|LAWS OF SCIENCE
Should Congress ban cloning through legislation?
February 24, 1998
in this forum:
How did you receive the news of Dr. Wilmut's success? Are any experiments with human clones are acceptable? Is cloning legislation necessary? Will cloning legislation be effective? Can legislation be flexible? Which legislative proposals do you support? Viewer comments.
January 8, 1998
Dr. Richard Seed announced he will go ahead with human cloning experiments.
December 29, 1997
A year-end report on remarkable changes in reproductive technology.
March 5, 1997
First a sheep was cloned, then a monkey, but if President Clinton has his way a human isn't next.
February 24, 1997:
Elizabeth Farnsworth leads a discussion of the science that lead to Dolly, the Scottish sheep cloned from another.
February 24, 1997:
Jim Lehrer discusses the ethics of cloning with a panel of bioethicists.
February 24, 1997:
A NewsHour background report on Dolly and cloning.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of science
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland report on cloning sheep.
The Genetics and Public Issues Program at The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) discusses cloning.
Discussion of Ethics and Social Issues in Gene Research at the Human Genome Project.
University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics
The Online NewsHour asks:
The scientific community is concerned that legislation can not be crafted that is flexible enough to allow live-saving research that many would find morally acceptable. Do you believe legislation is a fine enough instrument to regulate research in this area?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein responds:
Our legislation is carefully drafted to prohibit attempts to clone a human being, while not impeding other important research involving somatic cell nuclear transfer technology, and the cloning of cells, tissues, DNA and animals. Our legislation protects invaluable biological research in areas such as cancer, diabetes, skin grafts, bone marrow, while many of the other bills do not.
We believe that we have been prudent and judicious in drafting the legislation. In preparing this bill, Senator Kennedy and I, and our staffs, met with representatives from: The National Bioethics Advisory Commission; The National Institutes of Health; The American Society for Reproductive Medicine; The Biotechnology Industry Association; The Department of Health and Human Services; and the Food and Drug Administration. Included in the National Bioethics Advisory Commission were members of the religious and medical ethics communities. Many of the patient groups, major medical associations, and biomedical research organizations stated that if Congress is to pass human cloning ban, the Feinstein/Kennedy bill is the measure to pass, because it protects vital research while banning human cloning.
Sen. Kit Bond responds:
The fact is, our measure is very carefully and narrowly drafted so as NOT to affect ongoing life saving research. Further, we will set up a National Bioethics Commission, made up of a diverse group of people, to provide an independent, non-politicized forum for broad public participation and discourse on important bioethical issues, including cloning. This is important so that in the future Congress does not have to step in and legislate each time an ethically questionable research technique is developed.
Prof. Alta Charo responds:
Yes. In this case, a bright line can and should be drawn between research that involves transferring a cloned embryo into a woman's body and all other research. The former leads to making a baby, which should be the subject of a moratorium. The latter encompasses all the forms of stem-cell and embryo research that many scientists wish to protect.