Guest Column (5/13/10)

The medical solution we've been waiting for

May 13, 2010

By Abby Trombley

Imagine being as young as 6 years old. You are waiting in a hospital, waiting for a kidney. Your kidney no longer works, and the only solution is an organ transplant. There are many people ahead of you in the line waiting for organs and the doctors don’t know how long it will be before you can have the operation. What they do know is, if you don’t get a healthy kidney soon, you will die.

Unfortunately, many people are in this same situation. Human cloning would be beneficial to organ transplants, would lead to more scientific discoveries and could treat and prevent fatal illnesses. If scientists had the ability to legally produce human clones, cloning would be beneficial in many ways.

First of all, human cloning would be beneficial for organ transplants. The fact is, every year people die waiting for organ transplants. The number of people waiting for organs is far greater than those willing to donate. If everyone who needed one had his own clone, an organ would be available right away without any trouble. There would be no problem finding a donor with a matching blood type, and no waiting for long periods of time for that operation to happen. Cells could also be grown for the same purpose. Konrad Hochedlinger at the Whitehouse Institute of Biomedical Research said, “These cells may be used to treat diseases, such as diabetes or spinal cord injury without the complications of organ rejection.” Clones would make the difficult process of organ transplants smoother and faster-paced, and would save lives.

Second of all, the discovery of human cloning would lead to many more scientific discoveries. If you look into our scientific past, almost every single invention that aids human living was made possible because of some discovery. One example of this is the discovery of electricity. Once humans discovered electricity we were able to use that knowledge to create lighting, heating and many other appliances. Another example is the discovery of magnetism. Without magnetism we wouldn’t have cell phones, computer disks, railroads and many other things. Who knows what scientists would discover if human cloning was further researched and made possible?

Finally, human cloning would treat and prevent diseases. It has been proven that with cloning humans we would have a cure for cancer. Replicating genes would make it possible to switch certain cells on and off in a way that would cure and prevent cancer. Other illnesses, some terminal, such as liver failure, Down syndrome, kidney failure, Leukemia, spinal cord injury and genetic ailments, could also be cured by cloning. Cloning could also cure defective genes. The average person has eight defective genes in her body that will develop sickness. With cloning, this could be entirely prevented. Cloning is also beneficial for heart attack treatment. Heart attacks are the number one killer of humans in both developing and developed countries. Cloning healthy heart cells and injecting them in the damaged heart area can treat heart attacks. Cloning would save the lives of many with medical issues.

On the other hand, people have thought human cloning to be inhumane. Rachel Mateck of the Western Courier even referred to it as “playing God.” Human cloning is not inhumane, it is in fact exactly the opposite; human cloning would save lives. One solution to this problem is scientists creating headless clones. They have done this to tadpoles and believe they do have the technology to make a headless human clone. This is not as cruel or vulgar as it seems; a clone without a head would simply have no thoughts or emotions, and would therefore not think or feel anything about the process.

Another problem with human cloning is that 90 percent of cloning attempts fail, and the cloning process is difficult and expensive. There are, however, many documentations of successfully cloned animals including horses, monkeys, sheep and other animals. Also, as scientists got more experience with human cloning they would find more efficient ways to clone.

In conclusion, it is obvious many problems would be solved if only human cloning were legal. With human cloning, there would be easier organ transplants, cloning would treat and prevent diseases and many more scientific discoveries would be made. Human cloning would save lives. Human cloning is the next step in both scientific and medical advancement, and humans just have to be brave enough to embrace it.


Abby Trombley is a seventh grade student at Williston Central School. She penned this essay for a writing class.