Cloning

Shortly after the announcement that British scientists had successfully cloned a
sheep, Dolly, cloning humans has recently become a possibility that seems much
more feasible in today\'s society. The word clone has been applied to cells as
well as to organisms, so that a group of cells stemming from a single cell is
also called a clone. Usually the members of a clone are identical in their
inherited characteristics that is, in their genes except for any differences
caused by mutation. Identical twins, for example, who originate by the division
of a single fertilized egg, are members of a clone; whereas nonidentical twins,
who derive from two separate fertilized eggs, are not clones. (Microsoft®

Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia). There are two known ways that we can clone humans.

The first way involves splitting an embryo into several halves and creating many
new individuals from that embryo. The second method of cloning a human involves
taking cells from an already existing human being and cloning them, in turn
creating other individuals that are identical to that particular person. With
these two methods at our desposal, we must ask ourselves two very important
questions: Should we do this, and Can we? There is no doubt that many problems
involving the technological and ethical sides of this issue will arise and will
be virtually impossible to avoid, but the overall idea of cloning humans is one
that we should accept as a possible reality for the future. Cloning humans is an
idea that has always been thought of as something that could be found in science
fiction novels, but never as a concept that society could actually experience.

Today\'s technological speed has brought us to the piont to where almost anything
is possible. Sarah B. Tegen, \'97 MIT Biology Undergraduate President states,
"I think the cloning of an entire mammal has shown me exactly how fast
biology is moving ahead, I had no idea we were so close to this kind of
accomplishment." Based on the current science , though, most of these
dreams and fears are premature, say some MIT biologists. Many biologist claim
that true human cloning is something still far in the future. This raises
ethical questions now as towhether or not human cloning should even be
attempted. (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/). There are many problems with
cloning humans. One method of human cloning is splitting embryos. The main issue
as to whether or not human cloning is possible through the splitting of embryos
began in 1993 when experimentation was done at George Washington University

Medical Center in Washington D.C. There Dr. Jerry Hall experimented with the
possibility of human cloning and began this moral and ethical debate. There it
was concluded that cloning is not something that can be done as of now, but it
is quite a possibility for the future. These scientists experimented eagerly in
aims of learning how to clone humans. Ruth Macklin of U.S. News & World

Report writes, "Hall and other scientists split single humans embryos into
identical copies, a technology that opens a Pandora\'s box of ethical questions
and has sparked a storm of controversy around the world" (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/).

They attempted to create seventeen human embryos in a laboratory dish and when
it had grown enough, separated them into forty-eight individual cells. Two of
the separated cells survived for a few days in the lab developed into new human
embryos smaller than the head of a pin and consisting of thirty-two cells each.
(http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/) Although we cannot clone a human yet, this
experiment occurred almost two years ago and triggered almost an ethical
emergency. Evidence from these experiments received strange reactions from the
public. Ruth Macklin states, "Cloning is a radical challenge to the most
fundamental laws of biology, so it\'s not unreasonable to be concerned that it
might threaten human society and dignity. Yet much of the ethical opposition
seems also to grow out of an unthinking disgust--a sort of "yuk
factor." And that makes it hard for even trained scientists and ethicists
to see the matter clearly. While human cloning might not offer great benefits to
humanity, no one has yet made a persuasive case that it would do any real harm,
either." (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/). Theologians contend that to
clone a human would violate human dignity. That would surely be true if a cloned
individual were treated as a lesser being, with fewer rights or lower stature.

But why suppose that cloned persons wouldn\'t share the same rights and dignity
as the rest of us? If and when cloning comes about, will people be willing to
pay anything for a clone of themselves? It is such a costly form