Just as times change, so do the solutions to problems we are faced with. There is a certain point however, when we have to reevaluate just how much we should allow these new technologies to take over our lives. Human cloning holds extraordinary capabilities that definitely have the power to change our lives and the lives of future generations. Would it benefit us to have the capability to clone a human being? Perhaps, but do the pros outweigh the cons? Think of the doors that human cloning could open.
Couples plagued with infertility problems could reproduce readily and pass on their own genes. Why stop here? Why not make a business of cataloging children? Take pictures of the cloned child and include a short description that would allow prospective parents the choice of which child they want to raise. There’s something very wrong with even suggesting this. Children are not objects nor should they be treated as such. A cloned child could lose his/her sense of individuality and create the burden of trying to follow in the donor’s footsteps.
It’s also been suggested that cloning be utilized by those who have lost loved ones and wish to bring them back into existence. If this form of cloning becomes widely accepted then the once fantastical idea of “eternal youth” is a definite possibility. 1 Of course this would only be possible after “the process of consciousness was perfected” says affiliates of the website “Practical Uses of Cloning”. 1 Perhaps I am behind on new medical developments, but I wasn’t aware that the process of consciousness could be perfected.
What kind of life would the clone lead if he/she were created solely for the purpose of taking the place of a deceased loved one? The child doesn’t have a chance to develop into his/her own person, but rather the person that they were meant to replace. So far I have discussed the reproductive side of cloning, making an exact duplicate of another human being. There is, however, another type: therapeutic cloning. After looking through several web sites, it’s my understanding that this type of cloning is considered ideal for medical purposes.
Instead of cloning human beings, scientists hope to gather the technology to harvest individual organs for transplants. This type of therapeutic cloning is called stem cell embryonic cloning. What happens in this type of cloning is that after the embryo is given four or five days to mature, the stem cells are extracted and the embryo is destroyed. The removed stem cells can then be coaxed by scientists to form new types of tissue. Scientists hope that new research will help transform the idea of harvesting individual organs into a reality.
In many ways, this type of cloning can be compared to abortion. It’s the killing of a possible life. Sure these concerns may be exaggerated and in some cases misplaced. Perhaps it is right to say that though cloning creates a generic DNA duplicate of another human being, it does not create a “carbon copy” of the individual. After all, it is our upbringing and our environment that determine who we are as individuals. What’s to say that the morality of our society won’t be altered with the introduction of human cloning?
Look at how the legalization of abortion has changed the lives of so many people. Getting pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean giving birth to a baby anymore. The consequences for having unprotected sex are a lot less harsh when you have the option of killing a child you created in your womb. Because of this, the morality of our society has faltered – just as it will with the legalization of human cloning. Whether it is the cloning of children for infertile parents or for those who wish to recreate a lost loved one, I do not believe that human genetics are something to mess with.
There are far to many implications that go with these medical breakthroughs. It’s my belief that the natural order of things should not be altered. There are plenty of other options for infertile parents, and cloning a deceased human being would bring more psychological problems then it’s worth. As for stem cell research, I view this as another form of abortion. There is absolutely no need for human cloning in our society at this time.