Is cloning ethical and should it be pursued?
Is cloning ethical and should it be pursued? Cloning is the method of producing a baby that has the identical genes to one person. In February 1997, embryologist Ian Wilmut and his colleagues at Roslin Institute in Scotland announced, "that they cloned a sheep named Dolly from the udder cells of a ewe." (1),. The announcement of Dolly\'s birth attracted enormous press interest, perhaps because Dolly drew attention to the theoretical possibility of cloning humans. This revelation also shocked the entire world and politicians immediately proposed bans on human cloning. The House of Representatives and the Senate drafted bills to completely ban human cloning and President Clinton established a National Bioethics Advisory Commission to address the science and ethics of human cloning. In the state of Michigan, Governor Engler signed a law last year making human cloning illegal with harsh penalties. The government\'s decision is a contentious issue because they are concerned about the use of cloning being abuse, even though cloning can be used for medical benefits.


People have conflicting views of the government\'s actions and they have proved to be controversial. The federal government should have regulated human cloning instead of banning it. There are significant benefits that can result from the technologies of cloning. Bypass of infertility is one of the most promising benefits. Fifteen percent of Americans suffer from infertility, much of which cannot be cured by current medicine. "Infertility is caused by genetic defects, injuries to the reproductive organs, congenital defects and exposure to toxic substances and radiation." (1),. Cloning offers infertile people the chance to raise and love their own genetic children. "The Supreme Court has ruled that every American has a constitutional right to "bear or beget" children, and to make reproductive decisions without government interference. This includes the right of infertile couples to use sophisticated medical technologies like cloning." (2),. This is ironic because the government officials have recently banned cloning and for many Americans cloning exercises their right to reproduce. But the government has taken this right away from them. There are limits on government control over who gets born. Americans have a constitutional right to have their own children, but infertile Americans are barred from having children. In this legal system, the fact that infertile people are prohibited from having children by cloning is unfair and unjust.


Cloning technology can lead to the use of cloned organs for the purpose of transplants. Therapeutic cloning would involve growing replacement organs (heart, liver, pancreas, skin, etc) from a sample of a person\'s DNA. The goal of therapeutic cloning is to produce a healthy copy of a sick person\'s tissue or organ for transplant. If the process of therapeutic cloning using embryos is successful then perfectly matched, replacement organs could become freely available to sick and dying people. This technique would be better than relying on organ transplants from other people. The supply of organs will be unlimited, so there would be no waiting lists. The possible examples of therapeutic cloning might include the use of liver cells to repair a damaged organ. Cloning is an important part of therapeutic technology because it would allow the creation of perfect-match tissue. At the moment, if you have a transplant, your body will try to reject the donated cells because it sees them as foreign. Doctors remedy this immune response by prescribing anti-rejection drugs that patients must take. But through therapeutic cloning patients will not have to take anti-rejection drugs. They would be derived from the patient him/herself and the immune system would recognize the cells as the bodies own. Therapeutic cloning would save countless numbers of lives, and increase the quality of life of many others.


There have been many legal developments that are set out to ban therapeutic cloning. "On July 30, 2001, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to ban therapeutic cloning for both reproduction and therapeutic research. It would provide for up to ten years in prison and up to $1 million in fines for persons who attempt to clone a human being." (3),. By banning therapeutic cloning, government officials are contributing to the loss of many lives. Patients have to wait for organ donation and if they get one, their