United Nation’s Ethics Panel May Reconsider Call for Global Human Cloning Ban
by Steven Ertelt
October 17, 2008
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A United Nation’s bioethics panel may examine an effort to overturn the call for a global human cloning ban the United Nations issued in March 2005. After four years of debate on the issue of human cloning, the UN put its stamp of approval on a statement calling for countries to ban the practice.
In 2005 the General Assembly voted 84-37, with 37 nations abstaining and 36 absent, for the statement asking nations to prohibit the practice.
Now, the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO is expected to debate the issue on October 28 because some scientists say circumstances have changed and human cloning is necessary for research.
Recent technological developments and new prospects for the use of stem cells in the therapy of human diseases have once again raised the issue of adequacy of international regulations governing this research, an IBC working group set up at the request of UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a report in September.
The report complained that the 2005 call was to ban both reproductive and research cloning and in noted some nations voted no or didn’t vote at all because they wanted a ban on reproductive cloning but not the research variety.
Writing for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute’s Friday Fax publication, Samantha Singson discusses the upcoming meeting further.
She notes that a UNESCO working group on cloning that first met in July 2008 and concluded that in view of the scientific, social and political developments, the existing non-binding texts on human cloning are not sufficient to prevent human reproductive cloning.
Singson notes that both reproductive and research human cloning create a unique human being and that the person is killed in the research form.
"At the July meeting of the UNESCO working group, members attributed the confusion within the ethical debate between therapeutic and reproductive cloning to ‘differences in the status attributed to the human embryo in different cultures and societies,’" Singson writes.
"But it added that ‘the number of countries which have ethically accepted therapeutic cloning seems to have grown’ since the 2005 General Assembly declaration and that ‘considerable advancement made in the field of governance constitutes an important ethical and political change,’" she includes.
Singson says attempts to reopen the cloning debate started last year with the release of a UN University (UNU) report saying there should onl be a ban on reproductive human cloning. The report called that a compromise between no cloning ban or a ban on both forms.
In the Friday Fax publication, Singson concludes: "The IBC will decide at months end whether it is ready to present its opinion to the UNESCO Director-General, or whether to pursue further investigation on this issue."
Related web sites:
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute – https://www.c-fam.org
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