Two Of Us ?! : Should Cloning be legalized ?

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Human cloning

The push for Human Cloning continues around the world.It is one of the most controversial issue of the era but is considered as the great medical “ Breakthrough” of our age. There are various reasons and facts produced by those in favor and against this issue.  Cloning is the process which results in producing genetically similar breeds. It can range from producing copies of plants and animals to clones of humans and human organs. So far, cloning has been successfully done in pig and sheep. Human cloning is banned in most parts of the world.

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Dolly – The first known Mammalian clone !

Sure, most people say that they do not want to see humans cloned, but they do want to see cloned embryos for research purposes. Yet as I and others must keep reiterating the two processes- Therapeutic cloning and Reproductive cloning- are the same, at least at the outset. Therapeutic cloning is developing cloned cells from an adult that are used in medicinal procedures. The process generally involves research and modification of stem cells of the body. Reproductive cloning involves the interference with ‘ germ cells’ of the and  would result in producing human clones. Therapeutic cloning is a widely researched  field of the modern medicine. While reproductive cloning is banned legally. There is also a third type of cloning that which is called the theoretical type of cloning. This is a combination of both therapeutic and reproductive cloning. It would result in regeneration of failed or destroyed organ of the body ! It is vital that people understand these facts, as there is a lot of hype and misrepresentation about these two sorts of cloning.

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Cloned embryos for Therapeutic purposes

Cloning has always been a subject whose thoughts have fascinated me. On February 27,1997, a stunning announcement appeared in the British journal Nature that rocked the scientific world : For the first time ever recorded, a mammal – a lamb named Dolly was cloned successfully from an adult cell. Coinciding with this shocking  proclamation , another scientist reported the successful cloning of the Rhesus monkey, a primate whose reproduction and development is almost identical to Man !

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The cloning process that produced Dolly !

Therapeutic cloning is the main field of research in modern medicine .It will help regenerate tissues and organs for transplantation. Revolutionary results can be obtained in treatment of various chronic ailments like carcinoma,  heart  disease , diabetes etc. Advancements  in burns treatment and  cosmetic reconstructive surgery are also predicted by cloning techniques. The most revolutionary steps that cloning can bring in the lives of human beings is the cure of otherwise lethal diseases like carcinomas, HIV,AIDS etc.

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Regeneration of the cardiac tissue with the help of stem cells

Human cloning is banned in all forms by various Governments across the world. Countries like USA, UK , Spain, Italy have totally banned human cloning. India has strongly opposed reproductive cloning ,asserting that is it unethical, morally unacceptable and contrary to respect for human beings.However, Australia has granted therapeutic cloning in some parts of the country. Amidst all the political and religious moves, the big question is whether cloning should be legalized or not ?

Nature has its own ways of striking a balance between the various aspects of creation and destruction. Allowing cloning is more of an ethical issue than a scientific one. Some perceive it as an interference in the normal life and death cycle. Besides, even if reproductive cloning  is allowed it will be affordable by a few wealthy hands only. This will widen the already existing gap between the different economic sections of the society. The rich will produce a whole line of cloned individuals and the poor will be denied of medical facilities due to the cost factor.

Though India shares its views with all the nations who have come out in support of the ban on reproductive human cloning, totally banning the process will not solve the problem. Allowing therapeutic cloning for medical purposes can help in fighting medical ailments and may shine as a ray of hope for those who are suffering from incurable diseases. Advancements and research often face rigid criticism in the initial stages but in times to come cloning would bring remarkable results in human lives.

At stake here is the very notion of what it means to be human, and what is the value of human life.There are always debates on where we should draw the line. Surely the integrity and sanctity of human life  must be one area where a line is clearly drawn and should not be violated.

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