U.S. Doctors' Group Endorses Cloning for Research

Pro-lifers Assail Decision by American Medical Association

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CHICAGO, JUNE 17, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The American Medical Association, the largest U.S. physicians' organization, backed the use of cloning for research purposes.



So-called therapeutic, or research, cloning involves the creation of human embryos for the sole purpose of extracting their stem cells, a procedure that results in the destruction of the embryo.

Pro-life groups swiftly denounced the AMA decision.

Pro-Life Wisconsin emphasized that thousands of physicians believe in the sanctity of human life at all developmental stages and therefore reject research cloning as wholly unethical.

"Modern science has authoritatively concluded that a human embryo is a human being, immediately beginning at fertilization or cloning," said Dr. Michael John Phillips, past president of the Wisconsin Society of Pathologists. "At no other logical or scientifically sound point can we say that human life begins."

AMA policy-making delegates adopted their cloning measure today without debate after discussing the issue Sunday, the Associated Press said.

The proposal focused on a laboratory procedure designed to create embryos to cultivate their stem cells, which are master cells that can potentially grow into any type of human tissue.

Scientists believe such cells could potentially be used to treat a wide range of human diseases, though experience has shown, according to Pro-Life Wisconsin, that there are many problems with the cells, such as tissue rejection and genetic abnormalities.