In Support Of Human Cloning


Human cloning is inevitable. As part of the progress of science, human cloning will take place regardless of who opposes it. In this paper I will explain what human cloning is, some of the ethical and moral objections to it, some medical benefits it could serve, what many different religions think of cloning humans, and ultimately why I feel that this would be beneficial to our society.
In order to understand the objections and the potential of human cloning, one must know exactly it is and how it is done. In order to clone a living being (animal or human), scientists begin with an egg (ovum) of an adult female. Women generally produce only one each month but can be chemically stimulated to produce more. Researchers remove the DNA-containing nucleus from the egg. Cells from the subject to be cloned are obtained by various methods including a scraping the inside of the cheek, and the DNA-containing nucleus is removed from one of these. Next the adult-cell nucleus is inserted into the egg with a sophisticated nuclear transfer, and the egg is stimulated (electrically or chemically) to trick it into dividing just like an embryo. When the embryo reaches the appropriate stage, you implant it into the uterus of the woman who will give birth to it. After gestation, the clone is born in the normal way (Eibert, par. 2-5).
The child that is born as a result of cloning would be nearly genetically identical (the egg holds some mitochondrial DNA that may potentially alter the new DNA slightly) to the subject cloned. The clone should look similar to the adult it was cloned from, but that's where the similarities would end. The clone would have a completely different set of life experiences. It would be raised by different parents, grow up in a different era and different location, and have different circumstances happen to it along the way. It wouldn't be the same person it was cloned from; it would be its own unique individual who just happened to have the same DNA. The characteristics of a person (physical as well as social) are activated by random choices on the DNA. A person has twenty-three chromosomes from his or her mother and twenty-three from the father. Whether or not a person has blue eyes is a random pick from the two sets of chromosomes. Identical twins are also quite different from each other: their fingerprints are different, sometimes one twin will be obese and one not, and sometimes one is gay and one is not. It is these random activations that we can't control, and these random activations may be different in a clone than they were in the original person.(Eibert, par. 40).
So what is society so afraid of? Why is the subject of human cloning almost taboo? I think the majority of the population envisions cloning as some sort of mass-market where one can order a baby or create millions of identical people. This was the same sort of fear that in-vitro fertilization (IVF, test-tube babies) created when it was started in the 1970's, and, in theory, this couldn't be more wrong.
One of the main problems that most people have with cloning of humans is they believe that in an attempt to create another person there will be many unsuccessful attempts. There is a fear that in forming embryos there will be many that are deformed, destroyed, or otherwise experimented on for scientific gain. Marc Zabludoff writes in ?Fear and longing? that ?to get one successful birth, many babies would have to die in failed procedures ? an absolutely unacceptable practice? (6)
It has been widely publicized that in creating Dolly, the cloned sheep, it took 277 tries. This isn't quite true. What it took to clone Dolly was 277 eggs with a fused nucleus. Only 27 of them divided past the 2-cell stage. Only 13 of these formed embryos and were implanted into a sheep uterus; of these 13, only 1, Dolly, was born. It wasn't that any of the sheep embryos were deformed or manipulated, the adult sheep simply failed to conceive, much like an unsuccessful test-tube conception (Eibert, par. 12). So this fear of deformed or destroyed humans as a result of