May 22, 2005

S. Korean Cloning

So. . .the South Koreans have made advances in cloning human cells. Not suprisingly President Bush did not receive the news well.

"I am very concerned about cloning," President Bush said in response to the news. "I worry about a world in which cloning becomes accepted." If Congress manages to pass a bill it is considering that would lift some of the restrictions on stem-cell research in the U.S., the President promised to veto it.

It would easy to pick fun at our President's point of view. Because it seems almost backwards to some people that others might find cloning unethical.You have to admit it is kind of weird, especially when you start to really think about it. Granted, the kind of cloning the South Koreans are advancing is the type that would provide the most benefits - from replacing organs to repairing nerve damage and replacing parts of the brain damaged by Parkinson's or Alzheimers. It's called therapeutic cloning and the South Koreans have started with growing skin.What does it mean to grow human organs in a petry dish? Clearly, this would be something that is living but is this question relevant? If I need a kidney and a doctor can grow a kidney from my own DNA and then puts it in my body where is the ethical dilemma? I think the ethical dilemma comes into play when people start fantasizing that cloning specialists want to grow fetuses in large cylindrical fluid filled containers for the purpose of harvesting organs.

I do not support this sci-fi fantasy. What I do support is the former suggestion, that organs can be created from the DNA of the people that need them. And therefore I support the research that goes into making this idea a reality.

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