"God does not place dice", said a great man once (Einstein on the subject of chance). What about dice when man plays god? Even though cloning of mammals from fetal cell has been going on for over twenty years, Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute sparked a revolution when he cloned Dolly, using the nucleus from the cell of an adult sheep that had died three years earlier. The first time that a genetically identical mammal had been created from an adult cell. Anyhow, Wilmut is against the cloning of humans due to the high failure rate. It took the Roslin institute 277 tries to succeed with dolly. But then that is in the realms of a medical laboratory.

What is it that pricks the conscience of the common man? First of all it clashes with the beliefs of nearly every predominant religion which holds life as sacred. Being able to clone even something as unassuming as human cells and tissues for research questions the role of god and is deemed unethical due to that very reason. More morbid visions include those of farms where humans are "cultivated" in the search for better and stronger life or merely as brainless organ donors. Labs where babies are cloned for childless couples. But then how is it that despite all these drawbacks, governments are giving the go ahead to various research centers. One of the most publicized event is when on December 19, 2000, at the behest of Prime Minister Tony Blair, the British Parliament passed legislation to allow the cloning of human beings under the strict provision that ALL of these cloned human beings MUST be killed.

Certain scientists (pro lifers tend to term all such people as eugenicists or people who believe that only people with a better life quality than others should be allowed to live) feel that if cloning is allowed up to the extent of cloning tissues, cells and DNA it could be beneficial to humans. They say this in the context of finding cures for diseases, which have previously alluded us. But then again what guarantees are we assured of that this won't escalate into a full-fledged production of human clones? After all if history has taught us anything it is this that humans tend to exploit and ravage any new idea till they have drained it of all its productivity. Then we latch onto something new to satisfy our hunger for dominance. A parasitic sort of existence.

Its pessimistic to dismiss all advances in the field of cloning just because you've seen a couple of horror films that show clones going berserk and killing everybody. Given the reign and kept within the confines of humanitarian laws, we could well be on our way to finding cures for diseases that have plagued us for so long. Is it really that simple because it's a well known fact that laws have a tendency to bend and twist when they chances upon power and the big greens.

With growing concern over the decadence of human morality, we are faced with a future where ethics have become a subject of situational debate and where the opinion of those who matter is buried under the pretext of advancing science. What place then for a god when we can manufacture and assign bar codes to humans. Or for that matter, just pull the plug.

{{This is what "ALOQUE" had to say}}:

if i had to save my mother with a cloned heart transplant, i would.

when we made medicines, did we intend for some people to use them as poison, to use viruses as weapons of mass destruction?

when we discovered fire, did we give precedence to arsonists? when we built the world wide web, did we make it for psycho stalkers or peverse pedophiles?

there are always going to be sick self involved bastards in this world. does this mean that all progress has to take them into consideration? aren't more lives benefitting from progress rather than losing out?

however, cloning entire beings reflects an extreme that should not be pursued out of pure curiosity. as long as progress is aimed at making better, the problems we have, its justified.
its not up to us to make a genetically being who might end up just as twisted as any other person out there.

[Posted by aloque on Monday May 24, 2004 at 2:55 pm]

{{This is what "JLU" had to say}}

pro lifers tend to term all such people as eugenicists or people who believe that only people with a better life quality than others should be allowed to live I haven't considered myself to be a pro-lifer neither have I known this term 'eugenicist' - but after reading the above, I fear what a 'eugenicist' could do. We already see the world tilted heavily in favor of the so-called 'special' or 'gifted' individuals...... all rules framed to benefit them at the cost of the other not-so-privileged majority. Maybe I'm just viewing the issue from my ideological persepective...... instead of taking a constructive attitude. But, well, all kinds make this world (diversity)..... at least till 'eugenicis'(??) takes over and becomes the order of the day, when the world will have only the best and the super best.

PS - Glad to be participating in this discussion :) AR, why do you have to maintain that other blog? :D

[Posted by JLU on Saturday May 29, 2004 at 10:49 am

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After the overwhelming response to this blog, I have decided to add another post. Problem is I can only think when it gets real dark inside my head. And since it still seems to be a little bright, I have given sarcasm the front row seat in the labyrinth of my cyclically retarded psyche. As is evident from the first sentence.

Moving along..........

