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Illegal Beings: Human Clones

Disease Prevention and Treatment

The Power of Cloning

by David Jose Guillen

Imagine being a first year medical surgeon just out of the highest ranking university in the nation. You are placed in the ER, in the Los Angeles General Hospital building, as your days are spent saving people from the cruel realities that they are forced to live among. Day after day, you see handfuls of people coming in with a variety of gunshot, knife, and domestic violence wounds. Your troubles are easily compensated, however, by receiving over $200,000 a year, a brand new Mercedes, and a house upon the palisade shores. Suppose for a moment that one evening while you are on duty, an ambulance radios in and informs the hospital staff that they are bringing in a multiple gunshot wound victim and to prepare the ER for an immediate operation. You begin to order people around and dictate what needs to be prepared before the ambulance arrives. Finally the victim is present, only to show that he is not the average gangster or policeman, instead it is the near lifeless body of your own son. Your blood freezes, your brain shuts down, as you see every precious second slip away through the lifeless gaze of your child's eyes.

His life and future all depend on you saving his life. He has been shot twice in the chest and his little heart is working ten fold to keep him alive. You realize that the only way to save him is an immediate heart transplant and you have not a second to lose. You yell at the assistant to find the nearest heart donor in hopes that your young son will make it through the night. Unfortunately your hopes are destroyed as the medical assistant informs you that the nearest heart donor is in Spokane, Washington 2,000+ miles away. You slowly turn to see the dying face of your son, and only wish to take all the burden from his shoulders and hoist it upon yours. Your son gives you an unforgettable look of fear as he slips away into the gates of heaven far from his warm and safe family. You drop to your knees in tears, and you swear you could hear the voice of your deceased son say, "Why? Why didn't you save me daddy?"

Similar instances are faced daily in hospitals all over the world. Children, adults, grandparents, and loved ones all come in one at a time with the hopes of survival in their heads, but with the taste of death in their mouths. All these people could have been saved if the proper organs would have been waiting for them in the hospitals. This is one of the many benefits that the power of cloning offers to current day society. By cloning such vital organs such as hearts, livers, and lungs people and their families can be saved from death and much unneeded anguish. As the millenium now comes to a close, and the human race sits on the threshold of technology, a new issue has risen and struck up much confrontation all over the world. The issue of cloning has been apart of society for the past century. In many past science fiction novels, authors described how races of clones would take over the world and universe. In more recent times, however, cloning has now become a serious issue now that it is possible to clone organs, animals, and even humans. Although the concept of cloning may seem unethical, many medical and social advantages lay within its unexplored perimeters. Through government funding and support, these advantages can be put to use as solutions for many of the problems that society is currently facing.

Many people throughout the world feel that the issue of cloning is absolutely preposterous and extremely unethical. Such opinions are understandable, considering that the majority of people are always going to be afraid of the unknown. Cloning is a relatively new aspect of our technological outreach and should be allowed to be further examined. The power and benefits that lay within these perimeters is amazing and should not be over looked. Many arguments offered against cloning, have been those such as "we would be playing the role of God" and "it is power that humans can not handle." First, the issue of playing God has been used many times before. "At one time birth control pills, in vitro fertilization, and heart transplants were criticized on the same grounds"(Vere 7). Throughout time people have always been afraid of new technology and the power it might posses. Another argument which is often used in rebuttal against cloning, is that the technology has not been perfected. Many governments around the world will not support such a project by any means. Because the risks outweigh the results, no particular government wants to be responsible for any mishaps that might occur. "Thirty thousand people perished on the Oregon Trail. Forty thousand people die in automobile accidents every year in the United States. There are many fatal airplane crashes, with hundreds of people and dozens of children dying in a single accident. Many adults and children choke to death on chicken bones every year. Yet we do not think of banning automobiles, airplanes, or fried chicken because the positive benefits outweigh the risks. If airplanes were to be invented now instead of 90 years ago, I'm afraid there would be serious proposals to ban airplanes because of the risk of injury and death. It is absurd to ban a new technological breakthrough just because, initially, it is not perfectly safe"(vere 5).

Although the opposing party has some very interesting rebuttals to the idea of the worldwide support of cloning, there are several more, scientifically supported examples that address the positive aspects of cloning. To properly understand the arguments that are made in support of cloning, one has to first know the fundamentals and processes that are undergone. Cloning is simply the process of making an identical, yet time delayed, replica. When cloning such items like organs, cells, and muscles, a sample of blood and tissue is needed from that specific area.

The cells within the tissue are cloned again and again until there are enough to replicate the original structure. For example if a liver were to be cloned, some cells from that area are need to be copied. Once the cells are copied, they are placed back into the liver where they would rebuild the damaged areas. In the case of cloning humans or animals, the process is a little bit more complicated. First a donor cell needs to be found and placed in a petrie dish so that it may live in a controlled environment. Next the cell of the entity to be cloned is placed in the same petri dish where an electric charge is used to fuse the cells together and activate the development of the embryo. Assuming the embryo survives, the egg is placed in a surrogate mother where it stays until the clone is ready to be born. In human cases, the embryo will grow for nine months in the mother's womb and be born naturally. If everything has gone according to plan through this point, an exact copy of the cell donor is made. This clearly shows that the clone, whether it's human or animal, is born of natural causes and is not some preposterous monster like so many people believe.

Now that a proper basis of the cloning process has been provided, many of the arguments supporting them can be understood. The first argument is that through cloning many couples that suffer from infertility, can now share in the joy of having children. According to the Human Cloning Foundation, less than 10 percent of the current infertility treatments are successful. The process is very similar to the explanation previously given. One of the parents will donate a cell and it will be cloned in a lab. It will then be placed inside the woman's womb and born naturally in nine months. The only real drawback to that is that it will not be a combination of the parents' traits, but instead a time delayed copy of one of them. Why should a couple go through so much suffering when they can have children just like everyone else? Continue...