Senator Bill Frist on Senate Floor Today: “No Justification” for Allowing Human Cloning…

Date: 04/09/2002

Senator Bill Frist, M.D., today on the Senate floor made the following remarks:

“Until now, the overall human cloning debate has been presented almost as an absolute choice between, on the one hand, medical science and the hope for cures and, on the other, ethical restraint.This is an oversimplification that does not do justice to the clinical, scientific, philosophical, moral, ethical, and spiritual complexities underlying this discussion. I am glad to see that a number of my colleagues and people around the country have not locked into this false choice, but rather have stayed back to examine these issues carefully and deliberately.

After carefully considering all of the evidence brought forward in Congressional hearings and on the floor in support of human embryo research cloning experimentation, after considering the medical progress being made and that will be made through stem cell research, and after considering the overwhelming ethical concerns about human embryo cloning experimentation, I conclude that a comprehensive ban on all human cloning is the right policy at this time. I intend to support legislation consistent with this policy, and I will encourage my colleagues to do so as well….

At this point in the evolution of this new science, I believe there is no justification for the purposeful creation and destruction of human embryos in order to experiment with them, especially when the promise and success of stem cell research does not — does not — depend on the experimental research cloning technique. As my colleagues know, I am a strong supporter of stem cell research — including embryonic stem cell research – as long as that stem cell research is conducted within an ethical and moral framework.