PDA

View Full Version : House opens debate on cloning


medea
Feb 27, 2003, 05:32 PM
House Republicans began pushing through a White House-backed bill Thursday that would ban all human cloning, even as some lawmakers fought for provisions to protect scientific research.

Debate was expected to be lengthy as both sides delved into such murky issues as the beginning of life and the ethics of science. A final vote was scheduled for late Thursday.
"It's wrong to create human embryo farms, even for scientific research," Rep. Sue Myrick, R-North Carolina, said as the debate began. "Anything other than a ban would license the most ghoulish and dangerous enterprise in human history."
But Rep. James McGovern, D-Massachusetts, countered, "Every member of this body is opposed to cloning a human being. This bill, if enacted, will close the door to important research."
The bill would ban all human cloning -- for reproduction or research -- and impose a $1 million fine and up to a 10-year prison sentence for violators. The measure passed the House 265-162 during the last legislative session but stalled in the Senate.
The White House called on the House to act. "The president urges the House to pass it so it can be considered by the Senate," Ari Fleischer, President Bush's spokesman, said Thursday.
Supporters of research say cloned embryos hold the potential for cures to scores of diseases. Those who want to ban such research say that a cloned embryo is a human even before implantation in a womb, and to destroy it for research would be immoral.
"The issues in human cloning remain the same," said Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Florida, one of the sponsors of the bill. "If we allow embryos in the laboratory ... it will open a Pandora's box of issues.
"The researchers will not stop. They will want to grow these things," Weldon said.
The White House agreed, issuing a statement Wednesday saying it was "unequivocally opposed to the cloning of human beings either for reproduction or for research."
"The moral and ethical issues posed by human cloning are profound and cannot be ignored in the quest for scientific discovery," the administration wrote.
Other lawmakers planned to offer their own measure, which would ban reproductive cloning yet still allow research.
"The opponents believe once a cell -- even if it's a cheek cell -- divides in a petri dish, it's a human being," said Rep. James Greenwood, R-Pennsylvania.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, added, "This is about the right of those living with chronic, debilitating and terminal diseases to get the cures they need to live healthy, productive lives."
Despite the probable passage of a complete cloning ban in the House, it's still unlikely Republicans have the votes to push the measure through the Senate. Republicans control the Senate 51-48-1 but would still need 60 votes to end debate and vote on the bill.
The lack of those votes is what held the bill up in the Senate in the last session.
"I'm confident that a majority of the Senate will reject these unwarranted restrictions on medical research, as it has many times in the past," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, one of the Senate sponsors of a cloning bill that allows research.
The bills are H.R. 534 and H.R. 801.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/02/27/cloning.congress.ap/index.html

rainman::|:|
Feb 27, 2003, 08:04 PM
hope it gets banned and then banned again for good measure.

but that's just me...

pnw

MrMacMan
Feb 27, 2003, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
hope it gets banned and then banned again for good measure.

but that's just me...

pnw

I hope it is only you because this is more steming (IMO) to the stem cell research. I mean personally I think cloning, a person should be made regulated if not illegal but this bill goes too far and says if you put as the text stated a cheek cell in a dish and it multiplies you can go to jail.
No I think that it will crush any chances to help sick people. Don't get all religious on me, please. I haven't seen god healing all the Cancer patients with his (god's) almighty power. Okay? I don't see heart disease patients suddenly get better. These people NEED this research to go on to some day help them and many thousand others.

pantagruel
Feb 27, 2003, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
I hope it is only you because this is more steming (IMO) to the stem cell research. I mean personally I think cloning, a person should be made regulated if not illegal but this bill goes too far and says if you put as the text stated a cheek cell in a dish and it multiplies you can go to jail.
No I think that it will crush any chances to help sick people. Don't get all religious on me, please. I haven't seen god healing all the Cancer patients with his (god's) almighty power. Okay? I don't see heart disease patients suddenly get better. These people NEED this research to go on to some day help them and many thousand others.
same here, seems like they are too afraid so they are just going to ban the whole idea, this can be very helpful to us as a species and we should not rule out research that may provide answers in the future. why arnt there more scientists in the House?:eek:

MrMacMan
Feb 27, 2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by pantagruel
same here, seems like they are too afraid so they are just going to ban the whole idea, this can be very helpful to us as a species and we should not rule out research that may provide answers in the future. why arnt there more scientists in the House?:eek:

There are some but it seems their brains were make with thick lead sheilds.
Must stop new innovations from entering brain!
ahhh!

