The United States status and legal policy

In the United States, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission Report (of 1997), Cloning Human Being, recommended legislation combined with a moratorium and issued a caution that "any regulatory or legislative actions undertaken to effect the foregoing prohibition on creating a child by somatic cell nuclear transfer should be carefully written so as not to interfere with other important areas of scientific research. " These other areas included stem cell technology or therapeutic cloning.

In matters of specific legislation, fourteen state legislatures have already enacted specific cloning-ban legislation and in this regard have been ahead of the United States Congress. California was the fist, followed by Rhode Island, Michigan, Louisiana, Virginia, Iowa, and so on, in either banning the cloning of humans or imposing a moratorium on cloning within the state, with varying treatment of the SCNT and embryo-splitting techniques. Many other states have taken action at least to consider formally similar legislation, and a few others have passed resolutions urging the United States Conges and President Bush to enact a federal ban.

Also, the states of Missouri and Arizona have prohibited the use of state funds of cloning. At federal level, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, which bans the process of human cloning for any purpose and the importation of any product derived from an embryo created via cloning, was passed by the U. S. House of Representatives on 27 February 2003. It was not ratified by the senate though. The Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005 bans only reproductive cloning while allowing therapeutic cloning. Though the bill gained stronger support in the senate this time, it has yet to be passed.

The Human Cloning Ban Act of 2005, which also bans reproductive cloning but allow cloning research, too has yet to be passed by the senate. To date, as with the Missouri and Arizona, federal regulations only prohibit federal funding for research into human cloning. In spite of the tremendous good possible through stem cell research and genetic engineering, in the final analysis, it is ethically unacceptable to carry out research on genetic manipulation of human cells. Rapid advances in our medical knowledge can be brought about, but the potential risks here far outweigh the possibilities of good.

Ethical considerations of complicated situations often demand a compromise, and we can only go for a compromise in this issue, by allowing only very restricted research in the field of human therapeutic cloning.

Works Cited:

American Journal of International Law. “Efforts to Ban Human Cloning. ” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 99, No. 1. (Jan. , 2005), p. 266.

Arsanjani, Mahnoush H. “Negotiating the UN Declaration on Human Cloning. ” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 100, No. 1. (Jan. , 2006), pp. 164-179.