[Therapeutic cloning in debate]

by G de Wert
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd ()


Human embryos can be conceived by cell nuclear transfer in order to isolate human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) for research into autologous cell therapy (therapeutic cloning). However, this technique broaches the major ethical problem concerning the instrumental use of human preimplantation embryos. From the viewpoint of subsidiarity, it is argued that various potential alternatives for therapeutic cloning should first be investigated further. The question as to whether therapeutic cloning should be allowed only becomes apparent when research with surplus embryos obtained in the course of in-vitro fertilization suggests that usable transplants can be obtained in vitro from hES cells, and when the potential alternatives for therapeutic cloning are either less promising or need more time for development than is currently expected.

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