Spain's parliament approves therapeutic cloning
15 June 2007, MADRID - The lower house of the Spanish Parliament voted in favor of a bill on biomedical research that authorizes therapeutic cloning.
15 June 2007
MADRID - The lower house of the Spanish Parliament voted in favor of a bill on biomedical research that authorizes therapeutic cloning.
The measure, which expressly prohibits reproductive cloning, was supported by all the parties in that chamber with the exception of the main opposition conservative Popular Party.
Therapeutic cloning consists of transferring the nucleus of an adult cell from a patient to an egg cell whose nucleus has been removed. After being inserted into the egg, the somatic cell nucleus is reprogrammed and embryonic stem cells are extracted and encouraged to grow into a piece of human tissue or a complete human organ for transplant.
That latter research goal has been the most controversial and sparked vehement opposition from both the PP and the Catholic Church.
In defense of the measure, Health Minister Elena Salgado said that the text of the bill has been improved as it has made its way through Parliament.
In her judgment, the bill is a "law of guarantees" that seeks to ensure respect for freedom of research and while also providing safeguards that ensure that scientific investigation is carried out with respect for the rights of human beings, particularly those taking part in clinical trials.
Salgado stressed that the bill establishes that "the health, well-being and interest" of a research subject will prevail over the the interests of science.
To ensure compliance, an ethics committee will be set up to guarantee that the research that is carried out is in keeping with methodological, ethical and legal requirements.
Additionally, a commission to regulate the donation and utilization of human cells and tissues will be created and will report on projects - such as cell reprogramming - that make use of or generate this material. EFE
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news