The Benefits of Human Cloning
by Simon Smith
There are many ways in which
human cloning is expected to benefit mankind. Below is a list that
is far from complete.
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.
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.
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
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 patients 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.
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.
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
Liver failure. We
may be able to clone livers for liver transplants
Kidney failure. We
may be able to clone kidneys for kidney transplants
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.
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.
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.
The above list only scratches the surface
of what human cloning technology can do for mankind. The suffering
that can be relieved is staggering. This new technology heralds a
new era of unparalleled advancement in medicine if people will release
their fears and let the benefits begin. Why should another child
die from leukemia when if the technology is allowed we should be able to
cure it in a few years time?
From various e-mail sent 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
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.
Reference this page as: Human Cloning Foundation. "The Benefits of Human Cloning." Internet
http://www.humancloning.org/benefits.htm, 1998. This page can be plagiarized, copied, or redistributed freely in order to support human cloning and its technology. If it is convenient to give credit to the Human Cloning Foundation, please do so.