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The U.N. on Cloning: Ban It

The United Nations speaks out against human cloning.

11:00 PM, Mar 14, 2005 • By WESLEY J. SMITH
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Beyond the purely political, the U.N. declaration could also have an important impact on American constitutional jurisprudence. There is a quiet but growing movement within the bioethics, biotechnology, and legal establishments to have the Supreme Court declare a therapeutic cloning Roe v. Wade. With the Supreme Court increasingly applying international views in its decisions, the U.N. declaration will make it much harder to convince justices that an international consensus favoring therapeutic cloning should be read into the text of the Constitution.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning is a breakthrough document with enormous potential to lead to tremendous human good. For it is only by banning all human cloning that we can, in the words of Leon Kass, "preserve society from the soft dehumanizations of well meaning but hubristic biotechnical recreationism--and do it without undermining biomedical science or rejecting its genuine contributions to human welfare."

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His current book is Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World.