since a clone is virtually the equivalent of an identical twin, they suspect a very special relationship would exist between a clone and its DNA parent. Some twins describe their twin relationship as more wonderful and meaningful any other relationship in their lives.
Economics - Countries that fail to research human cloning will suffer economically. The industrial revolution and Internet revolutions enriched the United States of America. Biotechnology will lead the next economic revolution. Those countries that jump in first will reap the rewards. Those who fail to begin research right away will fall behind. As an example: Japan failed to jump on the Internet bandwagon and is now playing catch-up. Japan has banned human cloning and will probably suffer by falling behind during the biotech revolution. One day in the not too far distant future, Japan may realize its mistake.
Gay couples - From one of our readers: "gay couples go through so much...not to mention all the controversy...when they decide that they are ready for a baby. People question their right to bring a child that technically isn't related to them into a lifestyle that falls below societies views of normal.....human cloning could allow two gay men to take 23 chromosomes from each male and put them into a single egg to truly have a baby of their own. also two gay women could use this technology to conceive a child of their own using their individual 23 chromosomes." (To our knowledge the type of reproduction described here has not yet been done, but someday it will probably be possible.)
A cure for baldness - From one of our readers: "But how about the possibility of using cloning technology to get more hair on a balding scalp. For example cloning can be used to get more hair from a few sample hair follicles or grafts from the patient's head and then grow them....later transplant the grafts where it is needed. This will eliminate the need to do an incision in back of the scalp for donor hair and will literally give the patient MORE hair."
Because the sick will demand it - Those resisting human cloning research will probably find themselves shouted down by the sick and the maimed who desperately need such research. Human cloning technology promises to cure many or all incurable diseases and the moral weight of the dying and infirm will undoubtedly sway the politicians more than the arguments of the healthy, who often remain ignorant of the potential of human cloning, because they have never been motivated by suffering to look desperately for a cure.
Hope - On the Charlie Rose television show on February 14th, 2001, three anti-cloners debated against one reporter. The anti-cloners made the case for stem cell research while alleging that cloning itself would not result in any major scientific breakthroughs. It is likely that the anti-cloners are quite wrong. Learning the process of reprogramming, differentiation, and dedifferentiation is likely to result in just as many medical miracles as stem cell research. The two lines of research go hand in hand and should complement each other. The three anti-cloners came across as people who would destroy hope. The kept alleging that things were impossible. They reminded me of the same types of people who proclaimed that cloning was impossible years ago. Furthermore, they seemed happy and willing to take away the hope of infertile couples and others with severe diseases that human cloning technology might one day lessen their suffering or save their lives. The anti-cloners also seemed to feel that they had the ability to predict the timing and course of science advancement, which history has shown to be folly.
Living on through a later-born twin - Some childless people feel that by being cloned by their later-born twin would help them or their DNA to live on in the same sense that people who have children live on.
If you know a good reason why human cloning should be allowed please write it as an essay and submit it at our FORUM
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