Really... People in general are against outright people cloning... but is there such a harm with cloning cells? Or making Stem cells?

Don't ban it.

Sol
Feb 28, 2003, 09:03 AM
While I do not think it is necessary for us to clone anything I cannot help but feel cynical about any politician that tries to ban scientists from doing research and experiments. The whole thing stinks of politics playing on people's fears and will surely drive the most innovative minds to underground labs. Despite what the Ralians and our governments claim, we are not at the stage where a pure clone is possible. The premature deaths of animal clones is an indication of how far we still have to go with this technology.

dabirdwell
Feb 28, 2003, 02:59 PM
Why do we have a reactionary response of "Prohibit It!" if we are faced with a policy challenge that is the least bit complex or frightening to "moralists"?

One of the reasons there aren't more scientists or "enlightened thinkers" in Congress is that, in general, those are not the types of people who seek political power. "Businessmen" and profit motivated individuals are more often those who run for office.

wdlove
Feb 13, 2004, 02:55 PM
US researchers losing edge in stem cell work.

For American biologists, accustomed to being research leaders in so many areas, the announcement this week that South Koreans were the first to successfully clone a human embryo was humbling -- and a call to arms.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/02/13/us_researchers_losing_edge_in_stem_cell_work/

Opteron
Feb 13, 2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by wdlove
US researchers losing edge in stem cell work.

For American biologists, accustomed to being research leaders in so many areas, the announcement this week that South Koreans were the first to successfully clone a human embryo was humbling -- and a call to arms.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/02/13/us_researchers_losing_edge_in_stem_cell_work/

I believe an australian team has doen this as well within the last week.

The fact of the matter is however that if it is banned in the states, then they'll fall behind the rest of the world in Stem cell research. There are many nations in the world that couldn't give two hoots about genetic research, and if one country banns it the scientists will just move on to the next country.

bousozoku
Feb 13, 2004, 05:13 PM
There should only be a ban on cloning government officials. ;)

Soon, we're going to have to stop having thoughts about conceiving because if we don't go through with it, it will be considered abortion.

Stop the madness!

wdlove
Feb 13, 2004, 07:30 PM
"It's important to remember that cell and tissue transplantation and gene therapy are still emerging technologies, and it may be years yet before embryonic stem cells can be used in transplantation medicine," Kennedy said.

He said the research also raises many ethical questions.

A video from CNN, Real Player.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/2842165/detail.html?treets=bos&tml=bos_health&ts=T&tmi=bos_health_1_12150002122004

MacRumorSkeptic
Feb 13, 2004, 08:14 PM
Its a scientific FACT that human life begins at conception. Destroying an embryo for experimentation is taking away an individuals right to life.

pooky
Feb 19, 2004, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by MacRumorSkeptic
Its a scientific FACT that human life begins at conception. Destroying an embryo for experimentation is taking away an individuals right to life.

And your source on this would be...what? I'd like to see a few dozen citations before I could accept anything as fact.

While I'm sure no one would argue that a fertilized cell is alive, is it a human life? Before you scream at me, think about this...

You are composed of literally billions of cells. Every single one of those cells is alive, using the simplest definition of life (able to use energy to perform work and able to self-replicate). Every one of those cells in fact contains the genetic information needed to make an entire human being. But no one would argue that a skin cell is a human life. The idea is preposterous. Every cell is alive, but it takes the totality or development combined with the integration of nervous, endocrine, etc. systems to make a human life.

