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Subject: ETHI: Nuclear transfer in humans
From: Hans Goerl <GENETHICS@delphi.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 11:19:55 -0500

President Clinton this morning announced that he is directing all federal
agencies to impose a moratorium on all federal funding of research involving
human "cloning". He also called upon all private funders, including
foundations, disease-related organizations, universities and commercial
entitities to impose a similar moratorium.

Rep. Sensenbrenner, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Science
Committee, indicated this morning that he believes legislation banning human
cloning will be considered shortly.

One of the central issues in the debates which will ensue will be the age of
the donor organism.

Several questions which will undoubtedly come up in these debates in the US
and elsewhere are set forth for below for consideration and comment.

1. Assuming that legislation is enacted which bans the use of nuclear
transfer of human nuclei from humans of any age (two celled embryo through
corpse), what effect will that have upon the ultimate goal of most genetic
research, which is the elimination and cure of disease?

2. Are there scientific and medical arguments for the transfer of embryonic
or neonatal nuclei that are different from those involved in cloning as it
is popularly perceived, and do these arguments outweigh the grave moral and
ethical concerns which surround artificial genetic reproduction of adults?

3. Are the medical benefits from such practices ever likely to benefit a
significant number of people?

Responsible comments are solicited.

Hans Goerl
ETHI editor

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