What about Cloning?
The danger of human cloning outweighs its potential benefits. We need to create laws, nationally and internationally forbidding human cloning.
Good intentions and promises of great success and cures are not enough to give humanity the freedom of cloning human beings. Laws need to be enacted to control and regulate a technique that to the human race may prove as dangerous as atomic power, in this case "nuclear" power, from the nucleus of the human cell.
On February 16th, 2001, in a news program, it was reported that a “religious” sect is committed to clone a human, as part of their beliefs in the next few months. By that, they mean to have a woman carry the clone and deliver it. In our culture and civilization, that should be outlawed. To my amazement, there is NO law according to the report that forbids such an action. Is that true? If there is no law, we urgently need it.
When I was young, I could not understand why we were required to study history, and then as I grew older I came to realize that we study history to avoid the mistakes that humanity has made before us. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good to be silent.
When a woman and a man conceive a human being, they are supposed to combine their mutual love, and with God’s creative power their two gametes conceive a baby, a soul, a new creation - a baby – not any baby – but their baby, product of their love. Their mutual love and the love for their child nurtures and makes him grow in a nest of human love: the family. A community has been created not a “commodity” which the clone would be.
In cloning human beings, we play “God.” We are dealing with something that can change the human race in ways that will affect deeper than how we look, but more on how we are. The human ties of motherhood, fatherhood, brotherhood, blood relatives, and fellowship will be inevitably altered, in a way that only will serve to alienate humans from one other. How much respect do we give to God, the creator, when we go about destroying something so well designed as the human family? The society offers many challenges to the human family, and now cloning may make the human family obsolete.
If international laws are not enacted soon, another terrible scenario may be faced by humanity. Suppose that a person like “Hitler” decides to require of every women under his authoritarian regime, one pregnancy for the state, with his clone. The human beings so created will turn out to be similar to his identical twins. Once they are indoctrinated, schooled and trained you have allowed a nightmare in the world. Our silence would have allowed others to act in unethical ways, because we did not enact laws to try to prevent it. In an ethical action foresight is better than hindsight. The ethics and laws to regulate the science, when it relates to human lives, should be enacted before the research into cloning is allowed to continue.
Human being’s cloning is not justified, even if the promise of a cure for the most dreadful disease is offered to humanity. The danger of human cloning outweighs its potential benefits. If we allow it, we may be faced with situations difficult to control if not impossible. For fear of sounding outmoded and archaic, some people remain silence thinking that they are not qualified to share in the debate of "to clone or not to clone," but every individual in the human race is qualified to do so, we all are. We are dealing with human life, and cloning of a human being reduces the human life to a commodity like a car or a sofa, to be acquired if one has the money. The thought alone is scary. Human beings are meant to live in community not to be a commodity.
Something good in short-sight can prove to be a nightmare later on, for example, in Hawaii, in 1883, the mongoose was brought to the islands of Maui and Oahu to control the rats in the sugar cane fields. In the short term, it worked, but then the animals wandered in all directions. Today, it is a serious predator of ground-nesting birds, including the nene goose – Hawaii’s national bird - that has become almost extinct due to the mongoose. Hawaiians wished the mongoose had never been introduced into their ecosystem.
We cannot allow our technology to proceed without ethical rules. Our country is governed by laws for the freedom and safety of all. That cloning can be done, does not justify for it to be done.
The result of a single ruling or law can be immeasurable. The good and evil of an action can be seen in Roe vs. Wade: By allowing abortion to be legal in our country, we have allowed million of babies to be killed in their mother’s womb. Roe vs. Wade should have never happened and legal cloning should not be allowed to happen.
I believe that a human being is born into a family, and into society, and that society as a whole flourishes and prospers through the contribution of individuals, within the family. The family is the building block essential for the survival of our civilization.
Please, help make human cloning illegal. Let us turn our eyes to God, our creator for wisdom. As human beings we have been created by God to know, love and serve Him. Let us thank God for our lives, and not allow false expectations to lead us in ways that may prove destructive to our culture, as we know it. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good to be silent. We need to speak clearly against cloning. The morality of the action has to be proactive and not reactive to the impending danger that it poses to society. Once you open Pandora’s box it will be impossible to close it back up again.
To preserve the family unit, as we know it, we need to enact laws forbidding human cloning.
February 19, 2001
News about Cloning
POPE: YES TO TRANSPLANTS, NO TO CLONING
WHAT HUMAN CLONING COULD BRING
April 7, 2000
POPE: YES TO TRANSPLANTS, NO TO CLONING
Reprint from CWNews.com of August 29, 2000
VATICAN, Aug. 29 (CWNews.com) --
Pope John Paul II has encouraged organ transplants, while at the same time firmly condemning steps toward human cloning.
The Holy Father made a special trip from his summer residence at Castel Gandalfo to address an congress of the Transplantation Society, which had brought 4,000 scientists and medical practitioners to Rome. He told his audience that human cloning is "morally unacceptable," especially insofar as present ventures in that field involve the destruction of human embryos.
Organ transplants, on the other hand, constitute "a great conquest of science in service to mankind," the Pontiff said. Under proper circumstances, an organ transplant can encourage "the authentic culture of giving and of solidarity," he said.
WHAT HUMAN CLONING COULD BRING Lots of Miscarriages, Deformities, and Huge Bellybuttons Reprinted from www.zenit.org Say NO to Embryonic Stem Cell Research http:/www.faithleap.org/stem_cells.htm
ROME, APR. 7, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The issue of cloning came up again when in February an Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, announced his desire to be the first to clone a human. CNN reported March 22 that Antinori's declaration was tinged with anti-Catholic rhetoric, when he later accused the Vatican of starting a new Inquisition against science.
