In recent decades, questions about genetic engineering, genetic modification, and cloning of animals and humans are on the minds of many. On February 27, 1997 when Dr. Ian Wilmut and his team sent chills down our spine with the announcement of the first successfully cloned sheep Dolly. At this time the reality of animal cloning stared us in the face while the human cloning was just around the corner.
Have you ever imagined what life would be like if we could eliminate human problems? This is the question that arises when the issue of human cloning or human cloning of the organs is brought up. Cloning is the process where organisms, cells, or microorganisms are copied to produce an almost identical genotype. In other words, the cloning process involves taking a cell from the tissue of a live animal or human, inserting all or some of the genes from that cell into an embryo, which is then placed in the womb of a living creature. There, this embryo is hoped to reproduce into a child, and be born as a clone of the living being from which the cell is taken. Cloning is also called “somatic cell nuclear transfer,” it is the transfer of a nucleus of a somatic cell to an egg that has had its nucleus removed. Cloning is beneficial to humanity, and it can help solve organ limitations, cure diseases, and take a giant step toward immortality (Anderson, 60).
One of the greatest problems in medicine today is that many people need organs for various reasons, which are not available, and lead to a lot of unnecessary deaths. There are not enough organs to supply the need in demand. In 1997 “2,300 of 40,000 Americans” that needed a heart transplant got one; that means that nearly 94% did not receive one (Fox). I know from having heart problems myself, that if I would need to have a heart transplant sometime in the near future to stay alive that I would definitely want a cloned heart if nothing else was possible and I was able to receive one. Why, you might ask? Because I have not had a chance to live my life, and there are many other things I would like to experience, such as celebrating my twenty-first birthday, getting married, and having a family. But if we cloned human organs we would eliminate a major killer to the human race, and provide patients worldwide with a healthy cloned organ. There would be no waiting lists, less complications, and almost no deaths.
Another reason for cloning is the cure for diseases. Knowing that cancer is one of the leading causes of death of many worldwide, with cloning we maybe able to produce an effective gene therapy to cure this disease. It may also save many people’s lives. The final reason that cloning is beneficial to humanity is that it would let us take a giant step of immortality. Wouldn’t it be great if you did not have to worry about getting old or dying? Well with human cloning this could all be possible. “Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, suggests that it is possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from the cloning. We could possibly reverse our age up to twenty years.” (Tennessee.org) This would almost allow us to live forever, and not be afraid of old age and death.
Right now scientist are attempting to create transgenetic pigs which have human genes. Their heart, liver, and kidneys might be useable as organ transplants in humans. This would save many lives. Thousands of people die each year waiting for available human organs. Once this is achieved, transgenetic animals could be cloned to produce as many organs as needed.
In conclusion, the Cloning of human beings should not be taken for granted it. Whether one is for or against human cloning or the human cloning of the organs we should all be aware of the benefits it can offer or bring to us. We should not have to worry about destroying families of spreading worldwide diseases. In most cases the benefits of human cloning overrule misuse or bad outcomes of human cloning. Also, if the human clone is successfully produced they should remain equal to all humans just as every other person already should be.
Anderson, Alan M. “ Cloning Can Be an Ethical Form of Human Reproduction”
“Human Cloning,” (7/21/00) Online. Internet 25 July 2000