Pros and Cons of Human Cloning, Why it Should Never Be Legalized

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Over the years, technological advancement has made human life easier and has led to ground breaking discoveries. Human cloning is one of the most controversial issues especially in the field of Biology because tampering with human life seems so wrong to many but to others, it will be a big contribution to the body of knowledge. To further understand human cloning we must know what it is, how it works, and why is it so controversial. Human cloning is the creation of genetically identical copy (or clone) of a human, it also refers to the reproduction of human cells and tissues. There are two types of human; therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells for medicine and transplant. This type is widely used in research but as of April 2017, it is not anymore practiced in the world. Reproductive cloning involves creating the whole human clone instead of making specific cells and tissues. There are two common methods for therapeutic cloning; somatic- cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and more recently, pluripotent stem cell induction but somatic- cell transfer is the most used method where the nucleus of a somatic cell o the host egg cell (with its nucleus removed) making it an enucleated egg. After the donor somatic cell genetic material is transferred into the host, the cell are fused using an electric current. Once the cells are fused, the new cell formed is allowed to grow in a surrogate. This method is also used in 1996 for creating Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. From the report of the creation of Dolly being a success, the idea of human cloning being possible became a controversial topic that also led many nations to outlaw cloning but some scientists promised to make one in the next few years which did happen. In 2018, the first successful cloning of primates with the birth of two live female clones was reported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai. These primates or crab- eating macaques were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua and they are created with the same method as Dolly the sheep which is through somatic- cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Primates are closely related to humans and creating a successful primate clone gave way to human cloning.

Yes, human cloning has its pros and cons, it would give a big contribution to reproductive technology and will help a lot in terms of medical purposes but we cannot deny that it also has its risks and may lead to many issues. We are living in a modern world that makes the impossible possible with the help of technology but when it comes to human cloning, the technology that we are proud of is not advanced enough. Dolly the sheep was well-cared at the Roslin Institute even mated and produced an offspring in a normal way but was euthanized on February 14, 2003. Dolly lived six and half years but a normal sheep can live up to eleven to twelve years this means cloning has the risk of faster aging. The DNA in the nucleus is wrapped up into chromosomes that were a bit shorter than of other sheep her age. As older cells are often used to create clones, it is possible that their imprinted age could be adopted by the growing embryos, creating some premature aging issues and potentially even premature death. It can even cause other implications such as genetic defects on the clone.

If human cloning is legalized then it can cause a division among people and overpopulate Earth. Imagine a society living with clones, it will surely make a conflict among us including in our resources and if our technological advancement improve the clones can be smarter and better than us. People may lose their job because employers prefer clones that are more efficient in tasks. One reason to ban human cloning is that it interferes with nature. Human cloning feels like an artificial way of reproduction. The natural process of procreation should not be altered or tampered with. It is also against our morals or religious ethics as human cloning would lead to man becoming the creator, changing the authority of the supreme being. We can relate this to the story in the bible, “The Tower of Babel” the people wanted to reach the heavens and make a name for themselves to be like God and because of that, God made them speak in different languages and scattered them. Although the story is a representation of oral tradition in relation to it the Babylonians tried to be like God that goes the same if a man will create human clones.

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Indeed science is about going through trial and error before you can make it successful but human cloning is very risky and it decrease the overall value of human life. Going back from the successful clones, Dolly the sheep was the only lamb born out of 277 attempts. The primates Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were also a result of trial and error. In total 79 embryos produced using cells from the fetus were implanted into 21 surrogates resulting in only two live baby monkeys that are also born from cesarean section. The scientists tried again this time using adult macaque cells as a source of nuclei. 181 embryos were planted into 42 surrogates and again two live babies were born but died shortly after due to some implications in reprogramming the genes. What if it take up human cloning? Even if the baby lives, is there a guarantee for a longer life? Imagine how many embryos will be wasted because the experiment failed. A single cell and embryo is considered to have life but because trial and error a lot of life will be lose. As we all know life is very valuable and not to be tampered with for it came from God. Someone with life can’t just be experimented as we please without any 100% guarantee of success.

One perk of cloning is it can help infertile couples and those who lost their love ones but cloning is not the solution. There are many children in the world with no families and in need of love and support. If the infertile couple are willing to give what they can to love and sustain a child then they should consider adoption. If they want to spend money and have their own biological child then they should consider In- Vitro Fertilization or surrogate mothers besides cloning would probably cost more which makes the situation similar. Losing a love one can be painful but it will not relieve the grief and sadness that is felt. The clone may have the same characteristics of that person but the memories won’t be there and the personality is not the same since clones can develop their own sense of self. A person is irreplaceable and it is better to learn to accept and move on rather than having a clone of your love one to repress the idea that he or she is gone or does not exist anymore in this world. If troubled your friends and some professionals are there ready to help you.

Imagine a society with human clones having a sense of individuality demanding to be treated the same way as normal humans do. Imagine clones that are more efficeient and perfect in every way then a particular clone sitting in a powerful position. It could lead to bloodshed or war between clones and humans. If this happens we the government has no choice but to negotiate with the clones or terminate them. If you think it that way it is very dangerous and many people won’t be open about this matter. By terminating the clones could mean that the experiments were a failure sacrificing the resources used for creating them.

Yes, there are some successful attempts of cloning but it is still not enough to convince many people including me to legalize it. Its perks and purpose seems to be meaningful and it would be a great help to the advancement of our technology but the implications and effects that may occur is too risky. We do not have many resources to be able to clone a human, it may also harm the surrogate mother. Another point that we should consider is the difficulty to find a surrogate mothers of a clone. As we know scientists won’t stop their research and will play with genetic engineering to create perfect clones that are smarter, powerful, and faster and just the thought of that seems quite scary. If clones develop a sense of individuality and self-awareness that they are better than normal people and deserve better treatment it could lead to unfavourable results. It just removes the concept of uniqueness in an individual, I mean even twins are still unique in their own way but imagine having your own clone what would you feel? And if you are the clone what would you feel that you are created in the likeness of that person? Human cloning is also for the purpose of elongating human life but we can’t be sure that the clone will possess the same characteristic and knowledge of the same person. It also interfere in the cycle of human life were the end of it is death. As of today there is no guarantee that clones will have longer lifespan as evidence that Dolly the sheep only lived half of a normal sheep’s lifespan.

In summary, human cloning intrudes to the natural process of reproduction and decreases the value of human life in a way that many embryos are needed to be sacrificed for at least one or two babies to survive. We also cannot deny the possibility of using human clones for military weapon, test subject, and medical purposes but such acts feel are so inhumane and unethical. For that having human clones will create a division among people and the government will have to manage this to avoid any rebellion or war between humans and clones. It is a possibility because clones will demand to have their own rights and be treated the same way for they also have life. In religious ethics, human cloning results in man being the creator challenging God’s omnipotent power. It goes against our beliefs and morals that it is just not right to tamper with the creation of life especially since now there is no guarantee for clones to have a longer lifespan. Human cloning also interferes the human life cycle because everyone live their life, grow old, and die and that’s how it is. Lastly, it also strip away the concept of uniqueness of one person that is being cloned or the clone itself.



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