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The Cornerstones for a Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine

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The recent debate on the theoretical possibility of cloning human beings is urging society to develope a global legal barrier in order to prohibit the use of this technique on humans. Some national legislation, e.g. Germany, already bans the cloning of human beings. The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine contains three articles which together form the cornerstones for a prohibition of cloning: Article 1 guarantees the identity of human beings, Article 18.2 explicitly prohibits the creation of human embryos for research purposes and Article 13 contains a prohibition on the modification of the genome of any decendants. The prohibition of cloning human beings in the Protocol on Embryo Protection foreseen by the Council of Europe seems a necessary consequence. Furthermore, the forthcoming UNESCO Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights should contain such an explicit prohibition.

Affiliations: 1: Federal Ministry of Health, Am Propsthof 78a, 53108 Bonn, Germany


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