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A look at the benefits of human cloning

  1. A House of Lords select committee set up last year to examine claims that cloning embryos was unnecessary has decided that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority HFEA can issue research licences. If they were terminally ill and the only way to treat them was to use this type of thing I'm sure they'd jump at the opportunity to be cured.
  2. I think all we're going to need to do is to wait for the hundred or so babies who have been created by that foreign doctor... Cloning should be allowed but legislated by authorities.
  3. Silicone breast implants and other cosmetic procedures that may cause immune disease could soon be over because of the technology associated with cloning. If the answer is no, then stop and find a natural cure for what it is that ails you.

Monday, 4 March, 2002, 11: Scientists have been given the go-ahead by the House of Lords to clone human embryos for research. A House of Lords select committee set up last year to examine claims that cloning embryos was unnecessary has decided that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority HFEA can issue research licences. Supporters of the research believe scientists should be allowed to use human embryos to find ways of regenerating tissues such as nerves, muscle and cartilage to treat the elderly and disabled.

But anti-abortion campaigners believe equally effective treatments could be developed using adult cells.

  • Some of the arguments put forward against this technology are scientifically incorrect;
  • Cloning can allow us to better understand and create superior cures for those diseases;
  • Pack in your hypocrisy and learn to see what benefits this research can bring to us all and our children in the future;
  • We are talking about human life, for many of us created in the image of God.

The committee's approval enables the HFEA, the body that regulates embryology research in Britain, to issue licences to begin experimenting with human material almost immediately. Do you agree with the House of Lords select committee's decision?

Do you think doctors should be allowed to clone humans? This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below. Your reaction Pack in your hypocrisy and learn to see what benefits this research can bring to us all and our children in the future. John Gallagher, England It's all very well for the pro-life and anti-abortion brigade to jump on another "It's all wrong" bandwagon.

But before they do this they should look at the benefits stem cell and cloning research can bring. I have diabetes to a family history stretching back at least three generations.

All this research may not find a cure for me, but it may well be prevent or cure diabetes in my two young children should they ever develop this miserable condition. What most of the "anti" brigades must realise is that the medicines they use without thinking were probably developed from practices that may well have been awful and from what they would describe as barbaric research over the last couple of thousand years.

With that in mind would they stop taking medicines that would keep them alive? Pack in your hypocrisy and learn to see what benefits this research can bring to us all and our children in the future. John Gallagher, England Darren UK - you say "We need to find other ways of doing this" and then you go on to say that doing anything to stop diseases is going against the law of nature.

So a look at the benefits of human cloning exactly is your "Other way of doing things"? Doing nothing, I presume. Let's hope you never contract an illness that needs scientific research! Simon Moore, UK People create many wonderful and great things with the best intentions; it's when people with the worst intentions get hold of them that problems happen.

Image a world where Bin Laden could have an endless supply of suicide bombers. The value of human life would be reduced even further than it is today. Neil C, UK If God has given us the power to understand the code in which he created us, do you think he intends us to bury this knowledge or use it for the most noble of purposes: Thom Leggett, UK To the religious zealots: Ever since we learnt how to make fire there was the potential for arson so how can we draw the line here?

Thom Leggett, UK Human embryos contain stem cells which have the ability to generate all types of tissue. Research in this area is long overdue and may lead to cures for all sorts of dreadful diseases like cancer, MS and Motor neurone disease.

Finally, there is no progress without change.

Gilly, UK I have read the above comments with great interest. I think what is important at the moment, for both sides of the argument to see, is not whether we should allow cloning to go ahead or not - it is going to happen. Step back and accept it. What we need to do is bring it into the open and not let it be done in secret without regulation and control. The way forward is being open-minded and realistic without allowing ignorance and fear to drive research behind doors.

Morals and ethics will go out of the window if that happens. Ashley Beniston, Scotland Science has done much more to improve the quality of life than religion ever has Anonymous, UK How many of the people writing comments here understand any biology at all? Judging by the comments, not many. People need to understand something before they judge it. Some of the arguments put forward against this technology are scientifically incorrect.

For example, using different mitochondrial DNA does not mean a person will have medical problems. This has not caused any problems. There are legitimate problems with a look at the benefits of human cloning technology, but I don't think any of them have been mentioned here.

