Thomas P. Dooley

Briefing for Senate Staff on Cloning – Thomas P. Dooley

Date: 04/10/2002

Statement by Thomas P. Dooley, Ph.D.
CEO, IntegriDerm and Altruis
Co-Founder and Former President, BIO of Alabama

 

It is my distinct honor to address you today as a biotechnology scientist, entrepreneur, and advocate for economic development within the biotechnology industry.  My expertise in these capacities is demonstrated by the fact that I am the CEO and founder of two scientific companies, IntegriDerm–a biopharmaceutical company, and ALtruis–an Internet healthcare company with likely the world’s largest collection of healthcare and biotech informational websites.

In addition, I was the co-founder and former president of Alabama’s biotechnology industry trade organization, and I am very pleased at the rate of growth of economic development in Alabama’s life science industry.  I resigned as President of this organization in March 2002 solely as a result of my opposition to policy statements by the Biotechnology Industry Organization that favor unrestricted use of human cloning research methods for the production of early stage human embryos intended for destruction.

Human cloning for any reason is unnecessary and immoral.  There is no scientific, medical, or moral imperative to clone human beings or to produce human embryonic stem cells via embryo destruction.  It should be noted that “reproductive cloning” and so-called “therapeutic cloning” both utilize the same unnatural manipulations of early stage human embryos.  Since human life starts as a single cell embryo by conception using natural means or by somatic cell nuclear transfer in the case of cloning experiments, cloned human embryos – no matter how small – represent human beings with the potential to give rise to adults if implanted in the uterus.  The difference between “reproductive” and “therapeutic” cloning is merely semantic and differs only in the intentions for their ultimate use.

As a biotechnology industry insider I can say confidently that there are no valid justifications to produce human clones either for reproductive reasons or for the generation of human embryonic stem cells.  Two online commentaries provide the rationale for moral and scientific opposition to both human cloning and embryonic stem cell research: www.e-human-cloning.com and www.e-stem-cell.com.  Alternative research approaches and therapies for various diseases are available and are being pursued by researchers, thus abrogating the so-called “need” for human embryonic stem cell research.  Viable alternatives include adult stem cells, biotechnology-derived recombinant proteins, pharmaceuticals, and surgical and radiological intervention.  In addition, funding by the National Institutes of Health or the private sector for these alternative approaches is likely to produce excellent results with comparable or greater potential to aid in the healing of human maladies.

Conversely, the moral imperative to preserve the sanctity of human embryonic life should overrule the desires by scientists and physicians who seek to manipulate human embryos for financial gains and/or mere scientific interests.  Morality should be elevated above money.  And, some forms of scientific enquiry should not be permitted by society.

The Senate bill S. 1899 advocated by Senator Sam Brownback is an excellent piece of legislation deserving the support of the entire U.S. Senate, President Bush, and the citizens of the U.S.A.  This bill parallels an identical bill sponsored by Congressman Dave Weldon that passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives last year.  I encourage the U.S. Senate to pass Senator Brownback’s bill to ban human cloning, as all human cloning for any reason is unnecessary and immoral.

Thomas P. Dooley, PhD, CEO

ALtruis LLC
601 Vestavia Parkway, Ste. 241
Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35216
Phone:  (205) 979-0140
dooley@altruis.com

www.tomdooley.org
www.altruis.net
www.integriderm.com