A God Sent Miracle

April 18, 2010
By mseva BRONZE, NY, New York
mseva BRONZE, NY, New York
2 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Imagine a world in which you could clone organs and tissues: You would be able to cure people of all types of diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, diabetes, and even blindness. You could save BILLIONS of people. That’s what therapeutic cloning is. Therapeutic cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer [SCNT] works likes this; a somatic cell [a body cell that is not a sperm or egg cell] is taken from the sick patient, or a donor and the nucleus inside this cell is removed. Then an egg from a female is taken, and the nucleus is removed from it. The nucleus from the somatic cell is inserted into the empty egg. The egg cell is stimulated with a shock, and starts to divide and a cluster of blastocyst cells are produced. These inner layers of these types of cells have stem cells, and these stem cells would be able to generate a copy of an organ or tissue that the patient needed. Then the cloned copy of the organ would be put into the patient without fear of rejection. Sound unrealistic? That’s because right now, it is. Before therapeutic cloning becomes possible, several things need to be achieved in technology and medicine needs to be made. We need to able to create human embryos successfully, harvest stem cells, and we need to know how to produce organs from these stem cells. Right now, none of this is possible. But let’s ignore the facts, and think what if it was possible? Does that mean therapeutic cloning is right? Not only is not right, but it is dangerous, results in the dying of early forms of human babies, would cause an even greater shortage of female eggs, and the information gained from therapeutic cloning research could be misused.

If cloning was possible, then embryos would first have to be created, and then later pm destroyed in order for the procedure to work. Embryos are the very early forms [earlier than fetuses] of offspring. After the stem cells are extracted from the blastocyst cells, the embryos are destroyed. If you think of the embryo as a yet-to-be human, and think of the patient who needs the cloned organ as human, then you’re basically killing one person to save another, which isn’t right. Every human life is worth the same, and I believe that embryos are included in the category “a human life“. Yet some debate that embryos aren’t technically yet humans. Just because they’re scientifically not-yet humans doesn’t change the fact that they would have been, if they hadn’t gotten first created, and then destroyed. If we figure out a way to research therapeutic cloning without embryos getting destroyed, then maybe cloning wouldn‘t be as unethical. And if there is no another way around this, then I think that therapeutic cloning and all other types of cloning should be banned. Maybe later on, we will find other ways to cure people of diabetes, or all these diseases that therapeutic cloning might cure. You have to remember that therapeutic cloning isn’t the only option- who knows what will happen in the future.

But let’s ignore the facts again, and pretend that embryos weren’t destroyed in the process of cloning. Does that mean therapeutic cloning is right? The answer is still no. In order for an organ or a tissue to be cloned, you need an egg from a female. In 2005, there were 233,619 reported deaths from diabetes in the USA. You would need that many eggs to save all those people. And that’s only if you are successful each and every 233,619 times. Where we are right now, nearly 98% of cloning efforts end in failure. And this is only for diabetes, not for the hundreds of other diseases we would need to cure too. Not only would we need too many eggs in order to save all these people, but egg extraction itself is dangerous. In order to extract an egg, the female needs to give herself daily hormone injections [which have side effects such as depression, rashes, chest pain, nausea, hypertension, burning sensations, vision problems, hair loss, headaches, dizziness, hot flashes, and many others]. After 10 days she will have to do another round of injections in order for the eggs to mature. Then she undergoes surgery to have the eggs extracted. There are even some long-term effects of this procedure, which haven’t been confirmed but are still out there. Not many females would be willing to go through with this. What if we use animal eggs as a substitute? A study showed that although animals such as rabbit eggs and animal eggs in general were thought to be the same, but when a study in the United Kingdom further researched it, it turned out they weren’t.

Even if cloning was possible without harming embryos and egg extraction was easier and less painful, there is still the change that the research gained from therapeutic cloning would lead to the other types of cloning like reproductive cloning, and human cloning, which are even more extreme and dangerous then therapeutic cloning. Alexander Capron, a professor at University of Southern California says, “The potential for abuse is too great.” IVF, which stands for In-Vitro Fertilization, is combining a sperm and egg together in a lab, and when successful the embryo is put back into the woman’s uterus. Woman who are infertile sometimes decide to take this path in order to have a baby. Fertility hospitals have been charged for selling embryos illegally without the parent’s permission, so what makes us think that something like that wouldn’t happen with the information gained from therapeutic cloning? Scientists could use the research from therapeutic cloning [which by then had been perfected, and made possible] to create the first human clone, or a clone of an animal. The possibilities of abuse are endless. This is just a small problem though, as with careful guidelines and monitoring, and strict consequences, we might be able to overcome this problem.
Therapeutic cloning is wrong, because it is harmful, unethical, and could be misused. There will be other ways in the future to cure people of these diseases, and we may have to wait a while longer, but it will all be worth it. The benefits, although larger, do not add up to the risks in this case. But what if we found a way to overcome every single risk and unethical thing in therapeutic cloning? What if we found a way to actually perform it? Well, that would be a god-sent miracle.

The author's comments:
In school, we started studying and talking about genetics, which led to a mini-unit on cloning. After doing some research, talking with my peers and teachers, I found my voice in the ethical issue of cloning. When I saw the Points of View contest in my Teenink magazine, I immetiadely thought of the essay.

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This article has 7 comments.

mseva BRONZE said...
on May. 24 2010 at 2:58 pm
mseva BRONZE, NY, New York
2 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Are you saying it's okay for us to practice cloning when it results in embryos dying, painful procedures to get the eggs, and many other disadvantages?


foreverme said...
on May. 24 2010 at 12:40 pm
But how can we learn to improve the methods if we don't practice and learn? Besides, there are definitely other ways to approach cloning. I think we need to keep our options open.

Brikena Leka said...
on May. 7 2010 at 2:42 am
It's great! Congratulations!

abania said...
on May. 5 2010 at 3:34 pm
interesting that teens in our days show interes about sience. good luck

Pongu333 said...
on May. 4 2010 at 9:04 am
Very impressive and educative topic. After I read this article I felt that I had the right knowledge to discuss and come up with my own opinion.Great job! Very analitical!

deni said...
on May. 4 2010 at 2:28 am

I''m really impressed from the way how you bringing facts and raise problems....I like your point of view, and over all I like the way 'to overcame the single risk' without being harmful and unethical...

and it sounds so good, hearing this things by a teenage that brings the positive and negative facts of the science...

BRAVO MEI! In Shqip you've got 10 or 5 Stars

I would recomend you to translate a copy of this article in albanian , in order for our children to read and reflect on this phenomenon.

thanks again

D.kazazi said...
on May. 3 2010 at 1:29 pm
D.kazazi, Elbasan, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Very well ,Sh,mire


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