by Steven Ertelt
November 2, 2006
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Over two dozen experts in science, medicine, law and ethics have released a joint open letter saying that Missouri’s Amendment 2 endorses human cloning, despite claims from its supporters to the contrary. They say Missouri voters are being misled into thinking that it actually prohibits human cloning when the opposite is true.
"Amendment 2 creates a constitutional right for researchers to engage in human cloning. Efforts to deny this are misleading and deceptive," they write. "As individuals who have studied this issue in depth, we hold that it clearly authorizes and promotes human cloning."
In their letter, the experts conclude, "the people of Missouri should know what they are actually voting on."
The signers include experts in embryology, microbiology and maternal/fetal medicine, as well as past and present members of the President’s Council on Bioethics and several founding members of Do No Harm: the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics.
"A number of us have served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, which discussed human cloning extensively and issued a book-length report, Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry (2002). While the Council members disagreed sharply on moral and policy issues surrounding human cloning, they all agreed on what it is," they write.
"Human cloning is the asexual production of a new living organism, at any stage of development, that is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human being. It is done through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)," they explained.
They said that Amendment 2 authorizes the SCNT procedure and limits the state legislature from putting any reasonable limits in place on human cloning.
"In fact, the amendment creates a statewide constitutional right to conduct such human cloning, so competing ethical or human safety considerations, or other state laws, cannot meaningfully limit the research community’s right to do human cloning," they said.
The letter includes signatures from leading medical professors at top universities including Oregon Health & Science University, Louisiana State, Harvard University, University of Utah School of Medicine, Princeton University, University of Oklahoma, and the Georgetown Medical Center.
The text of the letter can be found here.