Now, if you still want to state that a single fertilized cell is a human life, and that this is a scientific fact, please show me the evidence. If you can't, don't claim something to be a fact when you really are ignorant of the science.

pseudobrit
Feb 19, 2004, 01:22 AM
Why is the government involved in this at all?

Where are our strict constructionist posters at? They should have an interesting take on this.

pseudobrit
Feb 19, 2004, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by MacRumorSkeptic
Its a scientific FACT that human life begins at conception.

Where is your scientific SOURCE for that scientific FACT? Oh, you don't have one, because there is no consensus in the scientific community as to when human life begins. But thanks for the BS.

Destroying an embryo for experimentation is taking away an individuals right to life.

Hate to tell you but the embryos are going to die anyway.

They're leftovers from fertility treatments and are headed for the discard pile. So if you're going to be against anything, you'd need to be solidly against fertility treatments (people trying like hell to create a life).

MrMacMan
Feb 19, 2004, 08:01 PM
*gah* I'm breaking my Political Disc Barrier.


Please give a fact by reputable sources that human life begins at conception.


There is no census, there is no standard.

I could say human life beings when sperm are made... or human life begins when you hit the age of ... 40!

Yes.

No 'Fact'.

--MrMacMan

[Only reason I am even responding is that this was
a) In the current events section last time I posted here
b) I'm getting e-mail notification... even tho I took it off...]

MacRumorSkeptic
Feb 19, 2004, 09:35 PM
And your source on this would be...what? I'd like to see a few dozen citations before I could accept anything as fact.

While I'm sure no one would argue that a fertilized cell is alive, is it a human life? Before you scream at me, think about this...

You are composed of literally billions of cells. Every single one of those cells is alive, using the simplest definition of life (able to use energy to perform work and able to self-replicate). Every one of those cells in fact contains the genetic information needed to make an entire human being. But no one would argue that a skin cell is a human life. The idea is preposterous. Every cell is alive, but it takes the totality or development combined with the integration of nervous, endocrine, etc. systems to make a human life.

Now, if you still want to state that a single fertilized cell is a human life, and that this is a scientific fact, please show me the evidence. If you can't, don't claim something to be a fact when you really are ignorant of the science.

That human life BEGINS at conception is common knowledge among the scientific community, it has been observed, and it is you who are clearly ignorant of the facts. If its not at conception then when would it be? The debate that angers so many is the question of when it is valued as a human life that has human rights.

Your billions of cells analogy doesn't work because you can destroy skin cells without destroying the life of a fully developed human. Thats not the case with embryonic stem cells, when the human life is at the BEGGINING of its developement.

Where is your scientific SOURCE for that scientific FACT? Oh, you don't have one, because there is no consensus in the scientific community as to when human life begins. But thanks for the BS.

Its not BS, and there are countless scientific sources on the internet that show this. Simply do a search on the stages of human developement. Again, the debate really isn't on when a human life begins but at what point it has human rights.

Hate to tell you but the embryos are going to die anyway.

They're leftovers from fertility treatments and are headed for the discard pile. So if you're going to be against anything, you'd need to be solidly against fertility treatments (people trying like hell to create a life).

And to experiment with them would only legitimize experimentation with human life. It would eventually lead to harvesting embryos to complete their research. By the way, I am consistent in that I'm against fertility treatments.

*gah* I'm breaking my Political Disc Barrier.


Please give a fact by reputable sources that human life begins at conception.


There is no census, there is no standard.

I could say human life beings when sperm are made... or human life begins when you hit the age of ... 40!

Yes.

No 'Fact'.

--MrMacMan

Read my above statements.
It takes a sperm + an egg for human conception.

Rower_CPU
Feb 19, 2004, 09:50 PM
Post a link to a scientific source if you have one MacRumorSkeptic. Otherwise, drop it.

MacRumorSkeptic
Feb 19, 2004, 10:38 PM
Very well. I did a quick google search and picked one of the first search results. Here it is http://lifeissues.net/writers/kisc/kisc_04whenlifebegins1.html

Since I have better things to do than bring up a million different links, I'm sure you can find many other sources yourselves. I picked this source which is from a human embryologist, and am cutting and pasting this part of the page because I think it sums up my point.

