Genetic engineering – Human Cloning Essay

Introduction

Cloning is the exact replication of genetic entities/ components of any organism using cells usually from a donor organism[1]. Cloning has been found to causes irreparable nervous injuries the moment it back fires meaning that, it may complicate the burden of disease it purports to resolve. Cloning increases the risk of somatic cells mutations, which may even trigger the growth of malignant cells making the situation even worse. The viability of cloning is put to question by the fact that, cloning has enough flaws and needs to be investigated more and more and verified[2]. Inclusion of genetic materials into the stem cell may bring about somatic mutations, which may produce abnormal growth of cell and bring complications in future.

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Thesis Statement

            Human cloning is unethical and unsustainable; it should be banned.

Using humans as laboratory tests could cause the death of many human cells. Cloning is a sensitive issue and the implications may even constitute of infertility as a long term effect on the offspring’s, there are also questions as to whether defective DNA’s will be inherited to the offspring’s genotypes. The technology had its significant appraisal where its contribution to alleviating human suffering has had positive role to play. However, the technology has had unethical, reprehensible and morally repugnant connotations in cases where it has been used for human reproduction.

Cloning involves use of cells to produce or create an identical copy of the original. This owes its’ tributes to the fact that stem cells can be influenced to develop to most of the 220 types of cells found in the human body such as the brain cells, blood cells, muscles, heart cells etc. since the development of antibodies research have taken practical inclination to this phenomena as a potential way to alleviate human suffering[3].

The United States has a long and proud history and record as a world-leading example towards advocacy for advances in sciences and medicine that improve human life. Simultaneously as the boundaries of science and knowledge are expanded, the United States leads the world as a proponent of maintaining the highest standards of moral ethics. In view of this bio cloning has both sides of positive contribution to scientific development in favor of man and adverse effects to human moral ethics.

Positive contribution of cloning:

Adult stem cell research

There is great potential hope and promise held by human stem cells for therapies development towards damaged organism regeneration. The ultimate result of this is healing people suffering from chronic and life threatening diseases. Unlike the cases of using embryo as the source of the cell researchers have established other potential sources of diverse adult tissues. These include; umbilical cords discarder after babies are born, human placenta, bone marrow, fat, nerves, amniotic fluid, pulp of baby teethe and muscles. All these have been found to be a source of versatile stem cells.

Such serious disease like childhood leukemia, juvenile, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Parkinson, spinal cord injuries, heart diseases, multiple sclerosis, cancer, burns have found their cure[4].The achievement made so far regards these diseases and methods used have not violated the moral ethics respect and dignity of the human person.

Effects of bio cloning to moral ethics.

Embryonic stem cell research is a leading controversy of a series of moral hazards. Embryonic stem cells exhibit indefinite replication ability in a culture dish offering unlimited generation for therapy, research and industrial application.  Embryonic stem cell research refers to a mode of research where cells obtained from destroying human embryo at their late first week of age are used for therapeutical purpose; there are two sources of the embryo[5]

First embryos may be created from intro fertilization. The ethical use of intro fertilization is helping infertile couples to get a child. Fertilization is done outside the mother’s womb. Not all embryos are planted in the womb and the remaining otherwise called leftovers are frozen and stored for future use. The surplus embryos of invitro fertilization may be used in any of the four methods named below:

May be donated for research
Many be donated to other infertile couples
May be preserved at very low temperatures
May be discarded

In case of use for research, the entire embryo is destroyed to facilitate harvesting stem cell. This is where moral ethics are violated since a human being has been killed in a petri dish. This is no less than killing a baby in the womb because age and numbers does not matter[6].

Secondly the embryo may be derived from somatic sell nuclear transfer technology known as human cloning. This embryonic stem cell research technology has both therapeutical and reproductive orientations. The purpose of these two technologies bears moral ethical failure.

