Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Experts Agree: Human Cloning is Unnecessary

Since the beginning of this effort (and even before), those who oppose efforts to prohibit human cloning have maintained that cloning human beings is necessary in the pursuit of lifesaving treatments and cures.

And as we continue to maintain: that assertion is totally false.

Well, as you know, over the last month, we have seen an overwhelming amount of media attention on the breakthrough announcement that scientists are able to “reprogram” ordinary skin cells to take on the properties of embryonic stem cells. This rather simple, safe and cost effective technique proves human cloning is neither necessary nor relevant in the search for lifesaving treatments and cures.

Following is a summary of just some of the media coverage of this scientific breakthrough over the past several weeks:

The new technique is so promising that on November 16, Ian Wilmut announced that he would no longer seek to clone humans. Wilmut, you may remember, is the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep. He recently sought and received a license from the British government to attempt to clone human embryos for research purposes. Now, citing the new technique, he has abandoned his plans. (“The End of the Stem Cell Wars,” Ryan T. Anderson, The Weekly Standard, November 27, 2007)

“We would not need human embryos or (eggs) to generate patient-specific stem cells – and therefore could bypass the ethical and political debates that have surrounded the field.” (“Field Leaps Forward With New Stem Cell Advances,” Gretchen Vogel and Constance Holden, Science, November 23, 2007)

“Two major scientific papers published this week in Science and Cell magazines unveil a proven way to generate patient-matched, human pluripotent stem cells without human cloning, and without the use of human embryos or human or animal eggs.” (“Stem Cell Breakthrough,” Maureen Condic and Markus Grompe, Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2007)

"Scottish researcher Ian Wilmut, famous for his role in cloning Dolly the sheep a decade ago, has said he is giving up the cloning approach to produce stem cells and
plans to pursue direct reprogramming instead.” (“Stem Cell Breakthrough Diffuses Debate,” Malcom Ritter, Associated Press, November 20, 2007)

“It should provide an unlimited supply of stem cells without the ethically controversial embryo destruction.” (“After Stem Cell Breakthrough, the
Work Begins,” New York Times, Andrew Pollack, November 27, 2007)
The evidence is overwhelming: in addition to being dangerous, unproven and unethical, human cloning is not necessary. We hope that opponents of a human cloning ban will now join us in seeking a common sense prohibition on the unnecessary practice of cloning human beings.

No comments: