|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:
Currently proposed legislation ranges from a total ban in experiments involving human clones to a ban on the implantation of cloned embryos into a woman's uterus. What do you believe are the key differences between these proposals, and which measures do you support?
Sen. Kit Bond responds:
The legislation I have introduced with Senators Frist and Gregg would ban cloning of human embryos, but would permit important research such as gene therapy, cloning of DNA, molecules, cells, tissues, plants and animals, stem cell research, and other work to continue. The Feinstein/Kennedy bill would permit the cloning of human embryos, which I find reprehensible, but ban their implantation. Their legislation sets up a situation where human embryos MUST be discarded or destroyed after they are experimented on in order to remain in compliance with the law!
Prof. Alta Charo responds:
I support those measures that temporarily ban the transfer of cloned embryos into a woman's body, as this preserves the freedom to do necessary medical research while guarding against premature experiments to make a baby.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein responds:
The Feinstein/Kennedy bill, the Bond/Frist bill, and measures passed by House Committees all would prevent the production of a human being by cloning. In the case of the Bond/Frist bill and House Committee-passed measures, the cloning technique itself would be banned whether or not it is used to create a human being. The Feinstein/Kennedy bill bans the implantation of the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer into a woman's womb, which is necessary for creation of a human being.
The House bills and the Bond/Frist bill would prevent vital medical research into catastrophic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, therapies for muscular dystrophy and heart disease, spinal cord injuries, and skin grafts. Our bill would firmly ban human cloning, but would protect this vital research. That is why virtually every patient group, major medical association, and biomedical research organization -- including 27 Nobel Laureates -- opposed passage of the Bond/Frist bill at this time. Many of these groups 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. The Senate responded by sending both of these bills to Committee for the thoughtful, deliberation consideration they deserve.