Send in the Clones

Woman embracing her boyfriendRemember that 2005 movie, The Island? It stars Ewan MacGregor and Scarlet Johansson as clones among a colony of clones especially “manufactured” as custom sources of organs and body parts for their “original” versions, the sponsors. In this dystopian society of clones, they are taught that life’s purpose is to remain healthy in order to be able to repopulate the world, should the opportunity arise, in the form of a made-up raffle draw in which the prize is a trip to “the island”, where humans are rebuilding the world. But in reality, the raffle is merely a means to keep the clones in check and give them an aspiration. Should the a sponsor get old, sick, or get into an accident, and need organ transplants, blood transfusions, skin grafts, or possibly even bioidentical hormone therapy (click here to learn more), his or her clone “wins” the raffle, which is actually a cover story for an organ harvest.

What we have in the real world, in the present, are advances in cosmetics and skin care, and increasingly effective treatments for some of the diseases that ail people. But there are some that we haven’t found a cure for. Cloning may be the key to the fountain of youth or the ultimate longevity that many desire and work for.

Aging can be disguised, badly in some cases, but can never be prevented, really. Cancer can be treated, but with no guarantees. Mental and psychological afflictions such as schizophrenia and mental retardation can be managed but can never really be cured. And there are some global ailments that science and technology won’t be able to cure. In a more sociological and anthropological scale, there never really was a cure or prevention for wretched poverty, oppression, moral bankruptcy, war, and violence, as these are widespread conditions all over the world, whether in Tehran, Pnom Penh, or Omaha.

Whether these clones can be considered human or not, can society ever treat these living, breathing, sentient beings as mere sources of spare parts? But can we really use advances in genetics and medicine in this way? Can humanity go this far? The film presents this as a probable scenario in the near future.