Since the war in Iraq, thousands of American soldiers have been injured, and some of them paralyzed by explosions that shattered their spinal columns.
Traumatic paralysis is often irreversible because the network of nerves in the human spinal cord cannot repair themselves when they are badly damaged.
Applications of cloning technology will allow us to grow new nerve tissue for implantation into damaged spinal cords to restore their functions (Sagan, 1997).
Seventh Point - Cloned Human Organs Can Save Thousands of Lives Every Year:
Medical applications of cloning technology already allows doctors to grow human skin for burn victims.
The exact same technology will allow us to make human organs by actually cloning the cells from the same person to make replacement organs (Soares, 2002).
This means an end to long waiting lists for donor organs and will make the difference between life and death for thousands of people every year who die before a donor organ can be found for them (Soares, 2002).
Cloned organs also means the end of donor organ rejection, because the new organs are actually genetically identical to the recipient who is also the "donor" (Krock, 2001).
Cloned organs means the end of anti-rejection drugs that turn off the recipients' natural immune system. This is important, because one of the biggest risks to recipients of donor organs is from the diseases that their bodies can no longer fight because of the anti- rejection drugs they have to take for the rest of their lives after organ transplantation (Krock, 2001).
Eighth Point - Cloning Technology Allows Infertile Couples to Have Children:
Cloning technology already allows infertile couples to have their own children by in- vitro fertilization (Sagan, 1997).
Future development of cloning technology will actually allow single people to have children with their own genes instead of having to combine their genes with anonymous sperm donors or anonymous egg donors (Krock, 2001).
Cloning technology will allow people who have genetic diseases in their families to have their own children instead of adopting or risking the continuation of the disease, because it will enable them to have the defective disease-causing genes removed before artificial insemination with their own genetic material.
Cloning technology is one of the most beneficial medical advances in medical science. In science fiction, cloning technology means the unrestricted, irresponsible use of science to create human beings for use as slaves, or for medical experimentation, or even the creation of human-animal hybrids. That is one reason the average person is afraid of it. The other main reason is that people whose religious beliefs include the belief that "life begins at conception" want to impose their religious views on others. They oppose the current use of fertility clinics for the same reason, even though that is the only way for some people to have children. In reality, cloning entire human beings will not be possible for years, and even when it is, regulation is sufficient to limit its use to responsible and legitimate medical applications.
Some of those beneficial applications include the elimination of many congenital diseases, the restoration of paralyzed limbs to full use, the elimination of organ donation, and the loss of thousands of lives every year when recipient candidates die before a suitable organ is found for them. Presently, infertile couples usually have to rely on donor eggs or donor sperm, which means their children have half of their parents' genes and half of the genes of complete strangers. Likewise, cloning technology will allow single people to have children who share their genes instead of having no genetic relationship to their parent.
Ultimately, cloning technology is very much like other medical technologies in that it requires careful monitoring and legislation to ensure its safety and appropriate beneficial use.
It is very much unlike other medical technology only in that it has the potential to accomplish so many different medical goals and improve human life more than any other single technological breakthrough.
Krock, L. (2001) on Human Cloning: Three Views. (NOVA/PBSonline)
Accessed November 1, 2007 at www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/baby/cloning.html
Sagan, C. (1997) Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium. Random House: New York