SPRINGFIELD, IL (ProLifeInfo.org) - The Elliot Institute has renewed its call for a
presumptive criminal ban against human cloning and genetic engineering of
human beings. This appeal ban was first issued in 1997 following the
cloning of Dolly the sheep. Now as the British government has legalized
cloning of human beings -- on the condition that they are killed -- the
need for state, federal, and international laws banning this and similar
Frankensteinian manipulations of human life is greater than ever.
"Clearly the cloning issue has attracted public attention and there is a
widespread public sentiment to ban this practice," said Dr. David Reardon,
director of the Elliot Institute. "Because of our failure to immediately
capture the support of public sentiment, human cloning is now allowed in
Britain. Many other countries may soon follow suit in an effort to keep
up with the cutting edge' of biotechnology.
Reardon believes that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing for
opponents of human engineering. "Now is the time to act, before the
public grows accustomed to the thought of therapeutic cloning' and
inevitability of custom engineered human embryos. Once the common sense of
the masses is dulled, it will become increasingly difficult to muster the
political will to reverse the current trend." Reardon said. "It is also
essential that we not limit ourselves to a ban on cloning. We need laws
that anticipate what scientists may yet envision before they act."
The advocates of human engineering have proposed ideas that would
drastically alter both our species and our society. Among other ideas,
eugenicists have proposed (a) the cloning of organ donors who would be
mutilated or destroyed for the benefit of others, (b) the genetic creation
of a human-animal hybrid race that could serve as a slave race, (c) the
custom design of specialized human beings with gene sequences that make
them better suited for combat situations or dangerous environments, (d)
the design of a genetically "superior" super-race, (e) the elimination of
genetically distinct groups of human beings who are genetically
"inferior," at least as defined by committees of eugenicists.
"Unlike Hitler," Reardon said, "these people are not seeking military
domination of the world, but they are all believers in the eugenicists'
dream: the creation of a Master Race,' an improved human species. All
others must, in time, be either weeded out or genetically altered to serve
the greater good.' It's time for people to remember that Aldous Huxley's
Brave New World is an anti-utopia. The perfect world that eugenicists
hope to create can lead to nothing other than a totalitarian nightmare."
Reardon believes that pro-life Christians must make a presumptive ban on
human engineering a top legislative priority before the public becomes too
accustomed to allowing scientists to establish their own rules.
"Each year that passes without a ban, public apathy will increase and the
eugenicists will solidify their gains," he said. "The promise of future
medical advances will become accepted as truth and the ethical quagmire
that these experiments involve will be less and less considered. Now is
the time to force the issue into the legislative arena. The issues at
hand are far too important to be left to the confines of obscure academic
journals that have no binding force on the eugenicists' grand schemes for
To provide a basis for engaging in the legislative debate, the Elliot
Institute has published model legislation for states called The Human
Engineering Prohibition Act. The proposed law would ban all forms of
"human engineering," defined as "the genetic alteration of human gamete
material, or the non-therapeutic manipulation of nascent human life after
cell division has begun and prior to birth." This definition is broad
enough to include not only cloning but also most forms of experimentation
on human embryos.
However, Reardon stresses that the ban is not a "total and permanent ban"
on genetic engineering -- something legislators have been hesitant to
approve. Instead, while erecting a presumptive ban on all such
experimental procedures, the legislation provides a mechanism for
legislators to add exceptions for certain technologies in the future, on a
case by case basis, if scientists can convince the legislature that the
technology would benefit society and will be used in a way that respects
"This means that scientists who claim to have come up with a new technique
of human engineering, as demonstrated in experiments with animals, are
invited to approach the legislature for request approval of this
technology," Reardon said. "We are not seeking to ban legitimate and
ethical scientific advances. But in this field of biology, which involves
human lives, the presumption must be that scientists are not free to do
whatever comes into their minds. Their actions have social consequences
and they must therefore be responsible to civil authority. The main point
is that the question of whether any specific technology using human DNA or
nascent human life shall be allowed must always be subject to public
investigation and debate at the level of the legislature."
The Elliot Institute is asking pro-life leaders and religious groups to
introduce and support passage of this legislation in the various state
legislatures and to encourage President Bush to negotiate for such a ban
in international treaties.