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Human Cloning. “A bridge too far” The Hon Tony Abbott MP. Human Cloning. What is Human Cloning?. “Human embryo clone means a human embryo that is a genetic copy of another living or dead human, but does not include a human embryo created by the fertilisation of a human egg by human sperm.”

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human cloning

Human Cloning

“A bridge too far”

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

what is human cloning
What is Human Cloning?
  • “Human embryo clone means a human embryo that is a genetic copy of another living or dead human, but does not include a human embryo created by the fertilisation of a human egg by human sperm.”

(s.8 Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002)

what is human cloning1
What is Human Cloning?

Method 1: Usual reproduction [in utero or in vitro]

Method 2: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer [SCNT]

why human cloning
Why Human Cloning?
  • To extract Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs)
    • to cure diseases
    • to develop techniques for ART
    • to research stem cell development
    • to research embryo development
human cloning why not
Human Cloning – why not?
  • “Primum non nocere” – First, do no harm
    • "to help, or at least to do no harm," Hippocrates
  • The human embryo is fully human
    • unchanged tenet of the Catholic Church
    • recognised as such by science
  • All humans deserve respect
  • All humans have a ‘right-to-life’
  • We should not create life to kill it

“Respect life, all human life” John Paul II

human cloning why not1
Human Cloning – why not?

Adult Stem Cells: An ethical alternative

  • more than 70 known applications
  • ES cells – no successful animal trials
  • ES cells cause cancerous growths [teratomas]
  • ES cells from clones have ‘mixed’ DNA
  • AS cells – no rejection problems
  • AS cells readily available

“Respect life, all human life” John Paul II

embryos and the law
Embryos and the law
  • Late 1970s IVF legislation in all States
      • initially to assist infertile couples conceive
      • In 1990’s some countries began genetic screening
  • 2002 Federal debate
      • human embryo research & human cloning bill
      • bill split in two – Human Cloning unanimous ban
      • legislation included statutory review after 3 years
      • All states passed reciprocal (mirror) legislation
embryos and the law the lockhart review
Embryos and the lawThe Lockhart Review
  • Panel of 6 scientists and ethicists
  • Report tabled in December 2005
  • 54 recommendations
  • Federal Cabinet considered report flawed & tried to ‘bury’ report
  • PM commissioned own report – confirmed flawed nature of Lockhart
  • PM pressured & eventually allowed debate
embryos and the law the lockhart review1
Embryos and the lawThe Lockhart Review
  • Private Member’s bill to be introduced
      • by either Senator Patterson or Stott Despoja
      • discussions about what will be included
  • Public debate focus on religion & ‘scare tactics’
      • Tony Abbott: “Captain Catholic”
      • Nothing unethical in Lockhart - Bob Carr
      • Not creating babies – Mal Washer
      • Not human – no sperm – Jeannie Ferris
what lockhart says
What Lockhart says:
  • Recommendation 28 creates a new definition of human embryo that would, if adopted, create a virtual ‘open season’ on early embryos before the first cell division takes place.
  • Recommendation 24 allows the creation of human embryo clones using animal oocytes (eggs) for ‘research, training and clinical applications, including the production of human embryonic stem cells…’ so long as the cloned embryos are destroyed before they reach 14 days.
what lockhart says1
What Lockhart says:
  • Recommendation 12 states that the ‘Creation of human embryos by fertilization of human eggs by human sperm should remain restricted to ART treatment for the purposes of reproduction.’
what can we do
What can we do?
  • Defend human life – our calling
      • Write to local MPs and Senators
      • Write to the newspapers
      • Follow the debate
      • Tell your friends
      • Research the issue
      • Take action at a local level
      • Pray for our decision makers
what can we do1
What can we do?
  • Act together – solidarity with the defenceless
      • Organise an open letter to your local MP
      • Collect signatures
      • Make an appointment with your MP
      • Send a delegation to present the open letter
      • Write or email your MP and SA Senators personally
      • Encourage your friends
  • Remember: we were all embryos in the beginning!