Perhaps DNA should stand for Do Not Allow cloning

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Diane L. (Grade 7)

Genetic engineers have been experimenting with the cloning of species even before the 1950s, but they had no success until July, 1996, when a black-faced ewe gave birth to a normal baby sheep named Dolly. It took 277 attempts to create Dolly. Some eggs failed to develop, others died during gestation, some were stillborn and some were even born deformed.

Some question the cloning of humans. Even Dr. Ian Wilmut, himself, the creator of Dolly, opposes cloning human beings. Imagine the human attempts. If we had discovered a human clone, similiar to the "Dolly" experiment, think of the "byproducts" we'd have produced by now. Researchers could be faced with hundreds of abortions, stillbirths and deformed babies-all failed attempts. The world isn't quite ready for the cloning of a species. Perhaps that's the way it was meant to be.

Cloning shouldn't be accepted in this world because it interferes with nature and society. Many question the need for more people when, in some places, abortions occur daily and there are unwanted children. "If human cloning existed today, it would be almost impossible to prevent someone from cloning you without you knowing it," says Philip Bereano, professor of technology and public policy at the University of Washington. "You give out cells whenever you give out blood, even when you go to visit the dentist. If that were the case, there could be hundreds of people who look exactly like you. That would be a huge problem to society and nature."

Prominent swami leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj, observes that "human cloning would mean a parentless society, full of surrogate mothers, careless donors and unloved children."

Cloning should not be used to create "spare parts or organs" because of the effects it will have on the clones. Imagine being brought into the world without a mother, without a father and without love. If parents decide to raise a cloned child to use as "spare parts", most experts agree that it would be psychologically harmful if a child discovered that he was brought into the world, only to be used as an organ bank.

At the gathering of the American Association of Vedic Astrologers (AAVA), Chakrapani Ullal said that the religious purpose of marriage helps ensure the birth of "high souls." Without it, he warned, "people born through cloning will be fraught with problems."

Cloning should never be accepted because it is detrimental to nature and to society, and is psychologically harmful to the clones. Since the successful cloning of Dolly, the sheep, the next logical step would be to attempt to clone human beings. There are many instances where medicine isn't able to cure a person and the only hope for survival is through organ transplantation. This remains an issue because people may want to raise a clone only to harvest organs to extend their own life.

We, as humans, are the most intelligent life on earth. Our choices can change the world forever. Let us not do something just because we are able to, disregarding all the consequences. If our discoveries were to fall into the hands of criminals, it could destroy our world. Let us not make another decision that we could regret for a lifetime.

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