Doctor From Italy Claims to Have Made Three Babies Using Human Cloning Method

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Doctor From Italy Claims to Have Made Three Babies Using Human Cloning Method

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 3
, 2009

Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Severino Antinori, an OBGYN known for his controversial medical work, claims to have created three babies using human cloning. He says the three are now older and living in eastern Europe, but he appeared to provide no proof to back up his claims of reproductive cloning success.

"I helped give birth to three children with the human cloning technique," Antinori told the weekly newspaper Oggi. "It involved two boys and a girl who are nine years old today. They were born healthy and they are in excellent health now."

He said "respect for the families’ privacy does not allow me to go further."

Antinori did not prove his claims but said he used cells from three sterile fathers to carry out the cloning procedures.

He said he used the cloning process called "nuclear transfer" to create the babies. If his claims are true, they would represent the first people born using this reproductive cloning method.

The doctor, who was criticized for helping a 63-year-old woman have a baby in 1994, said the cloning process he used was an improvement on the one British scientists employed to create Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal.

Dolly was condemned by many observers as a complete failure in cloning science.
Dolly was finally created after 300 failed attempts, resulting in miscarriages and malformed offspring. Ultimately, the "successful" result, Dolly, aged too rapidly and had to be euthanized.

Those poor results, and the number of dog embryos that had to be killed to create Snuppy in South Korea, concern pro-life advocates who say that any human cloning attempts will undoubtedly result in the death of hundreds, if not thousands, of unborn children.

Cloning is illegal in Italy and Antinori would face potential charges if his claims are found to be credible.

In 2004, the Italian parliament approved a reproductive technology law an in attempt to reign in runaway sciences that threaten human life or present ethical concerns in the world of fertility medicine.

The law bans the use of donor sperm, eggs or surrogate mothers and restricts assisted fertilization to "stable" couples.

The bill targeted Antinori at the time it was approved.

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