Friday, February 29, 2008

What's the Deal with Cloning?

I had to think about posting this because there is so much controversy around the issue of cloning. I had to write an essay for science class about 3 weeks ago about my view of cloning. I will post it below. I got a 100% on it, by the way. It's called "What's the Deal with Cloning?:

People, every day, are discovering and learning new things, and one of these new discoveries is cloning. Scientists have figured out a way to clone, or make a copy of, embryos, that could either be placed in a women’s womb to grow a baby, or be used to extract stem cells in the early stages of development, to be used for therapeutic cloning. However, there is controversy around cloning because using the embryos for therapeutic cloning takes away lives. If the egg used to make the embryo was fertilized naturally, it would create a human being. Using it for therapeutic cloning squashes the chance of a person coming out of that embryo. That is pretty much destroying a person’s life, and that person deserves the chance to live.

If people did begin to clone other people or animals, there is a high risk that the baby born will have health issues, or die younger then normal. We suspect this because that’s what happened to Dolly the sheep, a sheep clone created by Ian Wilmut in 1996. Dolly was born pretty healthy, but it took 275 tries before her just to make her. She also developed arthritis at a young age, which does not happen to naturally born sheep. She aged faster then most sheep, and her life was put to an early end when she was 6 years old, because she developed progressive lung disease, and the scientists decided to euthanize her. This is a short life for a sheep, whose life span is between 8 and 13 years. One might question, after hearing about Dolly’s multiple health issues, and short life span, if we should really clone! Do we really want to clone humans? Destroying embryos until we get a real, healthy human, and putting it at risk of having diseases and a short life? Think about it. Obviously, it would be irresponsible to clone humans.

Many also question the use of stem cells for therapeutic cloning. Stem cells are cells that are created in the early stages of the development of a human. They are cells that can virtually become ANY cell. People want to take eggs from women, “trick” them into developing by using electricity or chemicals, and take the stem cells from the embryo. Yes, these stem cells could help many people, but they’re also killing other people’s chances of living; the people that could be created if the embryos were allowed to keep growing. If the people that would be created could talk, don’t you think that they’d say “Let me live!”? God created these people to live and breathe, so we shouldn’t have the right to clone them.

Imagine a future where parents who want to have children can chose their children’s traits. Sounds wonderful, right? Wrong! You see, Jack and Lisa Nash, of Englewood, Colorado, had a ‘designer baby’ born to them in 2003, a little boy named Adam. The Nash’s first child, a daughter born in 2000, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Fanconi anemia. They needed to do a bone marrow transplant for Molly, or else she would die. The only problem was, they didn’t have tissue identical to Molly, so they couldn’t do the transplant. To cure this they created Adam. With the help of a doctor, they created several dozen embryos and chose one with the proper genetic characteristics, like the correct tissue type that Molly needed. The transplant went well, and Molly is now a healthy child, as well as Adam. This was all wonderful for the Nash family, and families with similar problems, but what happened to the other dozen embryos the Nash’s didn’t choose? They were most likely disposed of. Lives, dozens of lives, were just thrown away, because they weren’t good enough. What if people do that in the future, but not for medical issues? What if they do it just so they can get the ‘perfect’ child? More and more embryos will be thrown away, and more lives wasted. More lives, people that want to live, but are tossed away like a bruised apples, apples that would taste so good, if people would just look over that one blemish. Creating ‘designer’ babies is a selfish and unjust act. God created people to reproduce naturally, and to be pleased with what they get. We don’t need ‘designer’ babies in our society.

Although cloning may help some lives, overall it just destroys lives that should live. Scientists shouldn’t clone people because, like we realized with Dolly, there are many complications and there would not be many years of existence for the people who result of cloning. They would also be seen as ‘outcasts’ in society because they weren’t created the way other people are, and this would separate the connection between people. If every person was a clone, the diversity that makes the world so interesting wouldn’t be as large. Creating embryos for their stem cells is dangerous work, and kills lives. So, unquestionably, cloning should not be allowed. It would create a twist in the world that is certainly unneeded.

Please, after reading this, if you are against cloning, please don't leave a crazy comment. I realize that cloning does have pros, but in this essay I wrote of the cons, and I stated my opinion. Please leave it at that.