Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Multiplicity, and I don't mean the movie!

We have all heard of the sheep that were cloned a few years ago.
What do you think of cloning humans?
I am not talking about the movie Multiplicity, with Michael Keaton. I am talking about real life human cloning!
Woo Suk Hwang, a trained veterinarian, gained worldwide attention after announcing last year that his team had cloned the world’s first human embryos and extracted stem cells from them.

Since then, there were rumors that he used eggs donated by subordinate scientists in his lab. Scientists have said that collecting eggs from an employee is unethical because of the potential for subordinates to feel coerced.

So, after Hwang was accused of ethics violations, he apologized to the public, acknowledging that two junior scientists working for him voluntarily donated their own eggs for his research.

There had been plans to open cloning centers in San Francisco and London. But U.S. support for the effort is waning in the wake of the egg donation allegations. Earlier this month, a University of Pittsburgh researcher pulled out of his partnership with Hwang’s research team, citing ethical concerns.

Hwang’s apology came after the Health Ministry said earlier that an ethics investigation at Seoul National University found the two junior scientists gave their own eggs for research. However, the ministry said the donations were not in violation of ethics guidelines because they were made voluntarily. As the scientists’ egg donations were neither “coerced or coaxed” nor “aimed at making profit,” there has been “no violation of ethics guidelines,” Health Ministry spokesman Choi Hee-joo told a news conference. Hwang said he would continue his research at Seoul National University.

I am all for advancement in medical technology, but I find it strange that the only part of this they find unethical is the manner in which the eggs are donated.

What do you guys think?

39 comments:

Adam Nussdorfer & Martin Bundsen said...

We agree, you have a cool blog! we like it a lot. more than a lot of blogs!

adam nussdorfer & martin bundsen

The Appalachianist said...

I disagree with human cloning. I don't see it as being bnefivcial to the human race. The world can't be full of di do's. God created a system(So I beleive)what's wrong with that?

Lee Ann said...

Adam & Martin ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for the kind words, I hope to see you here more often. I went to your site, but I can't read it :(

Int ~ I think you have very valid points. I would have to agree.

Gyrobo said...

If Star Wars has taught us anything, it's that cloning will ultimately result in some kind of "clone war".

Fred said...

and that the greatest autobot of them all, optimus prime, will retutn and destroy them all. clones suck, theres something overwhelmingly creepy about it all. cones on the other hand, are pretty cool.

Lee Ann said...

gyro ~ haha, you could be right!

fred ~ cones...hummm as in coneheads or icecream cones? ;)

Alecia said...

I honestly don't have a formed opinion at this point. But the post was good, thought provoking. I'm going to continue thinking on it, and wrap my brain around all of it. I'll let ya know if I come up with a valid thought. haha.

Booty J Patrol said...

I have no issues with cloning, but frankly I don't see any point to cloning a whole human being. Parts, yes. I'd love to get a new pancreas when this one goes to shit.

But I figure the only use of a whole human clone is imortality, and if someone is so damn perfect, then they would be imortal already, right? So since we know they aren't perfect, they might as well achive imortality through breeding, in the hopes of combining their (almost perfect) genetic material with another and producing a more robust gene pool.

I think I just made the act of mating seem very clinical. :)

Kay Ray said...

I only agree with it if they only clone me :) I think that would be cool as shit!!

Lee Ann said...

Alecia ~ It is thought provoking and there are many different opinions out there. I put this out there to hear what people think, I find it very interesting.

Booty ~ Yes, you did make it sound clinical. But, I think in reference to this post, it is appropriate. You made some very good points.

Lee Ann said...

Kay Ray ~ haha....
I have thought many times how cool it would be to have a twin, I guess that is pretty close!

Edge said...

Oh Lord, you're opening the can of whoop a$$ now aren't you?

I don't think it's right. too much shaking our fist at God like Lt. Dan in Forest Gump.

I posted on this. It's fraught ( fraut sp?) with pot holes. See Here

There is too much room for mad scientist syndrome, over population, mass manipulation and we don't have a clue about what kinds of things we are getting into with life span or disease. Then there is the social issues of who is really the father/mother, who is responsible for them.

The Nazis tried a similar experiment in WWII called the Lebensborne experiment. Horribly failed and many of the remaining children are now emotional wrecks.

Clone your dog, clone your pony, but leave your kid out of it.

~Jef

Lee Ann said...

Jef ~ I know this one is controversial to say the least.
I would have to agree with what you say. I am sure there are many people that would disagree.
Like I said, I am all for advancement in medical technology, but this....
Remember our first test tube babies, that was a very controversial subject as well.

Gyrobo said...

I find it odd that it's perfectly legal to clone dogs, but cloning money gets you arrested.

angel, jr. said...

As a physician to be, I don't find the donation and use of eggs in violation of any ethics.

However, I do find the use of human embryo in violation of any medical oath I took. As a physician, I took an oath to preserve life. While studying medicine, I've come to realize that life begins with the meeting of sperm and egg.

Lee Ann said...

gyro ~ monkeys huh?

angel ~ Very good point!
In this story, it seemed their main concern was "who" donated the eggs! I found that to be a little odd considering the content of the subject.

Troubador said...

At this point, I am opposed to cloning for many different reasons, and probably more when I think about it.

My biggest problem would be that with any experiment, there are always errors. What happens to the clones that simply aren't put together properly?

