NewsTue Feb 8, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST
Creator of Dolly Granted License to Clone Humans For Experimentation
LONDON, February 8, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The scientist who cloned Dolly, the world’s most famous sheep, has been given permission by the UK’s health and research authorities to go ahead with human cloning experiments. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, (HFEA), known to be one of the most permissive such government overseers in the world, has granted a license to Professor Ian Wilmut and a team of scientists at Kings College London to proceed with cloning in order to study motor neurone disease (MND).
Wilmut told the BBC News that he intended to create the cloned human embryos deliberately with MND in order to study how the disease progresses and to test drugs. He is proposing to directly create live human test subjects for experimental research. He said, “Our aim will be to generate stem cells purely for research purposes.”
Wilmut assured the BBC that he has “no intention of producing cloned babies, and said the embryos will be destroyed after experimentation.”
Julia Millington of the ProLife Alliance said that the promise to destroy these cloned human beings is not a moral solution. “The creation of cloned human embryos destined for experimentation and subsequent destruction is particularly abhorrent.”
The British pro-life group, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said in a press release, “Any license to clone and kill strikes at the very heart our society’s basic rule for living together in peace, which is ‘do not kill the innocent.’”
The HFEA was set up as the regulatory body for embryonic research after the UK passed the world’s most permissive cloning and stem cell legislation. The law included a sanction to create human clones purely for research. Dr. Wilmut’s license is the second issued by the HFEA for this purpose since the law passed.
SPUC political secretary, Anthony Ozimic said, “All of those killed are unique, never-to-be-replaced human beings. To treat or disguise human embryos as if they were nothing but raw laboratory material is both deceitful and disturbing. It is complete hypocrisy for the HFEA to talk about the ‘unique moral status of the embryo’ when the HFEA licenses his or her killing.
Ozimic went on, “So-called therapeutic cloning exploits human beings and uses them as resources rather than respecting them as persons. As Dr Harry Griffin, who helped Dr Wilmut create Dolly the sheep, admitted: ‘(Therapeutic cloning) is clearly not therapeutic for the embryo.’”
Read BBC coverage.
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