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The argument about human cloning is greatly divided among the population. The medical benefits greatly outweigh its potentially harmful effects on society.


What are ethics of human cloning? Webster’s Dictionary defines a clone as, “a genetically identical duplicate of an organism produced by replacing the nucleus of an unfertilized ovum with the nucleus of a body cell from the organism” (Webster’s Dictionary, 188). Webster’s Dictionary defines ethics as, “the study of standards of conduct and moral judgement” (Webster’s Dictionary, 188). In short the ethics of human cloning is the study of the moral standards society sets regarding a genetically identical duplicate of a human.


Cloning began in February of 17 with the successful genetic duplication of a sheep named Dolly. She was created when Ian Wilmut and his colleagues reconstructed 77 eggs and the eggs had their nucleuses removed. Twenty-nine of those 77 became embryos. Those embryos were transferred into the uteruses of thirteen sheep, but only one became pregnant. That sheep birthed Dolly, the first successfully cloned animal.


As the technology has increased during the last few years, developments in cloning have become seventeen times more efficient. Cloning has also moved on to other species of animals, such as goats and pigs. The government, however, has a different idea about the cloning of humans. The Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), says they have the authority to regulate the cloning of humans by forcing scientists to go through a lot of hoops to prove that cloning is safe. In three states, however, (California, Rhode Island, and Michigan), cloning is already being outlawed. Cloning is still legal in all other forty-seven states. As of now there are no recent developments in technology or government regulation.


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There are many arguments for and against the cloning of humans. Arguments against human cloning include safety concerns just like any new medical technology. Research and testing are needed to reduce safety risks. Cloning is also said to cheapen life because the clone is engineered instead of being naturally born. Some critics believe that cloning is playing God, but this argument follows the assumption that we know God’s will and intentions.


Arguments for human cloning include the possibility that infertile men and women could have children. No one is clearly harmed by or will be harmed by being cloned, if the government allows research and improvement to continue. Cloning could also provide invaluable research towards curing such diseases as cancer and cystic fibrosis.


There are many ways that cloning could benefit mankind. Human cloning could be used to reverse heart attacks, by cloning healthy heart cells and injecting them into the damaged areas of the heart. Embryonic stem cells can be grown to produce tissues and organs and used as replacements for damaged ones. Brain cells could be reproduced and used to fix brain damage. Spinal cord cells could be used to help quadriplegics. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, and other diseases could be cured if research and experimentation in human cloning is allowed to continue. Infertility could become obsolete if cloning were legalized. Defective genes would not be a problem because scientists would be able to correct them before birth. The defective gene that causes Down’s syndrome and Tay-Sach’s disease could be corrected so that a person would not express that gene. Leukemia could be curable by cloning the bone marrow that children and adults need to survive. There may even be a way to turn cells on and off, thus creating a cure for cancer. With advancements in cloning, scientists would be able to test for genetic diseases and perhaps even cure them. This list is far from complete and only touches on the many possibilities and benefits that human cloning could bring for mankind.


The disadvantages of human cloning barely stand up to the overwhelming number of advantages there are for human cloning. Some of the few disadvantages are the possibility of compromising individuality. There is a chance that if we change out genetics too much there would be a loss of genetic diversity. Black markets could arise and start selling fetuses and embryos of famous people and celebrities just for the simple fact that people would want a celebrity look alike as one of there own. The technology for human cloning is not yet perfected and problems could arise because people do not yet have the knowledge to clone humans efficiently. Clones may be considered second class citizens because they were engineered and naturally born. Scientists may accidentally create a genetic disease that wipes out the population because they do not yet possess the proper knowledge to perform such an activity. These disadvantages are heavy but they do not outweigh the advantages of experimenting with human cloning for mankind’s benefit.


The future of cloning is full of exciting new technology and medical advancements. Where society is headed with cloning is all up to the government and its people. The future of human cloning rests on whether or not the government votes to outlaw human cloning or to regulate it somehow. The overall effect cloning has had on mankind is still to be written. If scientists are allowed to clone a human, who knows what the possibilities might be, one might be immortality. If humans are able to make themselves younger and practically live forever, then much more is certainly possible.





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