THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES CLONING
PROHIBITION ACT OF 1997
June 9, 1997
Today at the White House, President Clinton will receive the NationalBioethics Advisory Commission's report on human cloning and transmit toCongress the "Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997." This legislative proposalwould implement the Commission's key recommendation for legislation to prohibitany attempt to create a human being using somatic cell nuclear transfertechnology. The President will be joined in the Rose Garden by the VicePresident and Commission Chairman Dr. Harold Shapiro.
The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) Report
President Clinton today accepts the NBAC's report on the possible cloningofhuman beings. In February, following reports of the successful cloning of asheep, the President asked the NBAC to review the profound ethical issuesraised by the possible cloning of human beings. Today, Dr. Harold Shapiro,Chair of the Commission and President of Princeton University, formallypresented the report to the President.
The Commission found unanimously that it is morally unacceptable for anyone toattempt to create a child with the technology used to create Dolly the sheep.The NBAC reported that attempting to create a child using so-called somaticcell nuclear transfer cloning would pose great risks to the child and raiseother ethical issues needing further discussion. The NBAC called for a moratorium on the use of the technique in humans.
The Commission also found that the new technology may have many agriculturaland medical benefits, including the development of medicines, therapies fordiseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes, and prospects forrepair and regeneration of human tissues. The NBAC concluded that the cloningof DNA, cells, tissues, and non-human animals --using somatic cell nucleartransfer and other cloning techniques --is not ethically problematic whenconducted in compliance with existing regulations and guidelines.
Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997
Acting on the Commission's key recommendation, President Clinton announcedlegislation banning the use of the new technology to clone human beings.Consistent with the NBAC's recommendation, the President's legislative proposalprohibits for five years the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to create ahuman being and directs the NBAC to report to the President in four and a halfyears on whether to continue the ban. The proposal is carefully worded toensure that it will not interfere with beneficial biomedical and agriculturalactivities.
Further Actions By The President
As recommended by the NBAC, President Clinton today also:
Reaffirms that no Federal funds will be used to clone human beings. ThePresident stated that the prohibition he put in place in March will remain ineffect while his proposed legislation is pending.
Urges privately funded scientists and clinicians to adhere to the voluntarymoratorium he called for in March. The President asked these professionals towork through their societies and associations to ensure that all adhere to thecurrent voluntary ban while his proposed legislation is pending.
Pledges to work with other countries to enforce the prohibition. Severalother countries, including Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Australia, andSpain, have banned human cloning.
MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL BIOETHICS ADVISORY COMMISSION
Harold T. Shapiro, Chair of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, is thePresident and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University,and is a world-renowned educator and economist. He is a member of numeroushonorary professional societies including the Institute of Medicine and hasbeen awarded many honorary degrees. Dr. Shapiroserves on advisory boards toseveral public organizations and corporations and is a past member of thePresident's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (1990-1993). Heearned a B-Comm. from McGill University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in economics fromPrinceton University.
Patricia Backlar of Oregon, is Senior Scholar at the Center for Ethics inHealth Care, Oregon Health Sciences University, where Ms. Backlar specializesin issues concerning individuals with severe and persistent mental disorders.She attended Vassar College, McGill University and Yale University, and holds acertificate in health care ethics from the University of Washington School ofMedicine. Senator Hatfield supported Ms. Backlar's candidacy.
Arturo Brito of Florida, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at theUniversity of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Brito is also the Medical Directorof the Pediatric Mobile Clinic of Miami. Dr. Brito earned his M.D. at theUniversity of South Florida and interned at Emory University in pediatrics.
Alexander M. Capron of California, is co-director of the Pacific Center forHealth Policy and Ethics at the University of Southern California. ProfessorCapron specializes in legal-medical issues and biomedical ethics. He is amember of the Institute of Medicine, a founding Fellow of the Hastings Centerand a past member of the Human Gene Therapy Subcommittee of the NIHRecombinantDNA Advisory Committee. Professor Capron received his B.A. with high honorsfrom Swarthmore College and his LL.B. from Yale University.
Eric J. Cassell of New York, is Physician to In-Patients at The New YorkHospital-Cornell Medical Center. For five years, Dr. Cassell directed theCornell UniversityMedical College Program for the Study of Ethics and Values inMedicine. Dr. Cassell received a B.A. from Queens College, an M.A. fromColumbia University, an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine and isboard certified in internal medicine. Dr. Cassell's candidacy was supported bySenator Moynihan.
R. Alta Charo of Wisconsin, holds joint assistant professorships in theUniversity of Wisconsin Medical and Law Schools. A Fellow of the HastingsCenter, Ms. Charo has also held government appointments in the Office ofTechnology Assessment and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ms.Charo earned an A.B. in biology, cum laude, from Harvard-Radcliffe College anda J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
James F. Childress of Virginia, is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor ofReligious Studies and Professor of Medical Education at the University ofVirginia, where he is also the co-director of the Virginia Health PolicyResearch Center. Dr. Childress is the author of numerous articles and severalbooks on biomedical ethics and is former vice-chairman of the National TaskForce on Organ Transplantation. He received his B.A. from Guilford College,B.D. from Yale Divinity School and M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.
