Should Human Cloning be Legalized?

Opinions on Debatable Issues #32

According to proceedings of the National academy of sciences of the United States, a top 2.4% peer-reviewed journal (with an Impact factor of 9.412), Human cloning may refer to “therapeutic cloning, particularly the cloning of embryonic cells to obtain organs for transplantation or for treating injured nerve cells and other health purposes.” Normally, however, human cloning refers to reproductive cloning, which produces a copy of whole humans, and gene cloning, which produces copies of genes or segments of DNA. Many people argue this technology is unethical and too risky. However, the costs come with enormous potential benefits.

Cloning Human Cells
Mews Medical

First, in the medical field, humane cloning can save countless lives and improve many people’s living quality. According to NHGRI, Scottish researchers who cloned Dolly, the first mammal cloned from adult cells, “have cloned other sheep that have been genetically modified to produce milk that contains a human protein essential for blood clotting.” They try to purify this protein from the milk and give it to humans who suffer from abnormal blood clotting. This shows two things. First, scientists are determined to use DNA cloning to solve medical conditions and symptoms. Second, cloning animals works but it is time-consuming and requires a second step to make the animal products edible. Put these two things together, we see a demand and a solution that is not optimal. Human cloning is the better option here because it can eliminate the blood clotting symptoms by fixing the issue from its root, which is the genetic makeup of individuals. When human cloning is fully developed, people can completely cure many medical conditions rather than relying on certain animal products that cater to their condition. The kind of dependency on external things created by animal cloning will be gone with human cloning.

In addition, another example can be the current use of applying a tissue graft after a trauma. It increases a patient’s “risk of cartilage damage and osteoarthritis later in life”, according to futureofworking. Through human cloning, cells could begin to repair themselves, both speeding up the recovery and not undermining future health.

Therapeutic Cloning Reaches Milestone | Science
Science

Another medical implication is that human cloning can effectively address hereditary diseases when combined with genetic engineering, potentially saving an entire family ancestry and ending tragedies for many families. According to HealthyWA, about 60% of people will be affected by a condition that has some genetic background. Specifically, around 5 percent of cancers are passed down through families. “And early onset of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and osteoporosis are often because there is a family history of the condition.” Human cloning is the only chance for them to live a healthy and normal life in which they can eat and exercise normally, have children as any other couple without worrying about passing down the diseases. Those people had no autonomy choosing to have a broken body and have to suffer from the implications of those disabilities or diseases. There is no reason to not develop this technology to help them.

Some argue that the success rate is low and that we lack the necessary knowledge, so it is a violation of human rights and the protection of life to legalizing human cloning. Foremost, this is not a scientific spirit. Secondly, the costs are necessary as shown in other medical breakthroughs. The decompressive craniectomy surgery, which is removing a fraction of the skull to relieve pressure on the brain, was first proposed in 1905. From 1960 to 1980, it had “a mean mortality rate from 46 to 96%, regardless of the surgical technique used”, according to NCBI. However, physicians, biologists, and doctors did not stop exploring it. Today it is used as a last resort for treating traumatic brain injury and improving the patients’ possibility of life by about 20%, according to MedicalNewsToday. Similarly, human cloning deserves the effort to be further developed considering medical conditions that only it can solve.

A Scientific Spirit | Search for The Soul - Indrajit Rathore
Indrajit Rathore

Some further criticize that human cloning is creating copies of people who lack self-autonomy. It is wrong because it is a misunderstanding influenced by “genetic determinism”, which says “a person’s genes are the sole determining factor of her behavior and physical appearance.” In fact, genetic influences only shape a person by 33% while environmental factors play a major role. So there should be no worries that human cloning will create the same creatures as robots.

Despite those benefits, the ethical problem of creating a completely new identity — cloned people — will reshape how we perceive lives, reproduction, and power remains a difficult one to solve. Therefore, the debate over the legalization of human cloning will likely continue for decades.

Organism Cloning
News Medical

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