Serious issues to contemplate

Frozen embryos are also a form of human life and thus it is precious to be protected. Should they be destroyed by all means? Could they be used for a greater good?[7] These puzzles should be approached by all means and their results should reflect respect and dignity towards human morals and ethics. Therefore the opinions of researchers should be principally supported with arguments by the opinions of the following professionals: scientific, scholars, bioethics, religious leaders, doctors, researchers’ and members of the congress. The issues of considerations in the minds of all these grounds should be centered on appropriate appraisal of human moral ethics.

The crucial concern should be the qualification of the embryo in question as a human life. It is common knowledge that clusters of cells started human life and are seeds of future generations.  Majority researchers who are oriented to use of the left over embryos of invitro fertilization and cloning urge that these embryos are leftovers of a process that helps create life. They propose the couples should be allowed to donate them to researchers to put them to their good purpose instead o wasting their potential. Others urge to the contrary and in favor of human moral ethics.

There exists no excess life meaning immorality is exhibited when these embryos are used for scientific research and experiments. They are against exploitation of the human life as a natural resource. This is analogous to the slave trade that was also a reality though a human moral ethically[8]

Serious moral problems;

Destruction of human life: a human embryo is no less then a human being. Destruction of an embryo derived from invitro fertilization or cloning means that a human life has been destroyed. Serious moral problems: pragmatism that is potential ability to cure diseases using methods detrimental to human life dignity and morality is unethical. The proponents maintain that is a small price to pay compared to the extent of economic development achieved but this is morally baseless. Harming human beings is unavoidable when embryonic stem cell research is used as a therapeutical asset. The proponents also support their course that ultimately the embryo is going to die. This is an oversight of the fact that morality is evident when a terminally ill person is killed or a death row convict is killed. Serious moral problems: therapeutical use of embryonic stem cell research victimizes woman. A huge number of female eggs are needed to accomplish the goals of this course. The derivation of these eggs calls for pain, inconveniences and health risks. Therefore, since the eggs must be donated for the success of the project, only women driven by need such as poverty an others would donate eggs for the experiment. Horrific experiences: stories have arisen in abstract forms that have sounded sorrowful to their listeners examples of these are situations whereby extremely rich people keep clones locked in their safes to extract spare parts when they are sick. Others suggest that evil dictators would clone thousand of perfectly made soldiers to take over the world.

Laboratories would also clone many masses to be used as slaves.

In vitro fertilization has been found to have positive attributes to economic development when non-embryonic cells are used in therapeutical fields. It has simultaneously been observed to exhibit immoral ethics when embryonic stem cell research is used in the same field rather than its morally accepted reproductive field by infertile couples. Cloning on the other hand has no moral application in the human ethics. The only place where it finds application is the case of natural twins, which arises from a single fertilized egg. Cloning raises health risks due to gene mutation the genetic material derived form adult continues to age such that the new born baby should be more than 30 years old at the time of birth.

Many clones have been destroyed by researchers due to worries of how they might recreate or they have spontaneously aborted. Cloned humans also may suffer great emotional risk as they struggle to establish own identity. Creating a countless number of individuals denies the original person existence and becomes nothing less than a lump of flesh and bones with a few identical counterparts. Each of us was an embryo. Human life starts at a stage of fertilization. At this early stage each member is worthy respect and protection from harm threatened by embryonic stem cell research. Questions also arise on the possible consequence in the event whereby clones fail and as a result we end up with a mindless class of workers. This will bring about a great revolution never witnessed in the history of mankind with the potential of worsening human relations. Such clone workers will most likely outperform human beings and cause civil strife. Although this sounds speculative, it will dawn on humanity as the reality as long as people continue to experiment with the idea to the extent of enacting legislations to support cloning.

The inapt picking of egg cells can increase the risk of somatic cells mutations, which may even trigger the growth of malignant cells making the situation even worse[9]. This may be caused by the side effects of medications used in and after the process of cloning. The process of cloning as it pertains to this issue has not yet been authenticated. In addition, the new homogenous cells have been found to be easily affected by diverse climatic changes and have less resistance to pathogens[10].

