ABSTRACT

Human Cloning [Updated January 21, 2005]   [open pdf - 278KB]

"In February 2004 scientists in South Korea announced that they had created human embryos using cloning procedures and had succeeded in isolating human stem cells from a cloned embryo. In December 2002 a representative of Clonaid announced the overseas birth of the first cloned human to a 31-year-old American woman. Clonaid's claim remains unsubstantiated. These announcements have rekindled debate in the 108th Congress on the moral and ethical implications of human cloning as the disclosure by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) did in the 107th Congress. In November 2001 ACT announced the creation of the first cloned human embryos (which survived only for a few hours); the embryos were to be used to derive stem cells for medical research on disease therapies. President Bush announced in August 2001 that for the first time federal funds would be used to support research on human embryonic stem cells, but funding would be limited to 'existing stem cell lines.' Federal funds will not be used for the cloning of human embryos for any purpose, including stem cell research. The President's Council on Bioethics was established in November 2001 to consider all of the medical and ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation. In July 2002 the Council released its report on human cloning which unanimously recommended a ban on reproductive cloning and, by a vote of 10 to 7, a four-year moratorium on cloning for medical research purposes. The ethical issues surrounding reproductive cloning (safety, identity, and commodification, etc.), and therapeutic cloning (embryos' moral status, relief of suffering, and creation for destruction), impact various proposals for regulation, restrictions, bans, and uses of federal funding. President Bush announced in August 2001 that for the first time federal funds would be used to support research on human embryonic stem cells, but funding would be limited to 'existing stem cell lines.' Federal funds can not be used for the cloning of human embryos for any purpose, including stem cell research. In July 2002 the President's Council on Bioethics released its report on human cloning which unanimously recommended a ban on reproductive cloning and, by a vote of 10 to 7, a four-year moratorium on cloning for medical research purposes."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31358
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Publisher:
Date:
2005-01-21
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Copyright:
Public Domain
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pdf
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