Is it possible to create a new human being from a collection of cells?
A few years ago, many of us would agree that this was unachievable.
But as technology continues to develop, recent scientific discoveries have altered our perceptions.
In the year 1971, a sheep named Dolly became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Her birth signified a breakthrough in medical science; mankind has taken one step closer to an even bigger accomplishment, human cloning.
Although cloning humans hasn’t officially happened yet, most scientists and ethicists agree that it is only a matter of time. If this the case, we must ask ourselves, Will human cloning improve our quality of life or will it only ruin the future of our society?
It is unfortunate that the term "cloning" refers to three methods: embryo cloning, reproductive cloning and biomedical cloning, three very different procedures, three very different goals.
The first method I mentioned, Embryo cloning (also known as "artificial twinning"), is similar to the natural process of how identical twins are formed. Scientists begin by removing one or more cells from an embryo to be separated into an embryo of identical DNA. Embryo cloning can offer parents the option whether to have identical twins. However there will always be the fear that embryo cloning could be used corruptly, for example a cell from a soldier could be cloned several times to create a “clone army” for military purposes.
Reproductive cloning is done by removing the DNA from an embryo and replacing it with the DNA from an adult animal. Then, the embryo is allowed to develop into a new animal with the same DNA as the donor. This is the same way Dolly was created. However, reproductive cloning holds several complications. Reproductively produced clones have been found to be born with a number of genetic defects, leading to problems such as birth deformities, premature ageing and death. Take "Dolly" for example, she contracted a lung disease and died at age 6. It would be completely cruel to bring a child into this world knowing that there was an extremely high chance that they could be affected by these problems
However, the procedure we should be most concerned about is biomedical cloning. The aim of biomedical cloning is to produce a healthy copy of a sick person's tissue or organ for transplant. This procedure is done by extracting stem cells from previously cloned embryos of the patient. Although this technique could rule out the need for organ donors, scientists will basically be breeding people solely for the purpose of harvesting their tissues and organs, then finding no further need for their existence, disposing of them. Although biomedical cloning allows one life to be saved, another life would have ended all too soon. When an embryo is created, it becomes new human life and the determination to destroy it for the purpose of scientific research betrays both our ethics and morals.