Cloning in Twenty-first Century Medicine

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Cloning in Twenty-first Century Medicine

In 1997 a shocking announcement was made to the world. Scottish scientist Dr. Ian Wilmont revealed that he had successfully cloned an entire sheep. This announcement brought a realization that cloning was no longer a dream or a figment of the imagination, and it immediately became one of the most debatable topics in the world. Discussions began concerning the ethical problems as well as the benefits of cloning. Those in favor of cloning argue that the technology will eventually lead to a number of benefits for human lives, benefits such as assisting reproductively challenged couples in having children genetically related to them, the growing and healing of wounded or diseased tissues and organs, and the curing of diseases such as cancer and leukemia. Conversely, opponents of cloning state that it is immoral and unethical to clone for religious reasons. Their arguments also include very thoughtful and concerned ideas, such as the fear that cloning will lead to the "10,000 Hitlers¡¨ scenario, and also the belief that the clone will suffer some sort of trauma because they will not have a unique identity of their own. All of these arguments are valid concerns, but when held to close examination do they really hold up as adequate reasons to put a ban on all types of cloning, some of which may help to save the lives of others?

It is not enough to say that cloning is the creation of something, which is an exact copy of something else. That just leaves too much to the imagination and leads to the misunderstanding of the process. Cloning is the procedure which the DNA of a female egg cell is replaced with different DNA from another cell. In the operation the nucleus from an unfertil...

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...ll happen.

In order for cloning to be a successful endeavor in the medical field, misconceptions and fears have to be reduced by educating people on the subject. Things such as the 10,000 Hitlers scenario, a fear of loss of identity in the clone, and ¡§playing God¡¨ are reasons people give to ban all types of cloning. On the other hand, cloning for medical research, as I have demonstrated, can prove to have amazing results. It is still a young science that is imperfect, but with the funding and support of others cloning can cure many genetically inherited diseases, prevent deaths for people who wait endlessly for an organ transplant, and help parents to not pass their genetic diseases on to their children. To ban this research will be a loss of technology that can change the way modern medicine is applied and medical research is implemented in the future.
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