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Therapeutic Cloning

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 33,851 times Debate No: 14350
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Ethical question: Is therapeutic cloning ethical?

Therapeutic cloning: a process by which stem cells are extracted from a cloned embryo. The purpose of the therapeutic cloning is different from that of human reproductive cloning. The goal of therapeutic cloning is to use stem cells to create human organs or tissues, while the goal of human reproductive cloning is to produce human beings.

Stem cells: cells that have the ability to continuously divide and differentiate (develop) into various other kind(s) of cells, tissues, and organs.

Pro: Exact Genetic Matches

Therapeutic cloning could produce stem cells with the exact same DNA as a patient, and those stem cells could then produce organs with the exact same DNA as the patient.

This eliminates the risk of tissue rejection.

-Tissue rejection, or transplant rejection, is when a transplant recipient's immune system attacks a transplanted organ or tissue.

-This also helps people who have rare blood types and other medical conditions that make it harder to find a matching donor organ. Instead of waiting for years, or until death, for a donor organ, they could just therapeutically clone one.

Pro: Limitless Supply of Donor Organs

-If organs could be cloned, then the whole process of organ donations and transplants would change.

-It would no longer require a donor with similar DNA to the patient to provide the organ. Because of this, risky organ extraction surgeries could be eliminated altogether.

-People wouldn’t have to wait for someone with a similar blood type, DNA, etc. to die before getting an organ transplant.

-This is especially beneficial to people with rare blood types because there are a lot less people who can provide an organ that won’t be rejected by their body.

-Scientists are pursuing the possibility of using therapeutic cloning to genetically modify certain animals so that their organs could be transplanted into humans.

-Most animals are genetically different enough from humans that when their organs are transplanted into humans, the human's body rejects the organ because it recognizes it as not belonging.

-xenotransplantation: the transplant of organs and tissues from animals to humans.

-Animals being researched on include cows and pigs.

-This would further help to reduce the number of people waiting for an organ.

Pro: New Treatments and Cures for Diseases

Enhance our knowledge of how cells develop and muscles regenerate

· This increased knowledge and understanding could lead to the development of new treatments and cures that would otherwise be unknown.

o "Further advances in understanding of how organs regenerate would increase the range of possible treatments that could be considered." –UK Department of Health

o in 1998, "More than 50 disease advocates and scientific societies, representing such concerns as diabetes, blindness, Parkinson's disease, glaucoma, AIDS, Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, stroke, lymphoma, infertility and cancer--as well as professional groups that focus on such issues as cell biology, aging, microbiology, ophthalmology, cardiology, pediatrics and reproductive medicine recently sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to support federal funding for...[stem cell] research."

§ source: Comment: Stem Cell Research," Mary Woodard Lasker Charitable Trust

o “At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientists believe these tiny cells may


