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Ethics of Gene Therapy - Case Study Example

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Ethics of Gene Therapy

The term cloning encompasses three different procedures leading to different results. These are embryo cloning (artificial twinning), adult DNA cloning (reproductive cloning) and therapeutic cloning (bio medical cloning). Of these three, therapeutic cloning seems to hold the maximum potential to breed humans (read human cloning). Human cloning is most aptly described as breeding humans for the purpose of harnessing tissues and organs from their bodies. Therapeutic cloning begins with the insertion on a human DNA into an ovum. A pre embryo is formed by giving electric shocks to the resultant ovum. The stem cells from the developed pre embryo are then extracted and subsequently provided an suitable environment where they develop into the required tissue or organ. These experiments are yet to produce any significant results. Once accomplished, the aim of developing organs or tissues which perfectly match with the recipient will be realized eliminating the fatal risk of rejection because the organ will be based on the recipient's genetic material. Human cloning is also expected to make new breakthroughs in rejuvenation, heart attack reversals, diabetics, leukemia, genetic disorders and even cancer.
Despite the broad spectrum of benefits that human cloning offers, according to a poll, "63% believed that human cloning is against God's will and 90% considered it to be a bad idea" (Times, 2001). A Morgan poll conducted during November 2001 found that 70 percent of Australians aged 14 and over approved of extracting stem cells from human embryos to treat disease and injury. Seventy percent also believed that couples with excess embryos after infertility treatment should be able to donate them to research rather than discard them. However, when it came to using a patient's own genetic material to create a cloned embryo to be used as a source of stem cells (i.e. therapeutic cloning), just over half (55 percent) of the respondents approved, with 32 percent disapproving and 13 percent undecided (Morgan Poll, 2001).Animal cloning application as a regular process should be prevented and breeding of humans should also be strongly opposed to maintain the natural uniqueness of each individual (Church of Scotland, 1997). These objections are not absolutely without any reasons. They do have apt explanations and sufficient grounds. Human cloning would produce a gamut of clones with reduced mental abilities and enhanced physical strengths which would make then highly susceptible to exploitation. Producing designer babies with enhanced skills would also lead to an excess of skilled persons thus decreasing the importance of talent and skill. Human cloning may also lead to emotional difficulties in the clone human's life. A child born from his father's DNA would in effect be a twin of his own father. This can also lead to a high degree of conundrum. There is no guarantee that human clones would be normal and they might even be suffering with life long disabilities. Any minor flaws while incorporating certain characteristics could as well create fictional monsters. Tampering with nature to an ...Show more

Summary

Man's unabated attempts in establishing himself as the supreme power and his paramount desire to emulate God has always driven him to improve his abilities to invent, discover and manipulate tremendously. He has successfully summoned enormous powers in his hands and now bears the responsibility of harnessing it well and funneling it in the right direction…
Author : tschowalter
Ethics of Gene Therapy essay example
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