I also beleive that there is something sacred about the beginnings of life, and that there is a reason why a man and woman must come together to form another person. I beleive that the person that is formed is in the image of God. A clone, by definition as merely a copy, and copies by definition have flaws.

Lastly, I would have to question the motivation behind cloning. If the answer is that we need the clones to farm body parts, surely there is another way. If the answer is that we need to breed out genetic flaws in people, that flies in the face of natural selection, and in my mind, God's plan. If the answer is, that we need another Mozart, or Van Gogh, or Curie, or Salk, or whomever, I must ask what guarantees we have that the cloned person will have the same abilities.

This is not something we need to be doing with our limited understanding.

Lee Ann said...

troubador ~ I think you have excellent points.
I love and totally agree with what you said..."something sacred about the beginnings of life, and that there is a reason why a man and woman must come together to form another person."
And, you are right about our limited understanding.

Edge said...

Test tube babies is one thing. That's helping people conceive who are having problems. This is not just helping people get pregnant. This is creating humans from dandruff; totally different. The moral and ethical issues are much greater.

If we don't stop this we run the risk of many criminal activities.

~Jef

Lee Ann said...

Jef ~ You are right. I totally agree.
I was just recalling how controversial the test tube babies were when it first happened. I think that has been a marvelous thing.
I don't think I will ever agree with the cloning of humans, no matter what the reason.
Good point.

Gyrobo said...

Not monkeys, money. Counterfeiting. Cloning is like counterfeiting your soul. Because that's where your soul lives- in your DNA.

Lee Ann said...

gyro ~ hahahha, I can't believe I misread that! That makes much more sense!
*giggle*

Gyrobo said...

I knew I should've gone with "cash". It's easier to write, too. Instead, I had to go with a word that's really close to "monkey". The whole joke is ruined! Ruined, I tells ya!

Oh, well. There are worse things.

Lee Ann said...

gyro ~ Trust me, your word was fine. That is what I get for doing this at work.....trying rush!
Promise I can read! ahahha

Neo said...

Lee Ann -Two Neo's, hmmmm that might be fun. Especially if I could feel what the clone was doing. hehehehehe

Btw, JBI is back!

hotboy said...

I'm getting a clone as soon as I can. I'll tell it that as soon as I see it with a cigarette, I'll chop off one of his fingers. Also, I'll force him to meditate for hours every day or he's not getting fed. I could make me a much better person, but I started a bit late. Hotboy

Becky said...

Excellent point, they find it controversial how they get the egg, but not that they are trying to clone a human being..... I don't know, I guess it's wrong, I'm not sure what my thoughts are on it. But I would love to be cloned!

Bethany said...

I think the whole idea is disturbing to me.. Its cool that we've made this discovery and scientists have figured this out... but at the same time I don't think its nessicary in any means. I also believe God created a system and it should be left at that.

Fred said...

It's a slippery slope. I think it's just plain wrong to clone anything. If this gets in the wrong hands, it's going to be a major problem.

Ellen said...

Very controversial indeed!
I rather like the answers of Jef, as it seems there are too many questions out there. The one problem with medical technology is that the legal system has not caught up to it yet... no definite guidelines to go by. Besides, that "mad scientist" theory truly scares me.

robmcj said...

Scientists and ethics don't often go together.

" ... neither coerced nor or coaxed ... " - I almost reached for the dictionary to look up the verb co-axe (to cooperate on chopping something up?)

Come to think of it, it's the same problem with politicians and ethics. And realestate agents and ethics. Is there any profession that is known for its ethics?

Frank The Tank said...

I'm all for it... i think cloning may be a great way to find cures for deadly diseases. As far as a question of ethics...there is always a debate about the advancement of science. Espeically from fundamentalist religious groups. The thing to remember is that this country was founded on the belief of seperation of church and state, therefor religious beliefs should play no part in policy making. I say clone away!

Dave Morris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave Morris said...

No comment. I better just shaddup.

Lee Ann said...

Neo ~ I will be over to check it out.

Hotboy ~ Hey, that's an idea!

Becky ~ I think you are the only one that read that part! haha

Bethany ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. I completely understand what you are saying. I hope you will come by again.

Fred ~ Yes, I agree. There is potential problems in that instance.

Ellen ~ Yes, I think you have the same idea that Fred has.

Rob ~ definitely good point.

Frank ~ Thanks for that point of view. I think we need a lot more information on this subject.

Dave ~ Ah, the diplomat. I completely understand.

jiggs said...

If I had access to stem cells, I'd make them grow me a new man-sized wiener. Then I'd get a wiener transplant. I don't care how many clones they have to make and kill! I want a bigger wang!

Also 4AM, Lee Ann? You're up late! Or are you awake very early?

Calzone said...

If I had two of your asses I would have so much pillowy goodness to lay my head on at night.

Lee Ann said...

Jiggs ~ haha, you don't need to worry about that, you already have what it takes! I am up at 6am...I believe we are two hours ahead of you!

Calzone ~ Ah baby, you sure would! Hey! how did you know that?

Goan Pao said...

Cloning is disgusting...
Introduce me to one person who is satisfied with himself/herself..one person who everybody likes...
well that means cloning will just bring about more sadness and hatred...
I dont think that currently there is any human worth cloning..so i prefer the natural way hoping procreation introduces more interesting people into this world..;)