A lot has changed since Easter 1916 was written, yet its words have remained relevant to even the issues of todays world. I personally believe that cloning and stem cell use are the modern days terrible beauties. Fifty years ago we did not even know what a gene was, although today barely a day passes without radio stations, television stations or newspapers discussing genetically modified food, animal clones, DNA finger printing, transgenic animals, human gene therapy and not to mention the ever-going debate to legalise the medical research of stem cells. With the announcement that a research facility in England had successfully cloned a sheep, many groups worldwide such as doctors, politicians, religious members etc.
Have been battling with the question Should the research of cloning be taken further? Many doctors believe that cloning is an advancement to help save more lives although specific organs or blood types have yet to be cloned and actually made available to the general medical community. Think about it. If someone desperately needed a liver transplant, with the aid of cloning technology, doctors would be able to clone that persons liver cells and produce a healthy, genetically matched liver thus saving that persons life. In a way cloning could revolutionise the medical industry. While many doctors are on the up-side of cloning, many politicians play a more on-the-fence role. They can see the medical advantage but are still rather reluctant.
Most politicians want something for themselves for their endorsement either way on an important issue. Since cloning is not yet ready to be made accessible by any means to the general public, it is not yet a major issue for politicians although in the coming years, as politicians make the laws it is ultimately in their hands whether or not stem cell research or cloning will be legalised in the future. The research of cloning has attracted a great amount of negative attention from religious members, many claim that cloning is disturbing the natural order of the world and as some people describe as playing God. Their argument is that cloning will take away the natural aspect of life and death. If a child is killed it is possible for the childs parents to clone him/her, in my opinion that just doesnt seem right, does it? That a parent can just replace their own child.
A whole new argument would arise as to if it is right to look upon the clones as inferior, that clones are most likely to become enslaved or even worse harvested for organ transplants, these are both are cruel and very viable arguments, picture yourself being enslaved and having your organs taken just because you were cloned and not born naturally. I believe cloning is a great example of a terrible beauty but with all these scientific breakthroughs there are advantages and disadvantages. Cloning has been strongly suggested as it could benefit modern medicine. But even today, the full potential of stem cells has not yet been fully explored. The issue of the stem cells has led to controversy because embryos are generally used and they must be destroyed to allow for the use of its cells.
The question is Is this the right idea? Should embryos be destroyed? Many researchers believe that stem cells will eventually change the face of medicine as we know it. Given the fact that the cells can be manipulated to mimic other cell types, this can provide new methods in treating diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers. Cloning has also offered hope to many people who are in the waiting list for an organ transplant; usually people requiring organ transplants to survive an illness often wait years for a suitable donor. In many cases these patients die waiting, as there is a long list of people in the same situation and very few get the organs they so badly need. Another advantage of cloning would be the ability to protect endangered species.
Despite the best efforts of conservationists worldwide, some species are nearing extinction. The successful cloning of Dolly represents the first step in protecting endangered wildlife. This essay is titled A terrible beauty is born because although there is many advantages which could resolve the worlds most widely discussed problems which is indeed a beautiful thing it can also result in terrible outcomes such as the seemingly successful story of Dolly the sheep, it is fact that many embryos were destroyed before the desired result was achieved. The process began with 277 eggs and Dolly was the single successful outcome.
Another disadvantage of cloning is that cloning creates a copy of the original. A human clone for example would therefore inherit the genetic traits of its predecessor. I see cloning as a terrible beauty because surely it is an amazing breakthrough in the scientific research, but what if this breakthrough is abused as cloning, like so many other issues that have faced modern science must be carefully evaluated. There will always be detractors, those who feel that this method is playing God and this may not be too far from the truth however, any discussion on cloning must be looked at in the context of its inherent value to mankind.