Dr. Koop and Researchers Call for Ban on All Human Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dr. Koop and Researchers Call for Ban on All Human Cloning

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 12, 2003

Chicago, IL (LifeNews.com) — Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and several researchers and ethicists have authored a seminal paper calling on Congress to ban all forms of human cloning.

The article, arguing that medicine should reject all forms of human cloning, both reproductive cloning as well as cloning for research, has been published in the latest Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal.

The authors say a ban on research cloning is needed to safeguard against instances of reproductive cloning. A partial ban would be unenforceable, and violations would often go unnoticed.

The pro-life community opposes both forms of cloning as do most elected officials. The debate in Congress is over whether to ban research cloning that involves the creation of human embryos simply to destroy them for embryonic stem cells.

Pro-cloning members of Congress favor a partial-ban only on reproductive cloning while pro-life groups seek a ban on both forms.

The House has passed a pro-life bill banning both forms, authored by pro-life Reps. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Bart Stupak (D-MI). The Senate has never voted on the issue of human cloning.

If cloned human embryos were produced for research purposes, appeals to compassion within the privacy of the physician-patient relationship would likely lead to their implantation, the authors say. A partial ban would eliminate only the language of reproductive cloning and would facilitate the type of cloning that it sought to prevent.

Pro-life groups applauded the paper’s authors for lending weight to their efforts to ban human cloning.

"Any form of human cloning not only poses serious ethical questions but threatens our entire humanity," Shane Wikfors, director of Arizona Right to Life, told LifeNews.com

"We strongly applaud the paper’s findings and hope the scientific and political community will take their recommendations in supporting a ban on all forms of human cloning."

The scientists also say allowing research cloning would run counter to U.S. jurisprudence regarding the treatment of human embryos and to the intent of ethical codes designed to protect human subjects in research.

They urge increased funding for adult stem cell research and other alliterative forms of research that don’t involve the destruction of human life.

Aside from Koop, some of the other authors include: William P. Cheshire, Jr., M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, Kevin T. FitzGerald, Ph.D., of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, and Nancy L. Jones, Ph.D. of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Read the paper at: https://www.mayo.edu/proceedings/2003/aug/7808c2.pdf