9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning Humans
Medical science has gone a long way and over the years, much have been discovered and researched about. One of the most contentious issues about science and debated upon by experts and opposing groups is the topic about cloning humans.
Although cloning is not a new phenomenon, with the previous successful animal cloning attempts done, people still have to wait for the first human clone to materialize. After the first successful cloning of a tadpole in 1952, other animals followed like mice, cows, goats and cats. It was in 1996 when the world was introduced to the first cloned mammal, Dolly the Sheep. And a couple of years ago, scientists were able to make an embryonic clone of a person but experts say that this clone is unlikely to become human.
Despite the breakthrough in science, there are still advocates and critics of cloning humans. Proponents say that this will be a help to mankind while opponents posit that human cloning has ethical issues. Let’s take a look at the benefits and setbacks of this controversial topic.
List of Advantages of Cloning Humans
1. It can cure numerous medical conditions.
One of the good things about human cloning is the possibility that it can be used to cure diseases and replace body parts as well as organs. With therapeutic cloning, adult stem cells will be cloned to replace damage tissues. This can also be possible to replace body parts, say, amputated leg. With the process of human cloning, the missing body part can be reproduced and through surgery, be attached to the patient’s leg. Moreover, for people who need organ donation, cloning can solve the problem of looking for donors since the patient himself can provide healthy cells or tissues that can be cloned and used for organ transplant.
2. It gives infertile couples the chance to have children of their own.
With reproductive cloning, it will be possible for couples who are not able to reproduce the natural way to have children by removing mature somatic cells and producing other human beings who will be the exact duplicate of the host. This can also be helpful for families who have lost their loved ones and who find it hard to bear the situation. With human cloning, they will be able to have their loved ones again in their lives and not grieve anymore.
3. It can eradicate birth defects and lessen abortion.
Genetic birth defects are inevitable and for some, these are prevented with abortion. However, not all are in favor with ending the life of a defenseless baby because of the genetic defects. For people who support human cloning, if an unborn child will be diagnosed with genetic defects, healthy cells can be cloned and be used to replace the defected genes of the fetus. This will not only eliminate defective genes but will also reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies that often lead to abortions.
4. It can prolong life.
One of the advantages advocates find to be the most significant is the chance given to the elderly to live longer and be healthier. With cloning, stem cells can be used to regenerate cells and tissues on older people. Consequently, they will have stronger immune systems and healthier organs. Pro-human cloning individuals posit that this can make it possible for people who have contributed to mankind like Einstein, Isaac Newton and the like to be cloned. And since they will have the same DNA as these geniuses, these clones will be able to contribute to science and medicine.
List of Disadvantages of Cloning Humans
1. It goes against ethics and morals.
One of the most vocal oppositions on cloning human is more on the issues about morality and ethics. People who are against this say that cloning goes against the will of God that reproduction is between man and woman and not through science. For them, this is an act of people who are trying to take on the role of God and should not be tolerated.
2. It costs millions of taxpayers’ money.
Although there are states that do not allow researches on cloning and few that allow therapeutic cloning, some states support this practice. By supporting such, part of the money from government tax revenues goes to the funding of these researches. This is opposed by critics who say that the money should be used for other services for the people.
3. It will never be a complete and absolute success.
Opponents criticize and undermine cloning humans because they claim that despite successful clones like Dolly, the number of unsuccessful attempts is far more numerous. Moreover, these clones never survived for years and many were either destroyed or euthanized once defects were apparent. According to statistics, there is only a 3% success rate among the cloning attempts. Considering that this has something to do with human life, this is more of a concern than a promise.
4. It is capable of being abused.
For some critics, human cloning can be used by unscrupulous individuals to wreck havoc and chaos. They say that even if this seems improbable for now, once cloning of humans becomes the norm, it will be easy for bad elements to use this to create human clones for their malevolent intentions like in acts of terrorism.
5. It can result to organ rejection.
With one of the purposes of cloning human cells being organ transplantation, those against it posit that there is no assurance that the patient who will receive a cloned organ will not reject it. They say that with the common practice of getting an organ donor, there are already cases that the patient’s body rejects the organ. That said, this can also be possible, even if the tissue or cell for cloning will come from the patient. This is because the cell can mutate and if this happens, significant differences in cell makeup between the cloned and the original organs are possible.
With the process involved in human cloning and the controversial issues that go with it, more time will be needed until its realization. And even if this time will come, contentions will still be heard from both proponents and opponents of this scientific breakthrough.