13 April 2000
Dolly creator argues for cloning
By FWi staff
THE creator of Dolly the sheep has stressed the potentially “vast” medical benefits of therapeutic cloning.
But Professor Ian Wilmut refrained from endorsing the cloning of whole humans.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, he said: “I am very comfortable with the British legal view that the human embryo has almost a unique status.”
But he said an embryo is a “potential person”, not a person.
He has made a submission to the Chief Medical Officer arguing that the creation of cloned embryos for therapies should be added to the list of allowed uses.
“All of us must know somebody who is suffering right now from one of the serious diseases, such as diabetes stroke, Parkinsons disease, heart attack, hepatitis, spinal cord damage, arthritis, blindness,” he said, pointing to the potential benefits of the technology.
Prof Wilmut, who cloned Dolly at the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, said if therapeutic cloning is not backed, researchers are likely to join the brain drain.
- Daily Telegraph, 13/04/00, page 13