February 28, 2024

Bush says cloning is an affront to “human dignity”

In an address to the United Nations , US President George Bush condemned human cloning — both reproductive and therapeutic — as part of his nation’s wide ranging defence of human dignity. “Because we believe in human dignity, we should take seriously the protection of life from exploitation under any pretext… [I] urge all governments to affirm a basic ethical principle: No human life should ever be produced or destroyed for the benefit of another.”

Bush also placed the notion of human dignity at the centre of his major foreign policy initiatives — the war on terror, a global fund to fight disease, a ban on human trafficking, debt reduction, a global peace-keeping force, and so on.

However, Mr Bush’s rhetorical flourishes went unnoticed by disgruntled American scientists. A group called Scientists and Engineers for Change will be giving talks in 10 swinging states, charging that his administration has ignored and misused science. Amongst the lecturers are 10 Nobel Prize winners, including Dr Harold Varmus, for director of the National Institutes of Health.