British Polls Show Conflicting Results on Hybrid Human Cloning Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Polls Show Conflicting Results on Hybrid Human Cloning Research

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 13
, 2008

London, England ( — Polls of Britons show conflicting results on whether they support hybrid human cloning research that involves the infusing of animal and human DNA. A new London Times poll with suggests popular support for the cloning process but a previous survey of Scotland residents finds strong opposition.

The Times’ poll, conducted by the Populus firm, found 50 percent of British residents okaying the research while 30 percent are opposed to it.

Members of the British Parliament could use the results in their bid to get the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill approved in the House of Commons next month. The measure would provide scientists already engaged in the hybrid human cloning practice with firm legal ground for their research.

However, the poll also found opposition from the British public for another section of the bill that includes the removal of the requirement for a father in fertility treatment.

Just 32 percent back that idea while another 40 percent are opposed.

The results differ with those from a previous survey of opinion in Scotland, conducted for the Catholic church by the Opinion Research Business.

That poll found 67% of the 1005 polled opposed to hybrid human cloning and another 64 percent opposed to the changes in fertility treatments.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of Scotland’s Catholics, told the Daily Record newspaper he was pleased with the results.

"I am delighted to see that the overwhelming majority of people, like me, are completely opposed to the creation of animal-human hybrids," he said. "I sincerely hope that Gordon Brown and all our MPs will take notice of this result."

O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, has made a video in which he opposes hybrids and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. It has been posted on the web at YouTube.