Cloning America

There have been many days when I’ve wished I could clone myself. In my own thoughts I secretly desire to have a “twin mommy” to help me with the cooking, cleaning, and of course taking care of the kids. My “twin” could even maybe go to the gym for me (ha-ha)! It would be the perfect set up.

I think most of us would like to make a clone of ourselves for the pure advantage that we could double our time and efforts in this crazy, busy world. But have you ever thought about those with “incurable” diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even Diabetes. What does cloning mean to us?

You might have heard that this past week human cloning actually became possible. Scientists at a California biotechnology company Stemagen Corp. indeed made the first U.S. human cloned embryo. The Boston Globe reports, “No other scientific group has documented the cloning of an adult human cell, much less been able to grow it to blastocyst stage," said Andrew J. French, Stemagen’s chief scientific officer and lead author of the research.”

Needless to say, the scientific world is very excited because this breakthrough that could possibly lead to a cure for countless diseases. The Boston Globe also reports, “Scientists believe that stem cells may hold the key to curing a huge array of human ailments, from heart disease to severe spinal-cord injury. Despite breathtaking recent advances in creating "embryonic-like" stem cells through relatively simple genetic reprogramming techniques using ordinary adult tissue, there is wide agreement among researchers that stem cells obtained from human embryos are necessary for research and possible cures.”

However, as exciting as that is, the religious part of the world is in an upheaval. In an article published by Reuters it states, “The Vatican on Friday condemned the cloning of human embryos, calling it the "worst type of exploitation of the human being". This ranks among the most morally illicit acts, ethically speaking," said Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican department that helps oversee the Church’s position on bioethics issues. Sgreccia said the cloning research was unjustifiable. He also said it was unnecessary, given advances in similar research that bypasses the controversial use of embryos. “There isn’t even–I won’t say the justification, because it’s never justified–but not even the pretext of finding something (new).”

So, what do you think? Have you even given any thought or consideration to this issue? I’m not really sure what I think. A part of me is really excited to think I could be cured of my diabetes. Wow, that would be so great! I would guess if you asked anyone who was sick with any number of diseases that they would say “yes” to the possibility of being cured as well. I can’t imagine that anyone would pass up that opportunity (certainly not me). It’s like being given back your life.

On the other side, we can ask ourselves, “Is it morally and ethically right to use human embryos to create the stem cells needed that might possibly give us back our health?” Perhaps, but if we were truly living a healthy lifestyle (physically, spiritually, and mentally) we wouldn’t be plagued with as many diseases that do exist. I can’t quite come to terms with all of this.

Are we playing God? My husband and I were talking about that question, and he brought up the idea that it’s not actually creating new DNA, but rather taking the DNA that already exists and making a duplicate of what God has already created. Like putting a document in the printer and making copies. I thought that was certainly “food for thought.” Although it doesn’t make sense that a lot of embryos (life) have to die in order to achieve our “perfect” state of health.

Perhaps it does all come down to one’s religion after all. We should be looking to God for healing, not man. Some more “food for thought.” Romans 5:21 says, “So, just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (New Living Translation)

So, maybe we will or maybe we won’t find the cure to all of mankind’s ills. Maybe it’s all about trusting in God to make us complete instead of trusting in the findings of man. No matter the outcome, I trust that God is doing and will do everything according to His plan. If that means that I must wait until I enter the “Golden Gates” to find perfect healing, I know I’m O.K. with that!