Ethical Question: Is therapeutic cloning ethical?
Definition: Therapeutic cloning is the cloning of stem cells to produce a cloned organ vital for living.
First off, thank you for challenging us to a debate on the topic of therapeutic cloning. Here are our arguments for round 1.
Playing God/Individual Rights
If a clone wants to donate an organ it is entirely up to the clone, not the creator. It is similar to becoming impregnated and then selling the baby to science for dissection. Cloning people for various tasks originally relegated to the clonee is not unlike slavery in that the clone is given no consideration as to what its wants and desires are. As a society, people should feel ashamed to have put forth the proposition of creating slaves; how is a clone’s rights and privileges any different from the original person’s? Clones should not be considered to be of a lower standard than naturally conceived humans are.
Eugenics is, in a nutshell, attempting to manipulate offspring by examining the genes of its parents. As an example, when a woman goes to the sperm bank for a donor, she is given the statistics of each donor’s abilities, including standardized intelligence, strength,
mechanical comprehension, and what job they held when they donated. If a woman wants her child to be smart, she merely has to (hypothetically) choose a donor that is exceptionally intelligent, and hope that his DNA takes effect in the growing fetus. When applied to cloning, it is already known that we can clone, and that we can splice DNA. It is a small step from those being individual sciences to using them in a combined effort to create a "super-human." In effect, as it has already been hypothesized, many world leaders will probably create an entire race of identical super-humans in an attempt to better their armies and instill fear in the rest of humanity. A prophesized eugenics war
could take place in the near future, maybe 10-50 years from now, in which no humans will be involved, except as prisoners or hostages. To recap, cloning’s benefits by no means justify the grave risks associated by the pursuit of this science, as it will likely end humanity’s term of ruling this planet.
Technology Not Controlled
Stability of stem cells: As of 2003-MAR, therapeutic cloning is still in its early stages of development. Stem cells have sometimes mutated, and thus been rejected by the recipient's body. In other cases, at least with experiments on animals, they have produced tumors. It is obvious that therapeutic cloning will not be feasible until these deficiencies have been overcome but even then would be unethical.
Extracting eggs from women is "painful, costly and unreliable." 7 Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian group, cited an unknown expert who has said that the process of harvesting eggs would seriously injure about one percent of all female donors. 8 We have been unable to determine what form this injury might take. Assuming two dozen eggs per woman, this would still require over a half million women willing to donate eggs and run the risk of some type of injury. Therapeutic cloning will probably only become generally useful when a method is found to use non-human eggs as source material. Research is underway to use rabbit eggs. During the process, "the embryo will lose all traces of its rabbit origin." 7
The stem cells are then removed from the resulting embryo. In theory, these stem cells can be prompted to become any type of cell, though the methodology for achieving this is still largely unknown. He went on to say that it was 'clearly risky to continue to rely on the inefficiency of cloning as the main barrier to it being done'. He stressed that reproductive cloning was likely to have terrible consequences, judging from the results of animal cloning experiments.
Developing cures: Methods have to be developed that will cure or treat diseases with embryonic stem cells. This looks promising. Research with adult stem cells, which has been underway for many years, have shown great promise. Unfortunately, adult cells are limited in their application. Research using therapeutic cloning is a new field, but it has already shown that stem cells from embryos have much greater flexibility than adult stem cells and thus have a lower success rate and are usually rejected by the human body.
The scientific limitations are that the number of embryos successfully created in this fashion is very low, sometimes as few as one or two out of every 100 attempts.
Unless or until this success rate can be improved, it makes the widespread use of embryonic stems cells for medical purposes unlikely.
Cost/Black Market Organs
As of right now, the cost of cloning is undeniably expensive. The cloning of Dolly the sheep cost over 5 million dollars alone. With humans, a more complex organism, it is estimated for the cloning of a human to cost over 50 million dollars when considering all the research, test trials, and services ( To break this down into the cloning of stem cells, it has been projected that millions of dollars would still be the cost to such a service.
When we look at the cost of such a service, we must think to ourselves, “Would everyone have a fair opportunity for this service.” The answer is NO. The cost would be a service for the wealthy. This is another classic example of “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” The only difference is that rich in this case refers to a better chance at a better life.
Cost isn’t always monetary. Cost can also be the emotional strain that it puts on families. Imagine Little Johnny, a sick little boy, who needs a cloned organ to live. Every time Johnny goes in for the organ something goes wrong and the hopes of the family get shattered.
Another big issue that therapeutic cloning brings in the opportunity for companies to take over a service that is similar to “black market organs.” Though the organ and tissue donation market are highly regulated in the United States, underhanded dealings between shadowy operators are not unheard of. It's illegal in the U.S., and most other nations, to offer or receive compensation for an organ donation. But a black market for human organs does exist.
Therapeutic cloning also plays a great cost to the adoption or orphans. There are millions of orphans waiting to be adopted but wouldn’t be able to because families who would normally get adopted after a death of child, would be left as an orphan.
Surplus Population/Crime
By keeping people alive by creating organs through therapeutic cloning, the death rate will decline, while the birth-rate would be staying the same. This will naturally cause an increase in the overall population. The increase in population would cause our resources to be used up faster, which will cause an increase in the amount of poverty and competition for resources. Competition for resources means that people who don’t have the necessities will find these resources by any means possible. The means of acquiring resources would require stealing,
Debate Round No. 1


In your playing God argument, you almost exclusively talk about cloning humans. Therapeutic cloning isn't about cloning humans, it's about using stem cells to clone organs. An embryo is cloned, but it is killed before it becomes a fetus.



In therapudic cloning sometimes cloning a body part can lead to a new life. Therapeutic cloning is closely related to reproductive cloning, in which a copy of an organism is produced.
Debate Round No. 2


In your Cost/Black Market Organs, you say that therapeutic cloning would be expensive and thus would only be available to the rich. However, one of the purposes of this research is to reduce the cost of therapeutic cloning and organs to enable them to be more readily available. And even if it still is expensive, it's better to help just the rich than no one at all. Also, with the orphan and adoption argument, this wouldn't be a problem because no humans would be cloned; organs would be cloned for use in transplants. For the overpopulation argument, it's true that we need to curtail our population growth, but I don't think that allowing people to die when it's very possible to save them is the right way to do it. There are much better alternatives, like education and contraceptives. Refusing to research therapeutic cloning because it would save people's lives is a backward and unethical argument. We have many lifesaving medications today, and if someone had initially refused to research them, they would not be available, and many people would have died.