As much as cloning may be the only option to saving the life of a patient, growing human beings in cages in order to have spare parts in not only unethical but also inhumane and a human rights crisis.  Therefore it is better to pursue other avenues in scientific breakthrough than to push on with the cloning science which portends so many dangers fro humanity.

There is a growing evidence of possible clone wars. This is likely to affect bilateral relations and may see some nations start to withhold crucial research information therefore killing the spirit of scientific knowledge collaboration. This will especially negatively affect the poor and especially the developing countries which depend on scientific breakthroughs of the developed world as they lack the capacity.

Conclusion

Cloning deprives both humans and animals of their identity, hence the proof that, there are more opportunities of abuse in cloning than there are humanitarian advantages. Having the same type of cells posses a big threat to the survival of all human and animal species in future because in case of pathological catastrophe, all these species are bound to extinct. Overall, it appears prudent to post pone the idea of cloning to such a time when the major concerns will be addressed and there will be an assurance that, it is safe to clone.

Annotated Bibliography

Best, Steven and Kellner, D. 2001.Biotechnology, Ethics and the Politics of Cloning. Democracy & Nature 8.3: This book provides an in-depth analysis of the current debate on cloning.

Gurdon, J, Colman, A. 2002.The Future of Cloning.  Nature 402: The chapters in Culmans’ works provide scientific insight of current progress and health implications for human cloning.

James. M.Humber, Robert F Almeder. 1998. Human cloning (Biomedical Ethics Review)

Hamana press 1st edition 1998. ISBN 13: 978- 0896035652.This book analyses the ethical concerns currently dominating the ethics of cloning.

John, Hams. Cloning, Routledge, an imprint of Taylor and Francis books ltd

1st edition. 2004. ISBN 13: 978-0415317009.The book provides the explanations of the science behind cloning from a layman’s perspective by use of simple explanations to help readers understand more about cloning.

Ronald, Cole Turner. Human cloning. Westminister John Knox Press 1st edition 1997

ISBN 13-978-06644257712. The book analyses current debate on human cloning by tracing the history of cloning and the landmark phases the science underwent.

http://www.netlibrary.com/Details.aspx?ProductId=107771&Terms=human+cloning&ReturnLabel=lnkSearchResults&ReturnPath=/Search/SearchResults.aspx.  Page 1010.  Available at the ITT Virtual Library. This electronic book offers new dimensions to ethical considerations concerning the debate on human cloning.

[1] John, Hams. Cloning, Routledge, an imprint of Taylor and Francis books ltd

1st edition. 2004. ISBN 13: 978-0415317009.32.
[2]http://www.netlibrary.com/Details.aspx?ProductId=107771&Terms=human+cloning&ReturnLabel=lnkSearchResults&ReturnPath=/Search/SearchResults.aspx p.1010).
[3] John, Hams. Cloning, Routledge, an imprint of Taylor and Francis books ltd

1st edition. 2004. ISBN 13: 978-0415317009.p.98

[4] Ronald, Cole Turner. Human cloning. Westminister John Knox Press 1st edition 1997

ISBN 13-978-06644257712.p.65
[5] Ronald, Cole Turner. Human cloning. Westminister John Knox Press 1st edition 1997

ISBN 13-978-06644257712.p.58
[6] Ronald, Cole Turner. Human cloning. Westminister John Knox Press 1st edition 1997

ISBN 13-978-06644257712. p.56

[7] James. M.Humber, Robert F Almeder. 1998. Human cloning (Biomedical Ethics Review)Hamana press 1st edition 1998. ISBN 13: 978- 0896035652.p.12.
[8] Ronald, Cole Turner. Human cloning. Westminister John Knox Press 1st edition 1997

ISBN 13-978-06644257712.p.25

[9] Gurdon, J, Colman, A. (2002) The Future of Cloning.  Nature 402 (1999): 743 – 746.
[10] Best, Steven and Kellner, D. (2001) Biotechnology, Ethics and the Politics of Cloning. Democracy & Nature 8.3: 375 – 406.