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 unfertilized female egg cell, which contains the DNA molecules, is carefully removed and then replaced with the nucleus from a cell of another person (Harris 4). Genetic engineers then trick the cell into believing that it has been fertilized and is implanted into a female just as it is done in vitro fertilization. After nine months the baby is born like any other baby. What this means, in an extremely simplified form, is that a cloned baby only differs from other babies in the fact that they share the exact DNA with another person, just like identical twins, only the clone is much younger than its twin. Cloning is a subject that many people have mixed emotions about.
The mass media has explored the concept of cloning in movies such as Jurassic Park. In this movie, the cloning of dinosaurs happens with the help of a crazy scientist who takes the DNA of a dinosaur out of a piece of hard sap from a tree and makes multiple copies of an organism. Stories like these and others stir the imagination and lead to misconceptions of the aspect of cloning as a whole. Cloning dinosaurs, as portrayed in the movies, is technically impossible now. I n addition to the media, there are many religious concerns as well as fears that society has with the idea of cloning. One of which is the thought of the 10,000 Hitlers scenario.
People that accept this idea believe that evil dictators could someday use cloning to create an army using clones of them selves. This would then lead to a take over of the world (Hume 16). Glenn McGee states in his book The Human Cloning Debate that, cloning would be physiologically unsafe for any clone, and second that cloning would deprive a child of its identity or in other ways rob it of freedom(4). Many people feel that cloning is too risky and the procedure should be banned because too many lives could be lost. Others worry that if someone were cloned they would be in harms way, either directly or indirectly and therefore it should not take place (McGee 3). The second part of McGees statement against cloning is that it will cause a lack of identity for the clone and might lead to a cheapening of life.
He feels that if there were two people with the exact same genetic makeup, they will not be an individual and might have troubles later in life.