If two people were to have the exact same DNA, and one of them committed a crime, you would not be able to use DNA samples as evidence. Therefore, you could not fully prove someone guilty. As said in our first argument, the technology is not fully controlled. Talking about transferring animal organs into humans is way out the question at this point when the success rate isn't the best for human transplants.
Jesse Gelsinger was born with ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare metabolic disorder that disables the liver and causes a toxic buildup of ammonia. He volunteered for gene-therapy program last September at the University of Pennsylvania because gene therapy had been hailed as the new frontier of medicine. The experiment entailed patients injected with corrective genes to replace the missing or defective ones. The purpose was a commendable one, to save lives. Within 24 hours after Jesse received his first infusion, he was suffering from a life-threatening clotting disorder which red blood cells were breaking down faster than the liver could metabolize them. He now is known as the first patient to die directly from the result of gene therapy. His father who encouraged him to do this said to a senate subcommittee investigating this that he was not given all the information. Such as side effects and that lab monkeys have died during the same experiment. (Death by research People 2/21/2000)
By putting animal organs into a human it raises many questions. Would they still be considered human? And would they have equal rights as humans?
Through Genetic research and use of this technology the advantage of curing diseases and its ability to treat and cure genetic flaws diseases is an ethical goal. But the potential to create new species with gene splicing is not. Serious questions about the ethical legitimacy and potential abuses surround this new science.

Also, as mentioned in our first argument again, by saving so many lives through "unlimited transplants" the population would increase drastically and the life expectancy would go up. Therefore the crime rates would go up and over population would become a problem.
Debate Round No. 3


First off, i would like to thank my opposing side for participating in this debate!
Secondly, i would like to close this argument while restating why therapeutic cloning is beneficial to today's society.
Again, Therapeutic cloning introduces an organ to the patient's body that is directly tied with their personal DNA, allowing
1.Minimal chance of infection
2.No need for a matching organ donor
3.Minimal chance of transplant rejection
4.No need for a second party surgery
5.Minimal chance of tissue rejection
6.No waiting list for available organs
7.Minimal time in a state of discomfort
This would also account for people with rare blood types, who sometimes wait years for a perfect match. Allowing the practice of therapeutic cloning would illuminate that wait all together.
Therapeutic cloning would drastically change the process for organ donations and transplants for the better.
1.A donor with similar DNA would no longer be needed. This reduces the risk of such a chancy surgery.
2.A donor with the same blood type would no longer be needed. This helps the millions who were born with rare blood types.
3.Therapeutic cloning allows for scientists to invest time researching on how to genetically modify certain animals so their organs can potentially be transplanted into humans
Therapeutic cloning would help to advance out knowledge on the growth of cells and how muscles regenerate.
This knowledge would lead to further understanding of the human body, and a convinced development of new treatments and cures available.


Overall, Therapeutic cloning, the cloning of stem cells to produce a cloned organ vital for living, is unethical.
When preforming therapeutic cloning and using the clones for body parts is not unlike creating slaves. Shouldn't the clones created have the same rights as humans? It is already known that we can clone, and that we can splice DNA. It is a small step from those being individual sciences to using them in a combined effort to create a "super-human." There has been talk of world leaders using these "super humans" in their armies. As you can see, we don't know that this can be prevented if cloning was allowed. An extreme would be clones taking over the world.
The "super-human" would be an example of how the technology is not controlled. Since the act of cloning is so new, no one knows all the down sides of it. Though some stem cell research is successful, some tests in which stem cells are used, result in the stem cells turning into tumors. Methods have to be developed that will cure or treat diseases with embryonic stem cells. This looks promising. Research with adult stem cells, which has been underway for many years, has shown great promise. Unfortunately, adult cells are limited in their application.
In today's world, cloning is unquestionably expensive. Just the cloning of Dolly cost over 5 million dollars. Considering humans are much more complex than sheep, the price would be undoubtedly higher. Because of the high price, not everyone would have a fair opportunity to even consider therapeutic cloning. The high price would put a huge stress and guilt on families who cannot afford the service. If cloning were to become legal, there would most likely be a "black market" for the organs", similar to the illegal drug dealing industry.
Even if therapeutic cloning were to become available to everyone, it would cause even bigger problems. Think about it, if you could just replace every part of you that was failing, how long would you live for? There would be a drastic decline in the death rate, and the birth rate would stay the same. This would quickly lead to overpopulation. Naturally, the overpopulation will cause an increase in crime and violence
As you can see, therapeutic cloning may seem good at first, but once looked at closely, you see that the negatives greatly outweigh the positives
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kdem007 3 years ago
I'd just like to point out that Con keeps on using arguments related to reproductive cloning, which are not valid because although the somatic cell nuclear transfer process is used in both reproductive and therapeutic cloning, the two cloning procedures are not that closely related, and it is not quite the slippery slope you may imagine.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dylanandtimpareweenies7 7 years ago
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