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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Twins, Infertility, and Cloning

On my brother's site they are discussing cloning and what is wrong with it.

What is Wrong with Cloning? Seriously.

Allahpundit asks:

What’s the problem? They’re no more genetically related than identical twins. In fact, they’re less related, since they’re being carried to term by a different mother, which means they have different mitochondrial DNA.

I’ve wondered the same thing for some time. Having the same genes does not make two people the same, and people who know identical twins know this better than most. I have three sisters, two of whom are identical twins (and one of those has a blog!). I can tell you that they are very different people.

I can see issues with genetic engineering, but I’m not particularly freaked out by them. I note that Allahpundit (who also isn’t bothered) is an athiest, and I’m an agnostic. Is this a religious thing?

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I have an identical twin and that my identical twin (M), our younger sister (H) and I have all had infertility issues. There are multiple IUI and IVF babies in our broods; two sets of fraternal twins, and only one of the babies born to the 3 of us was conceived "naturally".

When infertility treatments first started, people began asking if those babies conceived in a test tube would have souls. Of COURSE they do. The same as my twin sister and I do. We LOOK alike (see below) but are not the same people.

My identical twin, M.

Swizz...and yes, that is a head growing out of my neck. :o)

The same questions are being asked, now, about babies that are cloned. To me, a silly question, but to some a real moral dilemma.

The problems with cloning, as I see them, are:
1. The first humans that are cloned, even if lots of research is first done on animals, are likely to have some "issues" to deal with. Short life span only being one possibility. Is that fair to the person "created"?
2. Like sperm and egg donor legal problems, there will be even more legal problems with whose child was conceived. And how confusing will this be for the child?
3. "Creating" a baby, just for the sake of saving another human (harvesting of tissues and organs). Once that baby is conceived, they are a human in their own rights and deserve to have those rights protected...not abused for the sake of someone else.
4. Genetic issues. It's not a proven fact, but they have linked a higher incidence of genetic anomalies with IVF. How much more would there be with cloning? Should this keep us from doing it? (I can't say this has stopped ME from using IVF.)

Just a side note, what would we call these babies? I've always said "JMonster was an IVF baby." Just curious!

I'd love to hear what you folks think! Please keep all conversation civil and based on topic...not aimed at another commentator.


Dana said...

Hi Swizz, I commented at Patterico's on this this morning but thought about alot today. My bottom line hesitation is the problem with men and power: The risk of possible abuses is not to be taken lightly. We have seen and benefited from the gift of science and all it's discoveries but also have seen that knowledge in the hands of those with far less than honorable motive and purpose, wreaks unspeakable horrors. Is the risk worth it?
Are there times when 'no' is more appropriate because of the possible dangers and lack of necessity, than 'yes', just because we can?

Swizz said...

Dana, I tend to agree with you. I just have trouble with where that line is. And WHO is going to make the decision?