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The Controversy Over Cloning Essay

2551 words - 10 pages

A boy graduates from high school at age 18. He goes to a pool party to celebrate. He confuses the deep end and shallow end and dives head first into the pool, breaking his neck and becoming a quadriplegic. At age 19 he has his first urinary tract infection because of an indwelling urinary catheter and continues to suffer from them the rest of his life. At age 20 he comes down with herpes zoster of the trigeminal nerve. He suffers chronic unbearable pain. At age 21 he inherits a 10 million dollar trust fund. He never marries or has children. At age 40 after hearing about Dolly being a clone, he changes his will and has his DNA stored for future human cloning. His future mother will be awarded one million dollars to have him and raise him. His DNA clone will inherit a trust fund. He leaves five million to spinal cord research. He dies feeling that although he was robbed of normal life, his twin/clone will lead a better life (Smith, "Benefits"). Depending on your outlook, you may feel sympathetic to this man's wishes or you may feel indignation. The days of horror, science-fiction stories are falling behind us and the idea of cloning yourself, or anyone else for that matter, may seem more acceptable and plausible when considering situations like these. Still, cloning is very controversial; there are many social and biological implications to carefully mull over before something like this becomes an accepted practice. Cloning is morally irresponsible when used as a means of asexual human reproduction; while the principles behind therapeutic cloning may be considered practical, the current technology is superfluous for use in the treatment of human disease. To make an educated opinion on this topic, one must understand the different types of cloning procedures, as well as the rationalization behind both sides of each issue. The definition of cloning, found at dictionary.com, states that cloning is to "make multiple identical copies of a DNA sequence" or "to reproduce or propagate asexually." In order to fully understand the 'cloning' debate, one must differentiate between the two controversial types of cloning, which are described by this definition. Reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning, also known as research cloning, are the two divisive types of cloning being examined today. Reproductive cloning is the process of creating a genetic copy of a human being or animal through asexual means. For example, in Scotland, a sheep named Dolly became the first cloned mammal from an adult body cell in 1996. Cloning can be found naturally in our environment and even in other persons. Maternal twins, though not the clones of either of their parents, are genetic clones of each other. Therapeutic cloning, like that of reproductive cloning, begins with a process called somatic-cell nuclear-transfer. This process involves extracting DNA from a person/patient from any cell in their body and placing it into an enucleated ovum, an...

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