THE DEBATE on human cloning is finally over.

The U.N. General Assembly on March 8 called on all governments to prohibit human cloning in all forms, which as such are “incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.”

Four years of debate ended with the body voting 84 against and 34 for cloning, with 37 abstentions.

Total ban of cloning is the way to go for the United States as well as Catholic countries. Belgium, China and the United Kingdom wanted a partial ban to make exceptions for “therapeutic cloning,” that is, cloning human embryos to look for cures for various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.

“To justify cloning, they are trying to redefine the beginning of life,” said Dr. Victoria Edna Monzon, chair of the Department of Bioethics of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. “They are saying that life begins after implantation, not fertilization. But if the fertilized ovum is not human life, how could it grow into babies?”

Monzon said, “The benefits of therapeutic cloning can already be derived from stem cell studies. This option is moral in the sense that it does not kill or hurt animals,” Monzon said. Some of the more acceptable sources from the human body for stem cell research include adult bone marrow, human fat, umbilical cord, and the placenta.” Marie Ghiselle V. Villorente

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