Problems with Cloning

Essay by scagneasHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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Shortly after the announcement that British scientists had successfully cloned a sheep, The Guardian ran an article about a man who thought that cloning could provide a route to immortality The article did not include a detailed account of how this was to be achieved, but the essential idea is that since in cloning the genetic blueprint for a particular individual is used to make another individual with the same genetic makeup, the new individual will be an exact copy of the original, and an exact copy is as good as the original.

Thus, the suggestion is that we can bring back the dead by cloning them. All we need is a few cells removed from the body just before death, and we can use these to produce a person with the same genetic makeup, so, in a way, recreating the dead person. In this way, if I can have myself cloned, I can make sure that after my death there will be someone with the same genetic makeup as myself, who will be an exact copy of me.

Having this exact copy made is the same as being resurrected, which, if the process is continued, will give me immortality.

An alternative way of achieving immortality through cloning is the rather grisly one using a clones as a source of spare parts. Well before my eyes start to fade, and my heart starts to falter, I have a clone of myself produced. When this clone is, say, seventeen, I have his eyes and heart transplanted into me. This transplant will probably be successful, since there is less likelihood of the transplanted parts being rejected, because they are genetically identical to my own heart and eyes. Similarly if I keep having clones produced, there will spares for any bit of me...