A few years ago, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a non-binding (as are all UN pronouncements) resolution urging all member nations to outlaw all human cloning. But now, UN bureaucrats ignore this approach–the only one that would truly prevent human cloning–in favor of a ban on reproductive cloning only. From the story in Reuters:
The world should quickly ban cloning of humans and only allow exceptions for strictly controlled research to help treat diseases such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s, a U.N. study said on Sunday. Without a ban, experts at the U.N. University’s Institute of Advanced Studies said that governments would have to prepare legal measures to protect clones from “potential abuse, prejudice and discrimination”.
“A legally-binding global ban on work to create a human clone, coupled with freedom for nations to permit strictly controlled therapeutic research, has the greatest political viability of options available,” the study said.
Of course, that would open the gate and invite the fox into the hen house–which is precisely the point, I think. Right now, human cloning has not really been done. To perfect the technology, will require billions of dollars, tens of thousands of human eggs, currently in very short supply, and perhaps years of effort. That can only go forward vigorously if cloning for biomedical research is given society’s imprimatur–which is what legalization per the UN “study” recommendation would provide. Then, once the technology was “safe,” we would then hear calls to proceed to permit reproductive cloning for the infertile, gay couples, and etc. Indeed, we are already hearing those calls! (See, here, here, and here, as just a few examples.)
Legalizing human SCNT for any purpose is to legalize human cloning. Period. To do a “partial ban,” which is really legalization since SCNT is the act of cloning, is utter subterfuge. The only way to prevent the horrors foreseen by the “study” is to follow the recommendations of the General Assembly.