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Human Cloning

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Essay title: Human Cloning

Eddie Muсiz

Instituto Juventud

Human Cloning

Levin and Strauss stated that advances in recombinant DNA techinques, have greatly amplified the possibilities of distribution of biotechnology products to fields like pharmacology, medicine, industry and the environment, and have contributed to the advancement on the research of diseases such as AIDS and cancer (1). However, “the prospect of extensive field tests of genetically engineered organisms has given rise to concern about risks, these activities may pose to humans and the environment” (Levin and Strauss (1).

The president of Princeton University, Harold T. Shapiro, wrote that on july 5th 1996, a group of scientists from the Roslin Institute in Scotland, gave rise to the first adult mammal cloned from a single adult cell (2), which means that artificially, man had created a new organism genetically identical to another challenging the natural process of life and creation.

Leaving aside the science fiction scenarios, the sheep named Dolly, became the most famous ovine in history, because “she brought closer the time when it will be possible to clone a human at a speed that a few, if any, scientists anticipated” (Kolata, 3).

This issue brings up all kinds of political speculations and ethical dilemmas, all of which will be discussed on the following pages. One side defends cloning as a scientific advance that will help the human race, as it will reduce the number of acquired diseases and improve reproductive techniques that will result in better individuals. The other side questions the morality of these techniques, because they damage the integrity of the individuals, and prevents them form living a normal life, as clones become objects or products of others decisions instead of Godґs creation. In either case, most of the legal and moral issues raised can only be solved, in my opinion, by a great deal more widespread deliberations and education.

Cloning techniques have been around for over four decades, but it seemed that the idea of producing humans artificially, was more a part of a science fiction movie than of reality, but five years ago scientists opened up new doors not only to the field of medicine but also to controversy leaving many questions unanswered.

The scientific journal The Economist mentions in its march 97 issue that “scientists will be able to model human diseases to study more efficiently genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, allow the research of better treatments, the ability to produce useful proteins such as the blood clotting factor for hemophiliacs, and end the chronic shortage of organs for transplantation improving the health of us all, cheaper than ever before” (The Economist 4). However, the issue is not as easy as it seems, specially when dealing with humans, because questions on personhood are raised.

This brings me to discuss the strongest argument pro human cloning today, which goes in depth into the human psychology and personality theories. Like Stanton Peele (5) points out “varying environmental influences on each individual, continue after birth” meaning that personality and consciousness, are not direct products of DNA. Therefore, society should not worry about clones acting or thinking the same way as the parents, because “a clone of a human being would have a different environment, and be a different person with a different soul” (Kolata 3).

Another ethical issue on human cloning is the fact that, in case this techique advances, “the species will end up giving up sexual reproduction in favor of the cloning” (4) because people would prefer to have a test tube child with no risk of deficiencies, or even the inserted genes of a money making dead superstar. In my opinion, it is understandable that people suffer from having kids dieing from uncurable diseases, but that does not have to make okay, the fact of turning other human beings into living factories, or replacing a lost child with the face of another, at least not yet when the human race is not becoming extinct. If this was to happen, the maybe cloning would be imperative for species survival. I applaud cloning efforts as a good scientific work, but like Donald Bruce, director of the Church of Scotlandґs Society, “I do have concerns as a Christian. God creates diversity, and replicating goes against the general principle by which creation has been established” (qtd in Langreth 6).

On the other hand, it would be unfair to ignore the advances that science and technology have presented through history. All the way from the discovery of Penicillin to sevral drugs that seem to be reducing the mortality on AIDS, science has always been controversial due to its high potential on moral issues. Abortion, blood transfusions, heart transplants and in-vitro fertilization

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