Current Music: Hum honga kamyab
I wanted to start an open forum for the simple reason that for a great many reasons one cannot really express their opinions “completely” on the discussion boards. This blog was started with the aim of discussing issues without the encumbrance of censorship. The problem with opinions on the db’s is that they have to be toned down and that sorta takes away the punch from ‘em. So if and only if you have something productive or constructive to add, do so, otherwise go climb a tree. This obviously is not gonna stop people from splattering their shit all over the place but then there is a certain indivisible hope that they will stick to the basic format. Regardless of whether a topic has been dissected enough or not one can start another topic but a few pointers here and there for newbies would be helpful.

After giving this considerable thought (about a month), I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m gonna post all the replies I get in the form of who-said-what…. So that would mean that your replies have to encompass everything you feel about the topic at hand… And then I’ll copy and post them on the main page of my blog… that way people don’t have to go to the comments section everytime there is an addition. Hopefully the idea that’s been playing hell with me will take shape eventually. I would have made a separate id but then there are many disadvantages to it. I hope this isn’t as confusing as I have made it seem.

Let the growth begin…

In today’s fascism tainted society we see that morals and ethics are issues that can be bent and manipulated. This seems to have cemented its roots in the tiny fabric of society that is perpetually open to its absolute refinement. Ethical issues are best avoided because they bring to light a very touchy aspect of our very existence, God. Or rather the presence or absence of a God.

Euthanasia and Cloning are two of the highly controversial medical and ethical subjects plaguing today's society. For the time being I’m going to restrict myself to discussing Euthanasia. About 400 B.C. - The Hippocratic Oath (By the "Father of Medicine' Greek physician Hippocrates) "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel"

According to the Bantam Medical dictionary, Euthanasia is defined as the act of taking life to relieve suffering. This is further classified into two types, Voluntary and Compulsory euthanasia. In Voluntary Euthanasia the sufferer asks for measures to be taken to end his life. This may be accomplished by active steps, usually the administration of a drug, or by Passive Euthanasia - the deliberate withholding of treatment. In Compulsory Euthanasia society or a person acting on authority gives instructions to terminate the life of a person, such as an infant, who cannot express his wishes.

In no country is either Voluntary or Compulsory Euthanasia legal, although many organizations exist to promote the cause of Voluntary Euthanasia. And now that the technicalities are out of the way, we come down to the subject of whether it is ethical or not. To get the basics straight, taking a life is a crime, under any pretext. To shelter it under the canopy of euthanasia is nothing but the bending of rules to correspond with the wishes of all involved. Is it ethical for a person or a group of individuals to take a life under the pretext of shielding the sufferer from more pain? Some think of it as assisted suicide. As is the case most patients when they reach a certain level of dependency, usually patients suffering from a terminal disease, they are incapable of making decisions on their own. To give them counsel that may end with them requesting for euthanasia is immoral. There are many reasons to rule out euthanasia as an alternative to a difficult case.

For one, euthanasia denies the patient the full benefit of medical help. Due to the inadequacy of proper health care and facilities euthanasia seems to be ticket out of a sticky situation. It gives doctors too much power and the excuse to back out of cases that are hard to treat. It violates the medical ethics as laid out by Hippocrates. It also changes the outlook of the general public towards the whole concept of health care and questions the expertise and knowledge of the physician. Further more promoting voluntary euthanasia is nothing but a step towards advocating involuntary euthanasia. If that is something, which is accomplished by the supporters of euthanasia, the sanctity of life, not to mention the medical practice, will invariably become obsolete.

Some organizations have taken the step towards legalizing euthanasia but this seen by the opposition as a step by the euthanasia advocates eradicating life of "poor quality". Just because a doctor can't hack it or there is no immediate cure for it doesn't mean that the patient should be put to death.

{{This is what "ALOQUE" had to say}}:

i am a doctor..not very experienced but a doctor none the less. and am glad to see that you've transformed yourself to 'Dr.' jekyll from the earlier entry!!

i totally agree with your views on this. i am an agnostic. i don't believe that i am playing 'god' or anything but i am a total believer in the power and beauty of life. and how somethings should always be beyond our control. i have seen many people on their death beds and at no point of time has it felt even remotely my duty to end suffering by ending life. my aim as a doctor is to end suffering, but when beyond my medical capability to do so, to forget i am a doctor and give him my empathy and understanding. my views on cloning are a natural extension of this line of thought.

feel free to use my reply in your blog. also keep them coming.

a point well made doesn't need to be in a coarse voice.

[Posted by aloque on Sunday May 16, 2004 at 10:00 am]

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