April 17, 2024

Muslim scholars debate therapeutic cloning

Muslim states are being asked to allow therapeutic cloning and to maintain a ban on the reproductive cloning in a draft of the first international Islamic code of medical and health ethics. The proposed code takes into account Islamic views on new medical techniques such as IVF and gene therapy.

Muslim endorsement of therapeutic cloning could have international implications. After a long debate, the UN has shelved plans for an international treaty banning all forms of human cloning, although it will vote on guidelines next month. The decision to retreat from a ban was partially prompted by division among Muslim countries.

The proposed code has already been endorsed by geneticists, bioethicists, Islamic scholars and doctors from several international organisations. If it is approved by the Islamic Organisation for Medical Sciences, it could adopted by health ministries in Muslim countries.