Antinori's attack on the Church came when he was called up by the national association of Italian doctors to explain his plan before a medical council in Rome. Even though Italy has no legislation prohibiting cloning, the doctors association declared its opposition to Antinori's plans.
A member of the team gathered by Antinori, Panayiotis Zavos, a fertility expert from the United States, affirmed that 700 couples have volunteered to take part in the project. Zavos said the team has unlimited private funds to create the first baby with the same genetic makeup as one of its parents.
Many ethical experts and scientists have voiced their doubts about cloning humans, but support for the idea is growing in some circles. A Time magazine study of cloning, published Feb. 19, reported on the case of Randolfe Wicker, 63, spokesman for the Human Cloning Foundation. He is planning to have some of his skin cells stored for future cloning. "If I'm not cloned before I die, my estate will be set up so that I can be cloned after," he says. As a homosexual, Wicker is frustrated that he cannot readily have children of his own, according to Time.
Others supporting cloning are the libertarians who don't like politicians or clerics or ethics boards interfering with what they believe should be purely individual decisions. Some people are moved by emotional factors, and want to clone in order to replace a lost child, or even a mother who is dying of cancer, Time reported.
At the moment, general public opinion in America is not in favor of cloning. A recent poll showed 90% of respondents who thought it was a bad idea to clone human beings, Time said.
Much of the research into cloning is being done secretly, and news of the first human clone may come to light only after the deed is done. The team that cloned the Scottish sheep Dolly waited until she was 7 months old to announce her existence.
Apart from moral considerations, those who wish to clone humans will face considerable scientific difficulties, as recent reports have made clear. The Washington Post reported March 7 that 95% to 97% of all efforts to clone animals end in failure. Based on experience with animals, the Post quoted experts who declared that out of a 100 possible human clones, almost all will abort spontaneously because of genetic or physical abnormalities, putting the health and lives of the mothers at risk.
Of the handful of clones that make it to term, most will have grossly enlarged placentas and fatty livers, the article said. And of the three or four fetuses that may survive their birth, most will be monstrously big, perhaps 15 pounds, and will likely die in the first week or two from heart and blood vessel problems, underdeveloped lungs, diabetes or immune system deficiencies.
With access to an intensive care unit, perhaps one of those 100 clones will survive, scientists said. It will bear the hallmark of most animal clones: a huge navel, a remnant of the oversized umbilical cord that inexplicably develops during most pregnancies involving clones.
According to the Post, many suspect that these problems arise from genetic "imprinting," a poorly understood molecular mechanism through which genes inside sperm and egg cells are turned on or off in preparation for early embryonic and fetal development. As clones are not made from sperm and eggs, with their properly imprinted DNA, problems occur. Moreover, no test today is capable of determining whether a cloned embryo's genes are properly imprinted, so it's impossible to weed out abnormal embryos -- even if this were morally acceptable.
The New York Times also examined this problem, March 25, and according to Dr. Brigid Hogan, a professor of cell biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, "it would be morally indefensible" to clone humans given this situation.
Another scientist who condemned human cloning because of its high failure rate among animals is Ian Wilmut, who led the team behind Dolly the sheep, the Guardian reported March 29. Wilmut said it would be "extremely cruel" for the mothers and resultant children.
In an article in the U.S. journal Science, Wilmut denounced the plan of the Italian and U.S. fertility specialists Antinori and Zavos to clone humans. Wilmut warned that four years of experiments on animals had shown the cloning technique to be deeply flawed, exacting a huge toll of miscarriages and deformities. "There is no reason to believe that the outcomes of attempted human cloning will be any different," he wrote.
U.S. Congress hears testimony
In America, concerns that researchers may try to clone a human moved federal legislators to consider a law banning such experiments. At the end of March a congressional panel heard evidence from scientists, who testified that human cloning would probably produce deformed babies, the Associated Press reported March 29.
The Food and Drug Administration says any human cloning experiments in the United States would need its approval and, based on safety concerns, the agency would not approve any applications at this time. But some people fear that federal law may not be strong enough to back up FDA's authority, and they want a ban in place.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said President George W. Bush will work with Congress on a federal statute banning cloning and said Bush supports the ban in place since 1997 on federal funding for this research. The law is necessary, according to its proponents, because the restrictions on funding do not affect private financing of cloning experiments.
A scientist affiliated with the Raelian religious group, which favors human cloning, said her organization has begun cloning research at an undisclosed location in the United States, the Washington Post reported March 29. The comments at the congressional hearings by Brigitte Boisselier, scientific director of the Raelian religion, appeared to catch several lawmakers by surprise, even though the work she described involves only cow cells and her claims could not be verified.
Boisselier, whose group believes that humans are clones of extraterrestrials, said she would not reveal where her team's U.S. work was being conducted, other than to say it was not in one of the several states that had passed anti-cloning legislation.
Debate is also under way in Canada over human cloning. A federal government discussion paper proposes that scientists should be permitted to use human embryos as raw material for medical research, the National Post reported March 30. The same government paper proposes that cloning humans to obtain fetal tissue ought to remain forbidden.
As debate continues on this matter, it can only be hoped that common sense will prevail, and that the numerous scientific and moral problems involved with cloning humans will prevent rash actions in such a delicate matter as the generation of new lives.
WHAT HUMAN CLONING COULD BRING
Lots of Miscarriages, Deformities, and Huge Bellybuttons
Reprinted from www.zenit.org
Say NO to Embryonic Stem Cell Research
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