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Human cloning has been a controversial subject since Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996. Arguments for and against it have snowballed since, and will probably continue for years to come.
On one side are the people who are against human cloning, not only influenced by religious sentiments but humanitarian ones as well.
And on the other side of the debate are those who believe that human cloning should be legal, so long as it is done to help mankind.
The following are some of the arguments against human cloning and why they are wrong. But at first, it is important to understand the essence of cloning.
Human Cloning is making an exact genetic copy of a human cell. If all the cells in the human body could be cloned, a human being is born out of it.
Cloning is successfully attempted in many animal species, like cats, dogs, cattle, and pigs. However, human cloning is banned in most parts of the world, as it attracts serious moral, ethical, and legal problems.
A clone is created when an organism’s DNA is copied, and a new individual is coded using the same set of genes.
It is a well-established fact that a complete human is formed out of a single cell. At first, this cell contains a single DNA. Cloning takes a similar approach.
A single cell isolated from a human being is provided with a microenvironment and treated with biochemicals that the DNA contained in it gains the ability of totipotency.
Totipotency: It is a fancy word in biology that denotes the ability of a single cell to develop into a complete human embryo.
The process of cloning is explored in several forms — genetic, somatic, and reproductive.
Hence, scientifically, it is proven that human cloning is possible; however, the process takes a lot of money and resources.
This is a plausible way to get rich, but should it be legal?
The big question is hard to answer.
The public is pretty much against Human Cloning, while most scientists and the Government favor it, saying it can help in saving lives.
People are blaming the government wants to gain a vote for legalizing human cloning by depicting it as harmless, as in the movies. But the general public is not convinced. They believe that human cloning will never be the same and will attract threats to the entire human race.
In his own words, Professor of Biology Rudolf Jaenisch vocals the public against it — “Given the failure rate, it would be dangerous and irresponsible to attempt human cloning. The risks to the fetus and the developing child are unacceptable.”
“If human cloning is attempted, those embryos that do not die early may live to become abnormal children and adults. Both are troubling outcomes,” said Professor Jaenisch in a media interview.
Many also people believe cloning is unethical because it violates the right to be born naturally and it can be harmful to the cloned child.
Some other concern in media is that cloning will cause a ‘monopoly’ of the same type of people who can clone.
On the contrary, some enthusiasts believe that the cloning of human beings may serve a very good purpose.
For example, it can be used to grow organs for surgeries. It can also help the population who cannot reproduce on their own, such as people with genetic defects.
They point out the best thing is that it can be used only on embryos and will not affect the natural reproduction of human beings.
Given that the health risks as outlined by Professor Jaenisch are dealt with and the clones begin to assemble around us, the aftermath could be still devastating.
Even if the human clones can think and act like a human, the question is whether a human clone is a human?
On the better side, the clones might be genetically programmed for more strength, endurance, and speed. They could have super brains and could even outwit an average human.
But it will be mysterious what sort of ailments, health issues, and forms of diseases the clones might conceive as a result of the chemical treatment of the embryo.
Also, it is unknown if they will share empathy or despise the human species. Will the jobs be competitively taken over by them depriving average human beings? Overall, will they colonize with humans or sought a separate establishment?
In the midst of all the possibilities, the existence of clones around us could be unpredictable and uncertain.
Only time will decide whether the attempt of human beings to experiment with themselves can save them from the impending disaster.