Human Cloning Is An Ethical Nightmare

3220 words - 13 pages

Technology today is growing at an alarming rate. Things that seemed impossible only a few years ago are now a reality, and some far fetched things such as time travel, that are present in today's science fiction movies, might possibly become reality soon as well. One prevalent idea that seemed impossible a few years ago but that is now a reality is the idea of human cloning. The fantasy that some people had about having clones of themselves or of animals a few years ago is not a fantasy anymore; it is a reality. With the recent cloning of a sheep named Dolly by scientists in Scotland, the powers of cloning are becoming more prevalent. As daunting as this may seem, the human race must now face all the issues related to human cloning, and the one question that comes up amidst all of the relative confusion about the issue is this: Is human cloning a medical miracle or an ethical nightmare?

As confusing and complicated as cloning may seem, it is actually a very simple idea to grasp. Garvey says, "In essence, cloning is the artificial fashioning of an identical twin, one that will be younger that its sibling" (7). Taken at surface level, the general principle of cloning is quite simple; an individual gene from a subject is isolated and transplanted in a medium, such as bacteria or yeast, and that isolated gene reproduces and multiplies, creating a clone of the original gene. The media seemed to have lumped cloning into one generalized idea, but in actuality, there are three distinct types of cloning. These three distinct types of cloning are gene cloning, cellular cloning, and whole-organism cloning. Because the media has done a poor job of distinguishing among the three different types of cloning, confusion has arisen amongst individuals. Shannon clears up the relative confusion about the three types of cloning by saying, "Gene cloning multiplies identical copies of various genes; cellular cloning replicates whole cells; and whole-organism cloning reproduces whole organisms" (10). Gene and cellular cloning are realities in today's world, but the concept of whole-organism cloning has not yet been implemented. Shannon goes on to say, "Gene and cell cloning are well established, standard biotechnical research methods and must be distinguished and discussed separately from organism cloning" (10). Cloning is not that complicated of an issue as the media has made it out to be. It is, in reality, a simple process that can be understood once its intricacies are sorted out.

Although the majority of arguments for human cloning come from the medical world, many secular ones arise in the debate as well. "Nancy Murphy of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena said she hoped that ethicists, `Would concentrate their efforts on saying what we should do with this [cloning], rather then saying it shouldn't be done, because people have rightly said it can't be prevented.'" (Garvey 6). Along the lines of Murphy's thought on the issue,...

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