The following news items relate to therapeutic cloning: the creation of
pre-embryos in order to extract their stem cells and create a human organ.
They are unrelated to reproductive cloning: the creation of a newborn who is
an exact duplication of an existing person.
See another essay for U.S. legislative
information at the Federal and State levels.
Cloning news items during 2006:
2006-FEB-14: UK: Regulatory change to allow women to donate eggs: The
British government is expected to change the regulations concerning the use of
donated eggs for cloning experiments. Scientists will be able to recruit donors
from among two groups of healthy women: those who are friends or family members
of scientists or of patients with diseases for which therapeutic cloning shows
promise. The latter group would probably include most women in the UK. The
potential donors would have to undergo independent counseling to confirm that
they are acting voluntarily.
In the past, only women who were undergoing IVF or
other gynecological operations were permitted to donate eggs for research. This
has resulted in a shortage of eggs which has slowed therapeutic cloning studies.
Those opposed to the change say that it would place women at risk for health
problems. In rare cases, the use of medication to stimulate women's ovaries can
lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which, in rare cases, can cause kidney
Ainsley Newson, lecturer in medical ethics at the University of Bristol, said:
"So long as women are made fully aware of these and are not put under
duress, they should have every opportunity to participate."
Josephine Quintavalle, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics,
"The journal Nature last week described egg donation as an
'unpleasant, invasive process' which can cause 'life-threatening side
effects.' How extraordinary then to find the HFEA endorsing donation at
a time when scientists are at last acknowledging the significant risks
associated with the process."