Monday, November 26, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 65


 
 









 

Cloning is scientifically unethical 

Richard W. Whitrock

Sunday began as any ordinary morning does. At least it was ordinary until U.S. scientists made the announcement that they had cloned the first
human embryo. After that news, little about that day had anything resembling the color of 'ordinary'.

Cloning and the research that it provides are scientifically invaluable. The lives it could save and improve are incalculable.

But he immorality, disrespect and blatant disregard for life that it shows are also immeasurable.

The benefits of this practice are not lost on Americans. It is doubtful that anyone does not imagine what it would be like to have a clone, or to
have Christopher Reeve walk again, Michael J. Fox free of Parkinson's or even to have a father, mother, brother or close friend survive cancer.
No one can ignore these benefits.

It is also doubtful that anyone ignores what such research means. Human life, in all forms, cannot have a price tag, nor can it be treated as a
commodity or tool. The simple fact of the matter is that human life is being created and destroyed to carry this research out. Those benefits
would exist only because the flame of human life, a flame that was created by man, was extinguished.

Human beings do not have the right to create and destroy life as we see fit. No matter how much good can come of it, the action is still wrong
and a gross perversion. Since when are we so callous that we treat our own with such indifference? Since when has life become something to
be quantified and used in the worst sense of the word?

The miracle of humanity is choice. I doubt that, given the opportunity, many people would be willing to give their lives to create the kinds of
benefits that cloning can. Few of us would refuse the chance to ensure not just that Christopher Reeve would walk again, but that all people with
spinal injuries could rise out of their wheelchairs as whole as they day they were born. None would avoid sacrificing his or her life to end the
horrors of cancer. That is our choice. We are capable of making a choice like that. The life we create in laboratories and petri dishes and with
our technology are not. Shame on us for choosing for them.

Banning cloning does not ensure the deletion of these achievements. These goals can be met without the research human cloning can provide.
Human cloning should be banned, and people should begin to recognize their humanity. Humanity, with our enormous capacity for
achievement and compassion for one another, is beautiful in spite of our limitations.

One day soon, these dreams will become a reality. We should ensure that it does not come at the expense of turning ourselves into nightmares.

Whitrock, a freshman university
studies student, can be reached at rick_whitrock@hotmail.com.


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