Therapeutic cloning is a potential technology of the future that could save thousands of lives. By being able to clone cells from a patient who has a health need, there would no longer be an issue of rejection because there wouldn’t be any difference on a cellular level for the treatment that is being received. Not only could this prolong lives, there is a good possibility that therapeutic cloning could save millions of dollars annually for treatments that would no longer be needed.
There are some definite advantages and disadvantages to the concept of therapeutic cloning. Here’s a long at the various pros and cons.
What Are the Pros of Therapeutic Cloning?
1. It could help to create duplicate organs.
Some people who are on a transplant waiting list never received an organ that they need. Others have had to wait several years in order to receive an organ. The process of therapeutic cloning could create organs that are healthy in a fraction of the time needed to wait for a donor one.
2. It could put an end to certain diseases.
There are a number of genetic and degenerative diseases that could be immediately solved if healthy cells were present. By cloned cells from healthy familial donors, it could be possible to put an end to some of the deadliest and disorders that the human race faces today.
3. It would open up new avenues of research.
Scientists would be able to study clone cells in order to find new information about the human genome. This could eventually lead to better treatments, prolonged lifespans, and an overall better quality of life.
What Are the Cons of Therapeutic Cloning?
1. Modern research requires embryonic stem cells for success.
Our current understanding of adult stem cells shows that there is rather limited. This would mean that most therapeutic cloning issues right now would need to come from embryonic stem cells and that may cause some ethical issues.
2. There is no guarantee of success.
In the limited knowledge of cloning that we currently have, scientists have discovered that there is a greater propensity of mutations in the cloned results. This often results in tumors that may be cancerous or in alterations in the body or organ tissues.
3. Millions of new embryonic stem cell lines would be required.
Even if every frozen embryo in a lab right now were used for research purposes in therapeutic cloning, it would be just a small fraction of the overall need that the human population would require. There just isn’t enough cellular information right now that is available.
Is therapeutic cloning a way for humans to pretend to be gods? That’s the center of the ethical debate on therapeutic cloning. By weighing the pros and cons of the subject, we can all decide if this is an avenue of research that is worth pursuing.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.