Britain Rushes to Close Legal Loophole on Human Cloning ; Court Case Forces State to Clarify Law and Explicitly Ban Reproductive Cloning

By Cooper, Tarquin | The Christian Science Monitor, November 23, 2001 | Go to article overview

Britain Rushes to Close Legal Loophole on Human Cloning ; Court Case Forces State to Clarify Law and Explicitly Ban Reproductive Cloning


Cooper, Tarquin, The Christian Science Monitor


Government lawyers and lawmakers were making determined efforts this week to close a legal loophole that effectively permits human cloning in Britain.

It follows a High Court ruling Nov. 15 that Britain has no laws governing the reproduction of human embryos using cloning technology, despite a 1990 act on embryology that had been touted here as a global first.

Fearful that unethical doctors could exploit the situation to carry out human-cloning research in Britain, the government has launched an appeal against the ruling. And yesterday, it was to introduce a bill into the House of Lords, Britain's senior legislative body, to explicitly ban the practice.

Under the 1990 act, embryos could be destroyed and created for some types of medical research. Last January, the act was extended to take into account scientific advances, stem-cell experiments in particular. It was specifically worded to allow cloning to create embryos for stem-cell research. Parliament and scientists believed that cloning embryos to reproduce a child remained illegal under the change.

But the ProLife Alliance, which opposes all forms of cloning, successfully exposed a loophole in the law, claiming it didn't really ban cloning.

The confusion over the law has created a dilemma for the scientific community: how to continue research on embryo cells while banning cloning for reproductive purposes. The first one is vital to find cures for degenerative diseases, scientists claim, while the latter is ethically objectionable.

For them, the efforts taken by the government represent the first serious attempt to clarify the separation between the two different types of research here in Europe and in the US.

In America, there is no federal law banning human cloning, according to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), an agency that licenses and monitors all human embryo research in Britain.

In Europe, there is a "mixed picture," says HFEA spokesman James Yeandel. "In Germany, all forms of embryonic research are prohibited. In France, embryonic research is theoretically permitted if it "benefits" the embryo. But that, in effect, is a ban.

Despite the legal loophole in Britain, Mr. Yeandel says the authority remains "proud" of the legislation in Britain. "We were the first in the world to introduce laws governing the creation of embryos outside the body [in 1990] and we are the first organization of its kind in the world."

He adds that unlike Europe, Britain is taking steps to clarify the situation.

"Britain is ahead of Europe in terms of what you can do here," says Ian Gibson, a member of the ruling Labour Party government. "You can't do therapeutic cloning [stem-cell research] in Europe.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Britain Rushes to Close Legal Loophole on Human Cloning ; Court Case Forces State to Clarify Law and Explicitly Ban Reproductive Cloning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.