Bush´s Bioethics Panel Focuses on Human Cloning

Advisers Include Harvard´s Mary Ann Glendon and Princeton´s Robert George

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A presidential advisory council on bioethics began its work today by examining the issues surrounding human cloning, the Associated Press reported.

The council is looking at the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of the debate. It also plans to address the specific issue before Congress: whether a ban on cloning should include research and medical treatments or be limited to efforts to create another human being.

President George W. Bush already has said he favors a total ban on human cloning, and it was unclear whether the council will have any effect on his position.

The council is also charged with tackling embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia, issues that deeply divide Americans. Bush also asked the council to examine assisted reproduction, typically in vitro fertilization, which is used by many infertile couples.

The president promised in August to create the council after struggling with whether the government should finance controversial research involving stem cells derived from human embryos. It replaces a similar commission that advised President Bill Clinton.

Members appointed are:

–Elizabeth Blackburn, a cell biologist at the University California San Francisco and former president of the American Society for Cell Biology.

–Stephen Carter, professor at Yale Law School, who focuses on constitutional law and law and religion.

–Rebecca Dresser, professor at Washington University School of Law, who has written on bioethical issues.

–Dr. Daniel Foster, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, an expert on intermediary metabolism.

–Francis Fukuyama, professor of international political economy at the
School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, who will soon publish a book on biotechnology.

–Michael Gazzaniga, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College.

–Robert P. George, a lawyer and professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University.

–Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, philosophy professor at Georgetown University.

–Mary Ann Glendon, professor at Harvard University Law School, who studies international human rights, comparative law and constitutional law issues. Glendon lead the Vatican delegation at the U.N. women´s conference in Beijing in the 1990s.

–Dr. William B. Hurlbut, professor of human biology at Stanford University, who focuses on ethical issues associated with advancing biotechnology and neuroscience, and the integration of philosophy of biology with theology.

–Dr. Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post.

–William F. May, retired ethics professor at Southern Methodist University, a medical ethicist.

–Dr. Paul McHugh, psychiatry professor and director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who has written on assisted suicide issues.

–Gilbert Meilaender, professor of Christian ethics at Valparaiso University and an editor for the Journal of Religious Ethics and the Religious Studies Review, who has a special interest in bioethics.

–Dr. Janet D. Rowley, professor of medicine, molecular genetics, cell biology and human genetics at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.

–Michael J. Sandel, government professor at Harvard University.

–James Q. Wilson, retired professor of management and public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.

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