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Consider the case for and against in the use of cloning technologies. To what extent do I feel the use of such technologies to be justifiable?

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Introduction

Fiona White Communication Essay/Resources Consider the case for and against in the use of cloning technologies. To what extent do I feel the use of such technologies to be justifiable? The ethical debate concerning cloning that has inevitably followed since the announcement and much celebrated birth of Dolly the Sheep in 1997, is highly charged and emotive. When human cloning is mentioned it normally has negative connotations with the individual conjuring up a mental picture of a sub-human creature with an almost Frankenstein like appearance. Many people are afraid of the idea because it is a new technology and relatively misunderstood, and with the media using shock headlines to sell newspapers, this alone feeds the fear within us. There is of course much uncertainty over the meaning of 'cloning'. This is the generalised term used by scientists to describe the different processes for duplicating biological material. There are varying forms of cloning ranging from therapeutic cloning which is developed for medical purposes to eradicate diseases, or human cloning where the entire human is cloned to create a new life. However, cloning is not that far removed from the procedures that take place every day when a couple are trying to conceive a baby with the use of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment. The eggs from the female and the sperm from the male are harvested and fertilisation takes place outside of the female body in a laboratory. They are then transferred back to the uterus to develop. ...read more.

Middle

Other examples of this technology such as Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) are surely scientific progression as it can be used for people who have a family history of genetic disabilities, including cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease and Tay-Sachs disease. Such people can opt to use IVF and PDG technology to ensure any embryo that is implanted does not have the condition in question. Would it be fair to stop this type of progress when you consider the suffering that victims of these diseases endure? Using this technology may not be a cure but it could eradicate further offspring from carrying the gene, which renders them victims of a cruel and debilitating illness. However, it is considered by some that an embryo is a 'life' and not merely a cluster of cells, which could develop into a living being given the correct environment. If this is to be believed, we must also consider that the discarding of 'wrong' embryos could be classed as murder in the same way as pro-life supporters classify abortion. After the embryo is created using IVF technology, the selection decision is based upon the results of a biopsy which is carried out to remove a cell from the developing embryo. The biopsy is usually performed a few days after fertilisation, at this point the embryo would normally consist of 6 to 10 cells. If a genetic disabling condition is detected, the embryo is simply thrown away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of the embryos that were screened, three matched, two were implanted in her womb, one was discarded naturally, one disposed of and the third was Jamie. "We were overwhelmed with love for Jamie," said Michelle, "the fact that he could save Charlie just made us adore him even more."� (2004, page 28). Since Charlie's transplant the HFEA has now stated it would not stand in the way of other couples having a 'saviour sibling' hence the treatment now being available on the NHS. Whilst I feel an immense unease at the prospect of human cloning and asexual reproduction, a clone of oneself, I can fully appreciate there is a positive side to this scientific breakthrough if it can be strictly monitored and only used under the control of an overseeing body. If therapeutic cloning can prevent genetic disorders being passed down through the generations and assist in eradicating terrible diseases, or produce a sibling who can cure his sick brother or sister, it has to be taken seriously. The discovery has been made and whether it is banned or not, the natural curiosity of the scientist will only make them continue to experiment further. It would be naive to think otherwise. Therefore our Government should accept this and regulate it so that it can be used for the greater good and not for unauthorised experimentation in the wrong hands. (word count 1692) Referencing � Clonaid Press Release, January 2003, page 23, para 4. � HFEA & ACGT Consultation Document on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis para.22 1999 � Closer, EMAP Group Plc, Page 29, Issue: November 2004, para.30. ...read more.

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