Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the decision by the American Medical Association (AMA) to allow research cloning:
“What is the purpose of allowing research cloning if not to allow reproductive cloning? There is no way to gently open the door to therapeutic cloning without opening the door to wholesale abuse. At a time when the House of Representatives has already banned both types of cloning, and the Senate has yet to vote, it strikes us as if the ‘Doctor Knows Best’ syndrome has once again struck the AMA. To intentionally create human life—which is what a human embryo is—only to destroy it is immoral. That others might benefit does not justify such a crass manipulation of the human species.
“Dr. Leon Kass, chairman of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics, has said that all human cloning involves ‘the expanded power to manipulate nascent human life and thus to master the very technique that will make cloning to produce children possible.’ He then perceptively noted, ‘Were this danger better understood, opposition to the practice would mount.’
“That is why today’s decision by the AMA should be condemned: it seeks to bypass a national conversation on the subject by imposing elite opinion on a still uncertain public. We went through this once before when nine judges discovered a constitutional right to abortion, and the results have been anything but sanguine.
“It is our hope that the Senate will ratify the decision of the House and stop all stages of human cloning. The AMA is an important body but it is no substitute for a democratic airing of life and death issues. Religious leaders, among others, deserve a place at the table.”