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Human and animal cloning should be legal

To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member click here. Since Scottish scientists succeeded in cloning the sheep known as Dolly, the prospect of human cloning has catapulted its way into the public consciousness.

In early 2000, an Italian and a U. The duo recently announced their plans to begin implanting cloned human embryos into women--a step they may have already taken by the time this article is published. On July 31, 2001, the U. This bill, which Rep. Bart Stupak D-MI and I wrote, is designed to ban human cloning for both "research" and "reproductive" purposes.

On Sunday, November 25, 2001, scientists at Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts announced that they had created the first human embryo clones for the purpose of destructive research. It is now more important than ever to ban human cloning. The bill does not ban scientifically and medically useful cloning practices such as the cloning of DNA fragments molecular cloningthe duplication of tissue or cells in culture cell cloningor whole-organism or embryo cloning of non-human animals.

Nor does the bill ban laboratory practices such as parthenogenesis or "twinning.

To what extent can the law control human cloning?

Indeed, scientists such as Panos Zavos and Severino Antinori stated in mid-2000 that they expected to begin implanting cloned human embryos into women within the next several months. They were enthusiastic about pursuing such a feat despite the serious genetic problems encountered in animal cloning, the known risks to the mother, and the great potential for serious birth defects.

Ninety-five to ninety-seven percent of animal cloning attempts still end in failure, and the scientists who cloned Dolly failed 276 times before they succeeded in producing a single live-born clone of an adult sheep. Most scientific experts believe that attempts to clone humans will result in even higher failure rates.

  • Second, it is unethical to view a human being--regardless of its age--as a means to an end;
  • Further ethical discussion was raised in 2008 when scientists succeeded in cloning mice from tissue that had been frozen for 16 years.

Scientists such as Ian Wilmut who produced Dolly and Rudolf Jaenisch of MIT have concluded that the most likely cause of abnormal development in cloned animals is faulty reprogramming of the genome. When the nucleus of a somatic cell is introduced into an enucleated egg, the DNA in the nucleus has to be "reprogrammed" in order for a human being to develop fully.

What is animal research?

If this reprogramming of the nuclear DNA does not go exactly right, abnormal gene expression of one or some of the more than 30,000 genes can result. Fortunately, the majority of Congress is outspokenly opposed to human cloning for reproductive purposes. However, as evidenced in Senator Daschle's move to delay consideration of H. However, this type of human cloning is also grossly unethical for at least three reasons. First, research cloning can only be justified by the utilitarian calculus that prizes the lives of the millions of people who could potentially be treated or cured as a result of the research over the lives of the embryos who would be destroyed in order for the research to proceed.

However, it is never ethical to sacrifice one human life for the real or potential benefit of others. Second, it is unethical to view a human being--regardless of its age--as a means to an end. Even supporters of embryonic stem cell research and other embryo research have long been opposed to the "special creation of embryos solely for the purpose of research.

To evade this criticism, proponents are now beginning to claim that human cloning for purposes of research does not create human embryos, but only "activated cells. As one scientist from Johns Hopkins stated in his recent testimony before the Senate, research cloning should be called "nuclear transplantation," human and animal cloning should be legal "cloning.

Third, research cloning will undoubtedly lead to a new exploitation of women. In order to manufacture enough cloned embryos to create a sufficient number of viable stem cell lines, scientists will need to obtain massive quantities of women's eggs.

The Washington Post reported recently that the side effects of the injections are abdominal pain and nausea; in 3 to 5 percent of cases hyperstimulation of the ovaries occurs, causing severe abdominal pain, and on rare occasions surgery is required which may leave the patient infertile.

Contrary to women who assume the risks associated with egg donation in order to undergo in vitro fertilization, women who take such risks for the purpose of research cloning would not be motivated by the desire to have a child, but, oftentimes, by the desire for financial gain. It is likely that women of lower economic means will be exploited in this way.

In addition to the above ethical considerations, research cloning should be forbidden because it increases the likelihood of reproductive cloning.

Preventing the implantation and subsequent birth of cloned embryos once they are available in the laboratory will prove to be impossible.

Supplemental Content

The most effective way to ban reproductive cloning is to stop the process at the beginning, with the creation of cloned embryos. Since the overwhelming consensus is that reproductive cloning should be prohibited, steps must be taken to ban research cloning as well. It is nonsensical to believe that we can ban one without also banning the other.

Finally, research cloning is likely to fall woefully short of its alleged promise. You may notice that our company has not made such investments, and we have been offered the opportunity many times. They have already moved on to investigating the alternatives.

Finally, given that most scientists have predicted that human clones would be plagued with undetectable but harmful genetic abnormalities, such abnormalities might also be present in the tissues or cells derived from cloned human embryos. There are no current or foreseeable methods available to assess whether the genome of a cloned embryo is free of such defects.

Human cloning is a benchmark for public policy, and the legislative decisions made regarding it will significantly impact the future of many areas of scientific research.

The public is being told that research cloning is good because it will yield miraculous cures; however, even if scientists conclude that such cures will likely not result, research cloning will still be defended human and animal cloning should be legal those who wish to justify it on the basis of "scientific freedom.

However, scientific freedom is not a fundamental right. If we fail to ban all forms of human cloning, society's continued ability to regulate or ban future scientific research will be seriously diminished in the name of autonomy and utilitarianism. Human cloning for any purpose opens the door to a "Brave New World," and we must shut that door now.