Stem Cell Research and the Cloning Wars
30 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2007
An important aspect of stem cell research has become caught in the crossfire of a battle over human cloning. The House of Representatives has passed legislation twice that would prohibit therapeutic cloning - the cloning of cells for the purpose of creating disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines and individualized stem cell treatments - along with cloning for the purpose of creating babies with genomes identical to a living person. This article evaluates the public policy and constitutional law issues implicated by the Human Cloning Prohibition Act. It concludes that there are no convincing policy justifications for bans that extent to therapeutic cloning, and that such a ban would negatively impact the important constitutional values of federalism, individual interests in pursuing medical treatments, and, indirectly, individual interests in reproductive autonomy.
Keywords: stem cells, cloning, somatic cell nuclear transfer, federalism, substantive due process
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