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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 9, 1997


June 9, 1997

Today at the White House, President Clinton will receive the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's report on human cloning and transmit to Congress the "Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997." This legislative proposal would implement the Commission's key recommendation for legislation to prohibit any attempt to create a human being using somatic cell nuclear transfer technology. The President will be joined in the Rose Garden by the Vice President and Commission Chairman Dr. Harold Shapiro.

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) Report

President Clinton today accepts the NBAC's report on the possible cloning of human beings. In February, following reports of the successful cloning of a sheep, the President asked the NBAC to review the profound ethical issues raised by the possible cloning of human beings. Today, Dr. Harold Shapiro, Chair of the Commission and President of Princeton University, formally presented the report to the President.

The Commission found unanimously that it is morally unacceptable for anyone to attempt to create a child with the technology used to create Dolly the sheep. The NBAC reported that attempting to create a child using so-called somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning would pose great risks to the child and raise other ethical issues needing further discussion. The NBAC called for a moratorium on the use of the technique in humans.

The Commission also found that the new technology may have many agricultural and medical benefits, including the development of medicines, therapies for diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes, and prospects for repair and regeneration of human tissues. The NBAC concluded that the cloning of DNA, cells, tissues, and non-human animals --using somatic cell nuclear transfer and other cloning techniques --is not ethically problematic when conducted in compliance with existing regulations and guidelines.

Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997

Acting on the Commission's key recommendation, President Clinton announced legislation banning the use of the new technology to clone human beings. Consistent with the NBAC's recommendation, the President's legislative proposal prohibits for five years the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to create a human being and directs the NBAC to report to the President in four and a half years on whether to continue the ban. The proposal is carefully worded to ensure that it will not interfere with beneficial biomedical and agricultural activities.

Further Actions By The President

As recommended by the NBAC, President Clinton today also:


Harold T. Shapiro, Chair of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, is the President and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and is a world-renowned educator and economist. He is a member of numerous honorary professional societies including the Institute of Medicine and has been awarded many honorary degrees. Dr. Shapiroserves on advisory boards to several public organizations and corporations and is a past member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (1990-1993). He earned a B-Comm. from McGill University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

Patricia Backlar of Oregon, is Senior Scholar at the Center for Ethics in Health Care, Oregon Health Sciences University, where Ms. Backlar specializes in issues concerning individuals with severe and persistent mental disorders. She attended Vassar College, McGill University and Yale University, and holds a certificate in health care ethics from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Senator Hatfield supported Ms. Backlar's candidacy.

Arturo Brito of Florida, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Brito is also the Medical Director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic of Miami. Dr. Brito earned his M.D. at the University of South Florida and interned at Emory University in pediatrics.

Alexander M. Capron of California, is co-director of the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics at the University of Southern California. Professor Capron specializes in legal-medical issues and biomedical ethics. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a founding Fellow of the Hastings Center and a past member of the Human Gene Therapy Subcommittee of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Professor Capron received his B.A. with high honors from Swarthmore College and his LL.B. from Yale University.

Eric J. Cassell of New York, is Physician to In-Patients at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. For five years, Dr. Cassell directed the Cornell UniversityMedical College Program for the Study of Ethics and Values in Medicine. Dr. Cassell received a B.A. from Queens College, an M.A. from Columbia University, an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Cassell's candidacy was supported by Senator Moynihan.

R. Alta Charo of Wisconsin, holds joint assistant professorships in the University of Wisconsin Medical and Law Schools. A Fellow of the Hastings Center, Ms. Charo has also held government appointments in the Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ms. Charo earned an A.B. in biology, cum laude, from Harvard-Radcliffe College and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

James F. Childress of Virginia, is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of ReligiousStudies and Professor of Medical Education at the University of Virginia, where he is also the co-director of the Virginia Health Policy Research Center. Dr. Childress is the author of numerous articles and several books on biomedical ethics and is former vice-chairman of the National Task Force on Organ Transplantation. He received his B.A. from Guilford College, B.D. from Yale Divinity School and M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

David R. Cox of California, is Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Cox is a world-renowned expert on genetic diseases associated with defects in chromosome 21, including Down Syndrome and ataxia-telangiectasia. He is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation for Clinical Research and the Human Genome Organization. Board certified in both pediatrics and human genetics, Dr. Cox received his A.B. from Brown University, and M.D. and Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Washington.

