Cloning Essay, Research Paper
21 February 2001
Cloning has been a very controversial issue in the United States over the past few years. There are two different sides, either one is for the process of cloning or they?re not. It?s that simple. Strictly speaking, a clone refers to one or more offspring derived from a single ancestor, whose genetic composition is identical to that of the ancestor. No sex is involved in the production of clones, and since sex is the normal means by which new genetic material is introduced during procreation, clones have no choice but to have the same genes as their single parent. The first successful clone was accomplished about two years ago, although not a human clone. ?Dolly? was her name, and she was a sheep. This controversial issue has been studied and examined by many great people, including two men by the names of Laurence Tribe and Charles Krauthammer, whose essays will be examined in this paper. In ?Second Thoughts on Cloning?, written by Laurence Tribe, a much stronger, opposing viewpoint is conveyed than that of Charles Krauthammer?s ?Of Headless Mice?and Men?.
Charles Krauthammer is a medical doctor and a licensed psychiatrist, but he is chiefly known as a writer. The article that will be examined in this paper was originally published in TIME magazine on January 19, 1998. In this particular article, Krauthammer shares his view against the act of cloning. In the beginning of his article, he talks about the cloning of headless mice that took place in a laboratory in Texas. He feels that this is meaningless and that does not accomplish anything; yet it really does. Krauthammer talks about the mice used in the University of Texas experiments; ?For sheer Frankenstein wattage, the purposeful creation of these animal monsters has no equal?(Krauthammer 469). Scientists are figuring out how to breed these headless creatures and they learn from them. Eventually, humans will be next. ?Lewis Wolpert, professor of biology at University College, London, finds producing headless humans ?personally distasteful? but, given the shortage of organs, does not think distaste is sufficient reason not to go ahead with something that would save lives?(Krauthammer 470). However, Krauthammer does not agree with Wolpert. ?Clinton has banned federal funding of human-cloning research, of which there is none anyway. He then proposed a five-year ban on cloning. This is not enough. Congress should ban human cloning now. Totally. And regarding one particular form, it should be draconian: The deliberate creation of headless humans must be made a crime, indeed a capital crime. If we flinch in the face of this high-tech barbarity, we?ll deserve to live in the hell it heralds?(Krauthammer 470).
Laurence H. Tribe, a professor teaching constitutional law at Harvard, printed an article in the New York Times on December 5, 1997 in support of cloning. He wrote about the early controversies that were connected with cloning; ?But others saw a nightmarish and decidedly unnatural perversion of human reproduction. California enacted a ban on human cloning, and the President?s National Bioethics Advisory Commission recommended making the ban nationwide?(Tribe 460). Tribe later goes on to say, ?The initial debate has cooled, however, and many in the scientific field now seem to be wondering what all the fuss was about?(Tribe 460). Tribe points out that, ?Just as was true of bans on abortion and on sex outside marriage, bans on human cloning are bound to be hard to enforce. And that, in turn, requires us to think in terms of a class of potential outcasts?people whose very existence society will have chosen to label as a misfortune and, in essence, to condemn?(Tribe 460). He believes in the notion that it is unnatural and intrinsically wrong to sever the conventional links between heterosexual unions sanctified by tradition and the creation and upbringing of new life. Overall, Tribe makes a significant amount of arguments that really helps one to start believing in cloning. ?From the perspective of the wider community, straight no less than gay, a society that bans acts of human creation for no better reason than that their particular form defies nature and tradition is a society that risks cutting itself off from vital experimentation, thus losing a significant part of its capacity to grow. If human cloning is to be banned, then, the reasons had better be far more compelling than any thus far advanced?(Tribe 461).