Since cloning’s conception, fact and fiction have been thrown around at a hurried pace, so scientific experts and religious fanatics can lobby their respective viewpoints.
Scientists who stress differentiating between therapeutic and reproductive cloning are battling with social conservatives and pro-lifers in a fight to the finish about stem cell research.
Religious sects were more than confused about the subject, then enter the Raeliens to make things more interesting.
The group not only believes that the human race was cloned by aliens 25,000 years ago, but also claims to have the first cloned human in the works.
If that wasn’t enough, the issue went to Congress, and the House of Representatives quickly passed a ban that would outlaw all forms of human cloning.
A competing measure that would have banned reproductive cloning, but would have allowed it for scientific research was defeated in a 279-178 vote.
Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who avidly supports the ban said, “Human beings should not be cloned to stock a medical junkyard of spare parts.”
Many like DeLay use science-fictional anecdotes that show the nation on an unstoppable decline towards moral bankruptcy.
Additionally, some from the pro-life camp have drawn misguided parallels between embryos used for research and a human life form.
However, the fact remains that therapeutic cloning is a revolutionary method that works toward curing diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
The reason this method has such potential is that the cloned embryos would have the same genetic makeup as the person they came from. In turn, the cells could be transplanted back to the patient without the risk of rejection.
These stem cells that are considered to be the building blocks in fighting disease are extracted for research purposes only.
The embryo, which is then destroyed, never comes close to seeing a woman’s uterus.
However, this process still draws steady opposition from pro-lifers.
The claim, however, has been blown out of proportion, and those who support therapeutic cloning like Christopher Reeve contest that comparing a potentially life-saving process to an abortion debate is uncalled for.
Even conservatives like Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) disagree with some of the radical pro-life outcries.
“At the core of my support for therapeutic cloning is my belief that human life begins in a mother’s nurturing womb.
“Therapeutic cloning is pro-life and pro-family; it enhances, not diminishes, human life.”
But sadly, many other members of the United States government have been blinded by mythical claims concerning therapeutic research, and in turn have taken leaps to institute a single, blanket ban.
This vote antagonizes not only those who suffer from horrible diseases, but their family members and supporters for the enhancement of human life as well.
As MSNBC columnist Arthur Caplan put it, “These human beings and their loved ones aren’t interested in pieties and abstractions and science fiction.
“They are desperately seeking help for their ailments and they need to have medical scientists free to pursue those answers and cures. Banning all human cloning would be a highly unethical thing to do.”
Many members of Congress, as well as radical pro-life advocates need to understand the benefits of therapeutic cloning.
This form of treatment doesn’t benefit fringe groups trying to create the next Frankenstein.
Rather, it helps the child who can’t play ball because he’s confined to a hospital bed after contracting a crippling disease.
By imposing such a ban, Congress is flirting with the idea of keeping it that way.
Brandon Lausch can be reached at Goskateboarding2000@hotmail.com.