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Cloning: Where Do We Draw The Line?
Today in my English class, we were told to discuss our views and opinions on such topics as cloning, and advancements in technology, with our neighbors. Upon turning to the girl who sat next to me, it was soon apparent we had differing views. After we no longer had time to discuss, she finished it off with asking me this. “Where do you draw the line, then?”
Where do we draw the line? It’s not simply enough to ask a person, “Hey, what do you think of cloning?” It has come to my attention that some people don’t get that there is so many different types of cloning, that just because I say ‘I’m not against it’ doesn’t mean I’m against God, or immoral. What about the cloning of something small? Like an organ? A kidney, a liver, a gall bladder. Is that nearly the same thing as a full human clone?
I don’t think so. And I explained this to the girl who I was talking to; I gave my reasons.
My mother suffers from MS; Multiple Sclerosis. It is an autoimmune disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. She was diagnosed with it the year my young brother, age six now, was born; having been misdiagnosed for years, the doctors who finally got it right believe she had been a victim to it for years prior, probably after my sister’s birth, age thirteen. Her immune system is attacking her spine and brain, scarring them with lesions that upon swelling, leave her hardly able to walk, unable to fully control bowel movement, jittery, susceptible to major memory loss, numbness, muscle spasms, fatigue, temporary blindness or blurry vision, fits of depression, dizziness, loss of coordination, and difficulty in speaking. Those are just to name a few.
When I am told there is experimental treatment going on, where they clone or grow an immune system and transplant it into her, giving her the chance to live a practically normal life again, how is it immoral of me to support it? Is it wrong for me to want a cure for my mother? Be able to ask her to drive me somewhere and not have to worry about her having too bad a day to do it? Be able to not have to sit there while she tries her hardest to walk straight around the house? Be able to not feel absolutely terrible every time someone comes up and tries to take pity on her, which I know she hates?
I don’t think so. I support the cloning of organs and other such things that can save people’s lives. Does that mean I think that full human cloning is right? Absolutely not. I think that there’s no point, unless it’s for something that’s totally unnecessary and that more than likely abuses the technological advancement. Would I support an army of clones? No. But would there possibly be pros and cons to such an idea? Yes, there could.
But there’s pros and cons to every idea. In my mother’s case; I say yes to cloning organs because it could save her years and years of pain, mental, physical, and emotional. The girl I was talking to in English said to me that wouldn’t that be playing God, to give her that immune system, and grant her the chance to live normally again? Which is a perfectly good argument. I, though not an avid followed in God, respect that opinion, and I won’t try to tell someone else they’re wrong. But if you want to pull the God card, let me try to say something.
If God hadn’t wanted cloning to be invented and used, why did he allow Robert Briggs and Thomas King, the two men who first cloned a living being (tadpoles, in 1952), to do it? Are we not all here on Earth for some purpose or another? Were they not God’s creation? Did He make them for whatever purpose? And thinking back on identical twins. They are born from the exact same egg. They are copies of one another. Clones, in DNA, with differences that are based upon factors that do not rely on genetics. Did God not create the first set of ‘clones’ himself?
No one knows. One cannot say that was God’s wish, because we do not know what His wish is. But it would also be wrong for us to say that it is not His wish, as well.
Back to where we draw the line. No matter how hard politicians, scientists, and others endowed with the responsibility to make things morally correct, toes will be stepped on. Whether they be of religion, science, or other groups, someone will almost always end up unhappy. That’s when the consideration of the greater good must be taken into mind. You see religious foundations donating money to children’s hospitals in efforts to help them through the rough times the children go through. Are you going to deny a baby, whose life could be perfectly normal with the transplant of a lung or liver, the chance to live?
“It’s God’s choice.” “It’s immoral not to!”
Two responses that are probably around equal in popularity. What would someone say if they were told if they were to have another lung cloned, they would be able to live a perfectly normal life, while if they didn’t, they would die a horrible and painful death? The truth us, we don’t really know what we’d do. So many factors play into the situation that our choices cannot be predicted in such a life changing, or ending, event.
I propose a way to try and find the line that will need to be drawn if our society continues to advance as fast as it is now. What point does full human cloning serve us? To populate our already overcrowded planet with more? Don’t let them happen. But don’t fully outlaw cloning just because of what ‘could’ happen. Create restrictions on it that do not allow those cons to happen. Do not allow the armies of clones to rise, as some people fear. But don’t make it so the people who could be cured from their illnesses do not have the chance to experience a normal life because of the people’s fear.
Draw the line.