SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

STATE HOUSE MAJORITY CREATES A BACK-DOOR CLONING BILL? E2SSB 5581 – The Life Sciences Discovery Fund Bill – passed the Senate with a strong ban on human cloning. Unsatisfied with idea that the State should NOT condone and fund the growing of human life for the sake of destroying it and harvesting it for resources, amendments were made in House committees to the bill.

The House version of E2SSB 5581 gives the green light to state funded human cloning. The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence. Senate debate is expected soon.

The Senate passed a bill on the Life Sciences Discovery Fund (available here). The Senate version defined "human being" and cloning in an honest, straight-forward manner and stated:

No person shall knowingly clone a human being, participate in cloning a human being, or attempt to clone a human being.

Senate should stick with what they already passed and REJECT the House’s blank check for human cloning.

If the Senate does NOT concur with the House’s changes, then the bill will be sent to a joint conference committee to hammer out the disagreements.

This debate does NOT have to be about the Life Sciences Discovery Fund. We can still have the fund without calling for human cloning. The Senate version of E2SSB 5581 allows for precisely this. But fifty-three members of the House have muddied the waters. They have called for human cloning in this legislation—using the people’s money, no less.

I acknowledge that all sorts of arguments have been raised about the funding of the project contemplated by the bill--whether the money should come from private industry, whether it is right that we divert money the state will receive from tobacco companies via the Master Settlement Agreement into biotech, etc. On the other hand, biotech and life sciences research offers a variety of benefits for humankind and our way of life. But if THESE sorts of arguments were all that this bill was about, I wouldn’t bother to weigh in.

Growing human life solely for the purpose of destroying it as a natural resource is wrong. The Senate version of E2SSB 5581 does not conflict with this necessary truth. Sadly, the House version opens the door to ethically dangerous practices.

Last Wednesday’s edition of The Herald featured an op-ed co-authored by myself and fellow Sound Politics contributor Timothy Goddard. We identified the ethical dangers associated with EHB 1268. Granted, the House version of E2SSB 5581 would not explicitly enshrine human cloning into Washington State law the way EHB 1268 would. Nonetheless, the House’s E2SSB 5581 would allow funding for the very same thing.

(Cross-blogged at Sound Politics.)

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


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