The Continuum of Life
"The facts above, along with the constancy of the time of gestation, approximately 38 weeks, reasonably declare that the life of the new individual human being begins with fertilization. Virtually every human embryologist and every major textbook of Human Embryology states that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being.

The reason why this is true is the following:

from the moment when the sperm makes contact with the oocyte, under conditions we have come to understand and describe as normal, all subsequent development to birth of a living newborn is a fait accompli. That is to say, after that initial contact of spermatozoon and oocyte there is no subsequent moment or stage which is held in arbitration or abeyance by the mother, or the embryo or fetus. Nor is a second contribution, a signal or trigger, needed from the male in order to continue and complete development to birth. Human development is a continuum in which so - called stages overlap and blend one into another. Indeed, all of life is contained within a time continuum. Thus, the beginning of a new life is exacted by the beginning of fertilization, the reproductive event which is the essence of life.

Herein lies the importance of distinguishing between the science of developmental biology and the science of Human Embryology. Within the science of Human Embryology, the continuum of life is more fully appreciated. The fact that development and developmental principles do not cease with birth becomes more fully realized. So, the continuum of human development does not cease until death, whenever that may occur, in utero or at 100 years of age."



Pregnancy

"Human embryologist Bruce Carlson, in his 1994 textbook: "Human Embryology and Developmental Biology", states in his opening sentence: "Human pregnancy begins with the fusion of the egg and the sperm. . ."[2]. This is so because the concern of Human Embryology is the human embryo whether it be in the fallopian tube, uterus, ectopically placed or in a petri dish. Additionally, for a pregnant woman, the expected time of delivery, fertilization age, time of gestation, or, the period of confinement is always calculated so that the time of pregnancy begins at fertilization.


The idea that pregnancy begins at implantation of the embryo in the uterus was generated more than 3 decades ago. At that time there were concerns about the actions of chemical contraceptives. Albert Rosenfeld wrote in his book: "Second Genesis" (1969):

Because these substances do not prevent the sperm from penetrating and fertilizing the ovum - the classic definition of conception - they are not strictly contraceptives. What they do is prevent the newly fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus. Since the interference occurs after conception, some hold that such practice constitutes abortion. A way around this impasse has been suggested by Dr. A.S. Parkes of Cambridge: Equate conception with the time of implantation rather than the time of fertilization - a difference of only a few days" 3 (my emphasis). Thus, a fact of science gave way to political correctness."

pooky
Feb 19, 2004, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by MacRumorSkeptic
Very well. I did a quick google search and picked one of the first search results. Here it is http://lifeissues.net/writers/kisc/kisc_04whenlifebegins1.html


This is not a scientific source. I'm a biologist, I could just as easily make a web page that says the contrary. Internet sources are not acceptable in scientific discourse, you need to cite something that is peer reviewed. This means a journal article that has gone through the process of rigorous scientific review insuring it is based on good science, not emotion or belief. Since you have done nothing but react to criticism in an emotional way, and have only produced the results of a google search, I'm assuming you don't have such a source. I'm highly skeptical that you could find one, because indeed, in the biology literature (with which I am very familiar, it's my job), there is no consensus about where human life begins. This is because there is no clear definition as to what constitutes human life. A skin cell, as you correctly pointed out, is not a human life. However, it has the potential to be one, just as a zygote does. What's the difference? No one is sure.

Now, you may be right, my only point is you need to have some scientific evidence before you claim something is a fact. It's very hard for anything to be a fact, it needs to stand up to countless tests before it can be accepted. Einstein's relativity, the basis for much of modern physics, isn't a fact. Newtonian laws of motion are fact, but only in very specific circumstances. The people who asserted them as simple facts were later proved wrong by special relativity. In biology, it's a fact that DNA is the genetic code. Something as difficult to understand as humanity or consciousness is much harder to nail down as fact, however. Don't blur the line between fact and opinion, between objectivity and emotion. It's what science relies on, and you only destroy your credibility by doing so.