Therapeutic Advances of Cloning?

Date: 06/05/2002

In today’s Washington Post, former President Gerald Ford endorses “therapeutic cloning” and calls for the Senate to reject the Brownback/Landrieu legislation. The former president argues that it would be wrong for America “to walk away from the advances already achieved through therapeutic cloning.”

Hmmm…there’s just one thing wrong with this argument: THERE HAVE BEEN NO ADVANCES ALREADY ACHIEVED THROUGH “THERAPEUTIC” CLONING.

Cloning has not cured any disease in any animal, let alone in human beings.

On the other hand, adult stem cells are already being used in humans to treat diseases, including Parkinson’s, heart disease, spinal cord injury, immunodeficiencies, sickle cell anemia, autoimmune diseases and stroke, among others.

Given the advances already being made with adult stem cells and alternatives other than human cloning, a comprehensive ban on such cloning will not stop medical progress. But failure to pass Brownback/Landrieu may end up doing just this, as resources will inevitably be diverted to the unproven and highly speculative field of human research cloning and away from proven and further developed research avenues that are already producing benefits to people.