David R. Cox of California, is Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at theStanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Cox is a world-renowned expert ongenetic diseases associated with defects in chromosome 21, including DownSyndrome and ataxia-telangiectasia. He is a member of the American Socitey ofHuman Genetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation forClinical Research and the Human Genome Organization. Board certified in bothpediatrics and human genetics, Dr. Cox received his A.B. from Brown University,and M.D. and Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Washington.
Rhetaugh Graves Dumas of Michigan, is the Vice Provost for Health Affairs, theUniversity of Michigan. Formerly Dean of The University of Michigan School ofNursing, and Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr.Dumas is known for her clinical research in the area of psychiatric nursing.She is a member of the American Nurses Association and a past president of theAmerican Academy of Nursing. Dr. Dumas earned a B.S.N. at Dillard University,an M.S. from the Yale University School of Nursing and a Ph.D. in SocialPsychology from the Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel of Massachusetts, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, SocialMedicine and Clinical Epidemiology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, HarvardMedical School. A member of the Ethics Group under the President's HealthCare Task Force, Dr. Emanuel is the author of many articles on medical ethics,focusing particularly on decisionmaking in terminal care. He holds a B.A. fromAmherst College, M.Sc. from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical Schooland Ph.D. from Harvard University and is board certified in internal medicineand medical oncology.
Laurie M. Flynn of Virginia, is the Executive Director of the National Alliancefor the Mentally Ill. A consultant to child welfare organizations, federal,state, and county governments, Ms. Flynn is also the author of numerouspublications on family mental health services. She earned a B.A. in philosophyfrom the University of Virginia.
Carol W. Greider of New York, is Senior Staff Scientist at the Cold SpringHarbor Laboratory. Dr. Greider is an internationally known expert in molecularbiology whose research focuses on the structure and function of telomeres,chromosomal components whose role in aging and cancer development is justbeginning to become clear. In addition to studies at the George-AugustUniversitat in Gottigen, West Germany, she was awarded a B.A. in biology fromU.C. Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from U.C. Berkeley.
Steven H. Holtzman of Massachusetts, is Chief Business Officer of MilleniumPharmaceuticals, Inc., a company using genetics, genomics and bioinformatics toidentify genes responsible for common major diseases and in their work on humanbiology directed toward drug development. Mr. Holtzman's academic backgroundincludes a Rhodes Scholarship leading to a B.Phil., in addition to a B.A. inphilosophy from Michigan State University. Mr. Holtzman chairs the EthicsPanel of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, who submitted his nominationas a representative of the biotechnology industry.
Bette O. Kramer of Virginia, is the founder and first president of the RichmondBioethics Consortium, a community-based organization providing education anddevelopment support to institutional ethics committees, and educationalopportunities to the general public. Active in a variety of health-relatedactivities, such as the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Critical Care Task Force, Ms.Kramer also has professional experience as a security analyst. Ms. Kramerearned a B.A. in economics at Wellesley College.
Bernard Lo of California, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Programin Medical Ethics at the University of California, San Francisco, where heteaches a required course on medical ethics, law and economics. Dr. Lo hasserved as a member of a number of public advisory committees including an OTAproject on Life Sustaining Technologies in the Elderly. He received an A.B.,summa cum laude, in physics from Harvard College; a M.A. from the University ofSussex in comparative literature; an A.M. from Harvard University in thehistory of science and an M.D. from Stanford University.
Lawrence H. Miike of Hawaii, is the Director of the Department of Health, Stateof Hawaii, which includes the Nation's 3rd largest public hospital system.Previously, Dr. Miike worked for the U.S. Congress. His studies led to theNational Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, AIDS policies, and actionon health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Miike holds aB.A. from Amherst College, a degree in medicine from U.C. San Francisco, and alaw degree from U.C.L.A..
Thomas H. Murray of Ohio, is Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of theCenter for Biomedical Ethics at the Case Western Reserve University School ofMedicine. Dr. Murray's research focuses on ethics in medicine and science,including ethical aspects of health policy; the care of newborns and children,occupational health, and genetic engineering. Dr. Murray earned a B.A. atTemple University in psychology and a Ph.D. in social psychology from PrincetonUniversity.
Diane Scott-Jones of Pennsylvania, is Associate Professor in the Department ofPsychology, Temple University. Dr. Scott-Jones is a Fellow of theAmericanPsychological Association, who submitted her nomination, and aco-author of the Association's ethics guidelines. She is also a member andpast chair of the Ethics Committee of the Society for Research in ChildDevelopment. Her research involves the role of family in supporting children'sscholastic achievement. Dr. Scott-Jones holds a B.S. and M.A. in psychologyfrom Appalachian State University, and a Ph.D. in development psychology fromthe University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.