Surely that goes to show how little people understand about science. Furthermore, the attitude that science only causes problems, as expressed by some people here, is blatantly wrong. You could not sit here and type on the computer, in a house with electricity, enjoy hot water everyday, eat cheap food, live to old age, and do many other things without science.

Science has done much more to improve the quality of life than religion ever has. I agree with the need for regulation, but blaming science for all of society's ills is ungrateful. Anonymous, UK I feel destroying live embryos is sinful and immoral. It should not be done, especially when someone's own tissue can be used to produce almost the same result.

Tonk21, USA I don't understand campaigners who try to stop this kind of thing. If they were terminally ill and the only way to treat them was to use this type of thing I'm sure they'd jump at the opportunity to be cured. As for cloning humans, it's going to happen eventually, we a look at the benefits of human cloning as well embrace it so we can control it. Gene manipulation is another benefit, whets wrong with making humans healthier? Tom, Liverpool, UK I think research using embryonic stem cells to create new tissue for the treatment of many diseases and possible cure of conditions such as paralysis, can only be a good thing but cloning a whole person??

I don't think so.

Human cloning claim adds to scientific, political controversy

I think all we're going to need to do is to wait for the hundred or so babies who have been created by that foreign doctor. I doubt many if any will be born normal. This technology is just still to hit and miss. Tracey, Wales I watched a documentary about the potential of cloning and genetics in general. The future that it lauded as so desirable contained a great number of 150-year-olds and hardly any youngsters.

I wouldn't want to live that long. Surely I'm not the only one? When will all these doctors and researchers realise that extending lifespan should not be their everlasting goal. Ross Marnie, UK What is the relationship etiquette when one finds out that one's significant other is a clone? Anthony Stephenson, USA I think that if we think of this issue from a distant, metaphysical, standpoint, we can be sure that whatever can happen will happen.

Look at it from a contemporary, practical, standpoint and we see that whatever might generate wealth for huge pharmo-medical companies will also happen. So, the issue is "Why" and "Where do we go from here with all these clones around?

Cloning: How, why ... and why not

I have a hard enough time coming to terms with rats and other lab animals being subjected to horrendous torture in the name of science and our own selfish survival, let alone putting human embryos through the same.

What's to stop the scientists taking this one step further than the embryo?

And let's not ignore the inevitable! This will end up in the wrong hands.

Leave well alone is my advice. To continue is to push mankind's interference with the natural world way too far. What has happened to peoples' beliefs that GOD created us?

There are so many flaws in Darwinian beliefs that it beggars belief that people have been so sucked into this load of old rubbish. Let's get back to having some kind of standards. Christopher Curtis, England Is there any argument against cloning that isn't at heart a religious one?

Human Cloning, Genetic Engineering and Privacy

Bernard, UK Is there any argument against cloning that isn't at heart a religious one? And don't give the answer about the "inherent sanctity of life" - that is a religious argument no matter how much you argue it isn't! If the only arguments are religious ones then let's admit this and stop pretending we are other than religious fundamentalists being ruled by an interpretation of a religious text of dubious provenance.

Bernard, UK Most of the 'antis' cite religion to justify their beliefs. Yet thousands of living, breathing people die and suffer every day because of religious violence just read the news.

Please, for once will the religious stop worrying about the rights of clumps of cells and start defending the rights of living men, women and children?

Kyle, Australia I object strongly to Alpha Iota's equation of scientific progress to money. There is NO link. Science is the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Engineering and technology may be different, but pure scientific research is NOT money based. And to those who tell us that this is against nature.

If we didn't find ways around nature we'd still all be dying in our 40's. I just don't see why people think that nature is inherently good, just like I object to people who believe science is inherently bad. Chris B, England They are children. You may use crafty reason to convince yourself otherwise, but they are children Carl, USA They are children. You may use crafty reason to convince yourself otherwise, but they are children. We do not a look at the benefits of human cloning decide to euthanize elderly people because they have the 'potential' to die at any given moment.

No, we provide every benefit to them in order to preserve their lives. Yet, when it comes to the most vulnerable group of humans, unborn babies, we actively murder them in name of a woman's choice or we murder them in the name of scientific advancement.

It is a tragic moment in history when women determine their freedom by the right to murder their unborn child.