Scientists Applaud United Nations Vote Calling for Human Cloning Ban

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scientists Applaud United Nations Vote Calling for Human Cloning Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 8, 2005

Rome, Italy ( — Scientists and ethicists gathered at a conference in Rome on human cloning applauded a vote by the United Nations to adopt a statement calling on nations around the world to ban all forms of human cloning.

The United Nations voted 84 to 34 Tuesday, with 37 abstentions, in favor of a non-binding proposal sponsored by Honduras and backed by the United States. The statements asks countries to "prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."

Two members of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics attended the Global State of Stem Cells and Cloning" conference and backed the UN vote.

Stanford professor Dr. William Hurlbut called the vote an "important decision."

"We need a global standard on which to ground our biotechnology — one that respects human dignity and opens positive prospects of scientific developments," he said.

Dr. Alfonso Gomez-Lobo of Georgetown University said he was "very happy to hear the outcome of this vote."

Allowing human cloning would be "passing a barrier that would be detrimental for humanity because in the name of our imposing a genome on other human beings we would be violating their dignity," Dr. Gomez-Lobo said.

Meanwhile, noted author and ethicist Wesley Smith said the UN vote "has powerfully demonstrated that naked science is not the be-all and end-all of the pursuit of human progress."

"The task for us now is to work together as a world community to develop a thriving and moral biotechnology sector that both alleviates human suffering and remains within proper ethical boundaries," Smith concluded.