Basically, therapeutic cloning is being practiced to replicate cells and tissues that have the qualities to be used for particular medical purposes. It is believed to become the future of medical science, only if research allows it to continue. As you can see, it is a method of cloning that has become a widely controversial issue because of the ethics the process would involve, as well as the fact that it is seen literally by many people as a life and death issue. In order for us to form a good opinion on the subject, it is important to learn about its pros and cons.
Therapeutic Cloning Pros
1. It comes with a great potential for research.
Though the objective of therapeutic cloning would be to allow for viable treatments in the field of medicine, the research that is being done into it is believed to be actually better than any medical results that have been achieved. From better understanding of defects fetuses have at birth to viable treatments for cancer, this method of cloning has been offering researchers the opportunity to dig deeper into the cellular and genetic levels for human health will be better understood.
2. It has the potential to reduce the possibilities of an organ being rejected during transplantation.
A primary goal of therapeutic cloning would be to create new organs from the existing tissues of a patient, with the aspect that the organs will just be created from his or her own cells, so there would be a reduced risk of organ rejection once the procedure of transplanting would be successfully completed. As there are continuous advancements in the field of this technology, researchers expect that the level of risks of rejection would continue to go down.
3. It is believed to help treat serious medical conditions.
For those who are being diagnosed with serious conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, seeing their doctors give them an injection of therapeutically cloned cells that will cure them immediately would be a great gift to their lives. There would come the reality in science that, instead of suffering a lifetime of chronic pain and other physical issues, this method of cloning would provide the opportunity to find potential cures in just a single clinic visit.
4. It eliminates the need for a second-party surgery.
Because the cells or tissues would be created based on the patient’s own unique DNA and genetics, he or she would no longer require a second surgery of a donor just to ensure a transplant would be successful. Treatments would be based individually, which would mean that the privacy of the patient would still be ultimately protected.
5. It would make other medical practices, such as xenotransplantation, to be discontinued.
As you can see, other forms of medical research look at the possibility of incorporating cells from animals into the human body in order to help it heal. But with therapeutic cloning, it still uses human cells, so there is no need to worry about the risks of diseases from animals to humans, as well as rejection issues and other common problems related to the practice.
6. It allows for the study of the process of organ regeneration.
Therapeutic cloning makes it possible for cells to be implanted directly into an organ to allow a degenerating organ to heal itself. Its process has allowed scientists and researchers to evaluate how the human body could potentially heal itself under the right conditions. So, in the first place, this procedure would even reduce the need for organ transplants to be performed.
Therapeutic Cloning Cons
1. It has been seeing a low success rate as of yet.
As of yet, medical research has shown that therapeutic cloning has not been successful, where the cells that have been cloned wound up resulting in some very serious defects that would instead harm human health if they are used. Now, considering that cloned cells would just become defective and then eventually die, obtaining them from embryos does not offer real benefits.
2. It requires researchers to use embryos.
This technology uses embryos because they contain cells that have the ability to grow into any type of cell or organ, giving medical researchers the capability to develop medical procedures that come with an incredible amount of possibilities for life-saving. However, this also entails a question of ethics that must be answered, such as one where human embryo is seen as a living creature from a morality standpoint.
3. It uses adult cells that have limited potential.
While those who do not support the ethics of researching on embryonic cells, seeing them as viable research alternative, critics argue that adult cells are limiting, stating that they are only of a certain value. Under the current situation the research is at, millions of eggs would need to be studied, but unfortunately there is not sufficient supply available at this moment to be able to create as many embryos.
4. It is believed to create the foundation of human cloning.
The process of creating cells from a destroyed embryo is believed to eventually allow scientists to directly clone a certain person. While scientists are not in favor of reproductive cloning from therapeutic cloning, they would still support this field of research as long as it is only used to cure diseases.
The promise of therapeutic cloning to be able to cure medical conditions that are currently incurable is seen as enough reason to get the average individual to get excited about the possibilities of this medical research and procedure. But for people who view the destruction of embryos as ending a human life, the thought of this practice could be painful and even gruesome, where some critics even see research in this field as a form of infanticide or murder. But by assessing the pros and cons of this method in every detail, we can build a better overall opinion about it, which might even lead to a wise and surprising decision on our end.