Reality Soon to Become a World of Sims
Ever since human beings have first walked the earth, their signature quality has always been their uniqueness.
Every creature is created differently, to serve his or her own purpose in life, but through the recent technology of cloning, this quality, along with many others, is being uprooted and degraded. Cloning is the process of using genetic engineering to create an exact copy of a living, or once living, creature. To begin, the most unknown, yet at the same time most horrific part to cloning is that parents will be able to choose the gender of their children, along with many other traits. Some traits, such as genetically inherited illnesses are one example of this, as “Some genetic disorders are specific to one gender or another, such as hemophilia, which usually affects boys. Doctors may examine the cells to determine the gender of the embryo.
In a case where a family has a history of hemophilia, only female embryos are selected for placement in the uterus.” Scientists have already figured out how to manipulate genes and how to select specific traits to put into the embryo, and there is no doubt people will want to at least use cloning to ensure their children won’t inherit genetic diseases. Another method, already showing success, is germline gene therapy. Germline gene Therapy “involves adding a step to preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Germinal cells are our reproductive cells, and this approach means manipulating genes of the sperm, egg or early embryo.
Beyond just screening embryos, germline therapy actually adds new genes to the cells.” Through this process, people will be able to create “tailor made children”, and make clones with additional/ selected traits, and eye color, hair color, and the child’s personality are only the beginning. If this process becomes legal and successful, soon enough our world will become no more than a world of living sims, with traits chosen specifically by their parents. Another horrific reality in cloning is that scientists have, and will continue to, create and kill clones for their organs. Scientists have already begun to clone creatures for their spare body parts, as “during the past four years, one group created headless mice; the other, headless tadpoles.” These innocent creatures, all clones, never asked to be brought into the world.
Scientists created them for the sole purpose of choking them to death in their first, and only, seconds of life. They assume that since they die in their first moments of life, they therefore have no feelings and it is not considered to be killing. But what about newborn babies who don’t survive their first days of life? Do they have feelings? Why is it so sad when natural born babies die in infancy but when cloned creatures die in infancy it is okay? Perhaps the future cloning factories can provide an answer to these questions, where they have machines spread throughout the facility, and “inside these machines are human beings that have been born without heads because their genetic makeup has been changed so that heads will not form.” At the success rate of cloning as of today, this will be in our near future. Scientists will claim to have thought up brilliant schemes to cure illnesses and provide lifesaving transplants, when, in reality, one might look down upon his heart and realize it is that of a clone who was unwillingly stripped of its organs. In addition, in circumstances where clones are successfully brought into the world, humans especially may begin to feel unappreciated as they grow into their older years.
For example, if a relative were to get cancer, “the doctor would clone that relative and ”use” the clone as a bone-marrow donor to save the patient’s life.” This does show a bright side to the dark art of cloning, however, it does not make up for the fact that there is now another human being in the world, this one a clone, created for the sole purpose of providing organs for another person. This clone may feel as if he has no purpose to his life, and that he is unwanted and a “second class citizen”. Depression is already overtaking most of modern society, so do we really need depressed clones on top of it all? Finally, it has been proven that cloned creatures have problems with their health. Very few cloned embryos survive the process of cloning, and those that have survived have all suffered from genetic abnormalities.
This is most likely a result of a major flaw in the process where “clone cells may age more rapidly, shortening their lifespan. Some clones have been born with defective hearts, lung problems, diabetes, blood vessel complications and malfunctioning immune systems. One of the more famous cases involved a cloned sheep that was born but suffered from chronic hyperventilation caused by malformed arteries leading to the lungs.” Scientists may be “giving people a second shot at life”, or as some refer to it “playing God”, but either way people look at it, cloning is doing one thing: creating a replica of another creature, the only difference being that the copy has many more diseases and will die only a short amount of time after being given life. Most clones have only made it to around four years, some less.
What is the point of being given a “second shot at life” when your “second shot” consists of more adversities, more stress, and more depression? Is it really worth it to cheat death but be tormented because of it? Dolly the sheep certainly doesn’t think so. To conclude, the technology of cloning is providing more harm than help to people and animals alike. Cloning is a violation of every living being’s basic rights, and we, the people brave enough to stand up for the right action, must deal a tragic end to a tragic crime.