Rhetaugh Graves Dumas of Michigan, is the Vice Provost for Health Affairs, the University of Michigan. Formerly Dean of The University of Michigan School of Nursing, and Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Dumas is known for her clinical research in the area of psychiatric nursing. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and a past president of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Dumas earned a B.S.N. at Dillard University, an M.S. from the Yale University School of Nursing and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ezekiel J. Emanuel of Massachusetts, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Social Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. A member of the Ethics Group under the President's Health Care Task Force, Dr. Emanuel is the author of many articles on medical ethics, focusing particularly on decisionmaking in terminal care. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College, M.Sc. from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. from Harvard University and is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

Laurie M. Flynn of Virginia, is the Executive Director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. A consultant to child welfare organizations, federal, state, and county governments, Ms. Flynn is also the author of numerous publications on family mental health services. She earned a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Virginia.

Carol W. Greider of New York, is Senior Staff Scientist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Greider is an internationally known expert in molecular biology whose research focuses on the structure and function of telomeres, chromosomal components whose role in aging and cancer development is just beginning to become clear. In addition to studies at the George-August Universitat in Gottigen, West Germany, she was awarded a B.A. in biology from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from U.C. Berkeley.

Steven H. Holtzman of Massachusetts, is Chief Business Officer of Millenium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company using genetics, genomics and bioinformatics to identify genes responsible for common major diseases and in their work on human biology directed toward drug development. Mr. Holtzman's academic background includes a Rhodes Scholarship leading to a B.Phil., in addition to a B.A. in philosophy from Michigan State University. Mr. Holtzman chairs the Ethics Panel of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, who submitted his nomination as a representative of the biotechnology industry.

Bette O. Kramer of Virginia, is the founder and first president of the Richmond Bioethics Consortium, a community-based organization providing education and development support to institutional ethics committees, and educational opportunities to the general public. Active in a variety of health-related activities, such as the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Critical Care Task Force, Ms. Kramer also has professional experience as a security analyst. Ms. Kramer earned a B.A. in economics at Wellesley College.

Bernard Lo of California, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he teaches a required course on medical ethics, law and economics. Dr. Lo has served as a member of a number of public advisory committees including an OTA project on Life Sustaining Technologies in the Elderly. He received an A.B., summa cum laude, in physics from Harvard College; a M.A. from the University of Sussex in comparative literature; an A.M. from Harvard University in the history of science and an M.D. from Stanford University.

Lawrence H. Miike of Hawaii, is the Director of the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, which includes the Nation's 3rd largest public hospital system. Previously, Dr. Miike worked for the U.S. Congress. His studies led to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, AIDS policies, and action on health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Miike holds a B.A. from Amherst College, a degree in medicine from U.C. San Francisco, and a law degree from U.C.L.A..

Thomas H. Murray of Ohio, is Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Murray's research focuses on ethics in medicine and science, including ethical aspects of health policy; the care of newborns and children, occupational health, and genetic engineering. Dr. Murray earned a B.A. at Temple University in psychology and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton University.

Diane Scott-Jones of Pennsylvania, is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Temple University. Dr. Scott-Jones is a Fellow of the AmericanPsychological Association, who submitted her nomination, and a co-author of the Association's ethics guidelines. She is also a member and past chair of the Ethics Committee of the Society for Research in Child Development. Her research involves the role of family in supporting children's scholastic achievement. Dr. Scott-Jones holds a B.S. and M.A. in psychology from Appalachian State University, and a Ph.D. in development psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.