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Illegal Beings: Human Clones






Disease Prevention and Treatment

Cloning the Human Race: The Importance and Advantages of Cloning Technology

by Seah Nili

THESIS: Human cloning and its technology are necessary and should be continued because the cures to diseases may be found, the infertility problem may be solved, and more geniuses may be produced.

I. The birth of Dolly the clone
II. Curing diseases
III. Relieving infertility
IV. Producing geniuses
V. The future of the human race
VI. References
VII. Bibliography

I. The birth of Dolly the clone  

Dolly’s entrance to this world marked a remarkable turning point in biological science. Her “quiet birth”, with no photographs or champagne, was on 5th July 1996 (Kolata, 1998, p. 2). Even her creator Ian Wilmut was not present then.  

The first cloned sheep was a breakthrough to scientists, for many saw the benefits lying ahead for humankind. The process Dolly was created from was nuclear transfer, where “the nucleus of a mature but unfertilized egg is removed and replaced with a nucleus obtained from a specialized cell of an adult (or fetal) organism (in Dolly’s case, the donor nucleus came from mammary gland epithelium)” (Kass & Wilson, 1998, p. 13).  

With this discovery, the possibility of human cloning was speculated. Many governments were eager to ban human cloning. An anti-cloning treaty has been signed among nineteen European nations, and Bill Clinton has imposed a five-year moratorium on human cloning. These are merely two examples of many other countries who have banned human cloning and its research. This legislation is a threat to the development of research of our human body.  

To ban the research “will just push it underground and into unscrupulous hands” states Raju Chellam in the article “Clone research – dangerous to wish it away”, which appeared in The Business Times, October 1, 1999. Mankind is still in search of many answers and some of which may be found in the research of human cloning.  

Thus human cloning and its technology is necessary and should be continued because the cures to diseases may be found, the infertility problem may be solved, and more geniuses may be produced.

II. Curing diseases  

High hopes in developing “new cures and treatments for serious and unmet medical needs” have been driven by the cloning technology (Milgram & Rantala, 1999, p. 215).  

Some diseases are inborn and cause permanent defects on an individual. This suffering may end soon if cloning is permitted. Doctors expect to eventually “offer expectant mothers an option to diagnose and treat the future early enough to correct disorders such as Down's Syndrome, miscarriages, and genetically induced sensory diseases like blindness or deafness” (Chellam, 1999, 1 October).  

Parents worried about their child being born deformed can be rest assured that “cloning is actually genetically safer than normal sexual reproduction because it bypasses the most common form of birth defect – having the wrong number of chromosomes” (Kolata, 1998, pp. 237 - 238). Through cloning, it is possible to control the number of chromosomes to avoid abnormalities as it starts off with a normal cell that has “the proper amount of chromosomes” (Kolata, 1998, p. 239).  

“Human cloning would solve the problem of finding a transplant donor whose organ or tissue is an acceptable match and would eliminate or drastically reduce, the risk of transplant rejection from the host” (Nussbaum & Sunstein, 1998, p. 147). The host must first have his own clone, which would mean that clones would be genetically identical to the host. For transplanting organs from one another, the match would be near perfect.  

Growing embryonic stem cells is another form of offering near perfect matched transplants as they can be “grown to produce organs or tissues to repair damaged ones” (The benefits of human cloning, 1998). A source of these cells is cloned embryos. “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” (The benefits of human cloning, 1998).

III. Relieving infertility  

In vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, embryo manipulation, surrogate motherhood, and more were once strongly opposed to but we have grown accustomed to them and have accepted them as forms of reproduction. “Cloning is but one of many high-tech methods of reproduction” (Nussbaum & Sunstein, 1998, p. 271).  

Those who are “attracted to the idea of selective breeding” will prefer cloning because it “involves a smaller genetic gamble than does a combination of sperm and egg of even highly desirable strangers” (Nussbaum & Sunstein, 1998, p. 252). This possible new way of reproduction is highly desirable since, as Lee Silver said, offers “a chance for some people to have what they thought they never could have – a child of their own” (Milgram & Rantala, 1999, p. 69).  

Banning human cloning is an equivalent to disallowing life. Depriving those who sincerely wish to experience pregnancy and raise “a child biologically related to them” may result in a “large number of children throughout the world possibly available for adoption” (Nussbaum & Sunstein, 1998, p. 146). Cloning technology, once perfected, will allow the conceiving of a genetically related child using any cell from the body.

Cloning gives an “infertile or homosexual couple a chance to have a biological child” (Milgram & Rantala , 1999, p. 59). A doctor, Capron, said, “with more research on techniques, he would help women whose eggs could be fertilized but who always miscarried their fetuses” (Kolata, 1998, p. 244). Therefore, we should continue the research on human cloning and not ban it so quickly.

IV. Producing geniuses  

Clones will have their own soul and identity like any other human being. They will be “a distinct individual; not a replica of another person” (Barnett, 1998, p. 117). “Each clone would be like an identical twin”, claims James Q. Wilson, “very similar in intelligence and manner, and alike (but not a duplicate) in personality” (Kass & Wilson, 1998, p. 66).  Continue...