Leon Kass, former Chair of The President’s Council on Bioethics, writes in the Weekly Standard on why it is time to ban human cloning, and how to go about doing it.
Despite the president’s numerous calls for action, we remain the only major nation in the high-tech world that cannot summon itself to ban human cloning, thanks to the standoff over the embryo issues. Fortunately, science has given Congress another chance to act. In the last six months, the scientific landscape has changed dramatically. On the one hand, the need for anti-cloning legislation is now greater than ever; on the other hand, there are reasons why a new approach can succeed.
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First, it now makes great sense to beef up federal support for regenerative medicine, prominently featuring ramped-up work with iPSCs (and other non-embryo-destroying sources of pluripotent human stem cells).
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Second, we should call for a legislative ban on all attempts to conceive a child save by the union of egg and sperm (both taken from adults).
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Third, the time is also ripe for a separate bill to defend nascent life, by setting up a reasonable boundary in the realm of embryo research. We should call for a (four- or five-year) moratorium on all de novo creation — by whatever means — of human embryos for use in research.