Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/55361146@N08/8741880203/ Human cloning may no longer be a thing of the far-off future. A few years ago, the world’s first genetically modified human babies were born in the United States after having received genetic treatment. The women who were part of this human baby experiment had the genes of their eggs altered with some foreign genes before they were fertilized.
Human Cloning Ethics The ethics of human cloning and human genetic engineering involve a lot of sensitive topics. The ethical issues of genetically modified organism (GMO) have been talked about for decades and are becoming well-known. However, the ethical issues of human cloning aren’t being discussed as much as they should be. Most people agree that human cloning isn’t morally and ethically acceptable due to religious issues and health concerns.
The process of cloning organisms has always create unforeseen and serious consequences. An example of these consequences is the premature death of the first cloned sheep named Dolly. Dolly suffered a lot of health problems, including but not limited to DNA degradation, lung disease, arthritis and premature aging. Dolly’s health problems got so severe that scientists had to end her life at the age of 6.
The ethics of human cloning need to be discussed out in the open for the public to hear, because if human cloning becomes widely practiced, it will be a lot harder to solve the ethical issues of human cloning. If these ethical issues aren’t taken seriously, unforeseen consequences could occur that could endanger the integrity of the human race. Some of these consequences will involve genetic mutation and genetic contamination due to interbreeding.
What is Human Cloning? Before going into the pros and cons of human cloning, let us quickly explore what human cloning is. According to the American Medical Association, cloning is defined as, “the production of genetically identical organisms via somatic cell nuclear transfer.” The genetically modified babies that I mentioned earlier weren’t exact genetic replicas of another human being, because they were created using genetic manipulation, a cousin of full-blown cloning.
However, by allowing genetic engineering in human babies to occur, we are only a few steps away from cloning humans in large numbers. Cloning involves the process of nuclear transplantation. During this process, the nucleus of a fertilized organism’s egg is replaced by a nucleus of an organism’s cell. If the procedure is successful, the fertilized egg will grow into an identical copy of that organism.
In human cloning, the process is more complicated due to the complex nature of human DNA. Cloning experiments have provoked intense debate and controversy, but what are the pros and cons of human cloning? The Pros of Human Cloning Some doctors and scientists believe that human cloning can benefit people who have organ problems. For instance, genetic manipulation could help regrow damaged cells that could be used to treat a multitude of sicknesses and injuries.
They could even theoretically grow a new organ to replacement a damaged organ. People who have problems with infertility can use human cloning to produce a baby with the same DNA as them. Using cloned human bodies instead of animals for experiments can help researchers and scientists find cures for health conditions and disease more effectively. The Cons of Human Cloning Many people believe human cloning is simply unethical and could have far reaching consequences on the human race as a whole.
The argument is that opening up genetic cloning could give rise to selective procreation, whereby only babies with a certain genetic makeup are created. Others believe it could reduce genetic variation, which could lead to an increased susceptibility to certain diseases. The technology used for cloning is still in its early stage of development and therefore it could cause a lot of problems. For example, during the process of cloning Dolly, the famous cloned sheep, nearly 300 of her eggs were used and only 9 of them successfully induced pregnancy.
Out of these 9 eggs only one sole cloned sheep was successfully born. This suggests that scientists still have a lot of learning to do before they can clone humans. When it comes to the manipulation of genes, unforeseen consequences usually occur. These unforeseen consequences can disrupt the natural functions of the human DNA, causing health problems. Criminals could use human cloning to get away with crimes or exploit human cloning for unethical business practices.
They could make money by using cloned humans as slaves, organ donors or to commit crimes on their behalf. Is Human Cloning Going on Right Now? Some whistleblowers who have worked in certain secret government projects claim that human cloning has been going on for decades and cloned humans are already walking on the streets of certain places in the world. Are there any facts to back up these claims? Unfortunately, I haven’t found any concrete evidence to prove that there are cloned humans walking around on public streets.
However, if these claims are true, then we have some serious ethical issues of human cloning that need to be resolved before human cloning grows out of control. For more great information on human cloning, check out these popular human cloning books on Amazon.com. Sources: This articles was written by PL and Kate. Tags: Cloned Human, Human Cloning Cons, Human Cloning Ethics, Human Cloning Pros, Human Genetic Engineering, What Is Human Cloning Category: DNA & Genetic Engineering, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)See Also: Four Peaks Animal Rescue
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Basically, therapeutic cloning is being practiced to replicate cells and tissues that have the qualities to be used for particular medical purposes. It is believed to become the future of medical science, only if research allows it to continue. As you can see, it is a method of cloning that has become a widely controversial issue because of the ethics the process would involve, as well as the fact that it is seen literally by many people as a life and death issue.
In order for us to form a good opinion on the subject, it is important to learn about its pros and cons. Therapeutic Cloning Pros 1. It comes with a great potential for research.Though the objective of therapeutic cloning would be to allow for viable treatments in the field of medicine, the research that is being done into it is believed to be actually better than any medical results that have been achieved.
From better understanding of defects fetuses have at birth to viable treatments for cancer, this method of cloning has been offering researchers the opportunity to dig deeper into the cellular and genetic levels for human health will be better understood. 2. It has the potential to reduce the possibilities of an organ being rejected during transplantation.A primary goal of therapeutic cloning would be to create new organs from the existing tissues of a patient, with the aspect that the organs will just be created from his or her own cells, so there would be a reduced risk of organ rejection once the procedure of transplanting would be successfully completed.
As there are continuous advancements in the field of this technology, researchers expect that the level of risks of rejection would continue to go down. 3. It is believed to help treat serious medical conditions.For those who are being diagnosed with serious conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, seeing their doctors give them an injection of therapeutically cloned cells that will cure them immediately would be a great gift to their lives.
There would come the reality in science that, instead of suffering a lifetime of chronic pain and other physical issues, this method of cloning would provide the opportunity to find potential cures in just a single clinic visit. 4. It eliminates the need for a second-party surgery.Because the cells or tissues would be created based on the patient’s own unique DNA and genetics, he or she would no longer require a second surgery of a donor just to ensure a transplant would be successful.
Treatments would be based individually, which would mean that the privacy of the patient would still be ultimately protected. 5. It would make other medical practices, such as xenotransplantation, to be discontinued.As you can see, other forms of medical research look at the possibility of incorporating cells from animals into the human body in order to help it heal. But with therapeutic cloning, it still uses human cells, so there is no need to worry about the risks of diseases from animals to humans, as well as rejection issues and other common problems related to the practice.
6. It allows for the study of the process of organ regeneration.Therapeutic cloning makes it possible for cells to be implanted directly into an organ to allow a degenerating organ to heal itself. Its process has allowed scientists and researchers to evaluate how the human body could potentially heal itself under the right conditions. So, in the first place, this procedure would even reduce the need for organ transplants to be performed.
[embedded content] Therapeutic Cloning Cons 1. It has been seeing a low success rate as of yet.As of yet, medical research has shown that therapeutic cloning has not been successful, where the cells that have been cloned wound up resulting in some very serious defects that would instead harm human health if they are used. Now, considering that cloned cells would just become defective and then eventually die, obtaining them from embryos does not offer real benefits.
2. It requires researchers to use embryos.This technology uses embryos because they contain cells that have the ability to grow into any type of cell or organ, giving medical researchers the capability to develop medical procedures that come with an incredible amount of possibilities for life-saving. However, this also entails a question of ethics that must be answered, such as one where human embryo is seen as a living creature from a morality standpoint.
3. It uses adult cells that have limited potential.While those who do not support the ethics of researching on embryonic cells, seeing them as viable research alternative, critics argue that adult cells are limiting, stating that they are only of a certain value. Under the current situation the research is at, millions of eggs would need to be studied, but unfortunately there is not sufficient supply available at this moment to be able to create as many embryos.
4. It is believed to create the foundation of human cloning.The process of creating cells from a destroyed embryo is believed to eventually allow scientists to directly clone a certain person. While scientists are not in favor of reproductive cloning from therapeutic cloning, they would still support this field of research as long as it is only used to cure diseases. The promise of therapeutic cloning to be able to cure medical conditions that are currently incurable is seen as enough reason to get the average individual to get excited about the possibilities of this medical research and procedure.
But for people who view the destruction of embryos as ending a human life, the thought of this practice could be painful and even gruesome, where some critics even see research in this field as a form of infanticide or murder. But by assessing the pros and cons of this method in every detail, we can build a better overall opinion about it, which might even lead to a wise and surprising decision on our end.
[embedded content] Apr 27, 2016-Flow Psychology Editor