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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B5-0710/2000
5 September 2000
PE 295.867
further to the Commission statement
pursuant to Rule 37(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by the following Members: Elizabeth Montfort, Cristiana Muscardini, Nicole Thomas-Mauro and José Ribeiro e Castro
on behalf of the UEN Group
on human cloning

European Parliament resolution on human cloning 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the decision by the British Government to legalise cloning for therapeutic purposes,

–  having regard to the decision by the United States Government to authorise the use of embryos for purposes of research,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 16 March 1989 on genetic engineering(1) and artificial insemination ‘in vivo’ and ‘in vitro’(2) and its resolution of 12 March 1997 on cloning(3),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine(4) and its resolution of 20 September 1996 on the draft convention(5),

–  having regard to the Commission’s statement of 30 March 2000 on the cloning of human beings,

–  having regard to its resolution of 30 March 2000 on patent no EB 695351(6),

–  having regard to the call by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 29 June 2000 for a revision of Directive 98/44 which provides that a gene may be patented if it is isolated from the human body,

A.  whereas cloning and patentability are and must remain prohibited in every case where human beings are concerned,

B.  whereas a relaxation of the ban on human cloning is contrary to respect for life and human dignity,

C.  whereas there is no difference between cloning for therapeutic purposes and for purposes of reproduction,

D.  whereas an attempt is being made to use linguistic sleight of hand to erode the moral significance of human cloning,

E.  whereas lifting of the ban is generally motivated by the therapeutic benefits, but the latter cannot justify the use of human embryos to manufacture organs,

F.  whereas research into the production of cells from cloned human embryos is illegitimate from the point of view both of natural law and of human rights,

G.  whereas this procedure is not morally consistent, in that manipulating human beings during the first stages of their life with the aim of removing from them the biological material required for experimentation with new therapies, thereby killing the human being concerned, manifestly contradicts the value inherent in the avowed aim of saving other human beings,

H.  having regard to the importance of regulating and controlling genetic research, in view of the human interests at stake,

1.  Reaffirms that no consideration of research, let alone profit, should take priority over the sense of dignity of human life, and calls for this principle to be enshrined in the future Treaty of the Union;

2.  Calls for immediate application of the precautionary principle;

3.  Calls on the Commission and Council to remedy the legal vacuum arising from the fact that cloning of embryos for therapeutic purposes is not covered by any Community rules;

4.  Reaffirms its conviction that it is essential to lay down ethical rules based on respect for human dignity in the field of biotechnology;

5.  Calls on the European Group on Ethics to take account of these new developments in the opinion it is to deliver shortly;

6.  Calls on the appropriate national and Community authorities to ensure that the ban on patenting or cloning human beings is reaffirmed and to adopt rules to this end;

7.  Calls on the Council to take the initiative towards the adoption of an international convention on the use of life;

8.  Calls on the scientific community to seek ways of reducing the number of unneeded embryos and to perform more research into the possibility of obtaining stem cells capable of differentiation for therapeutic purposes, particularly from adult organs;

9.  Calls on the Convention responsible for drafting the Charter of Fundamental Rights to uphold this ban, adopting the precise terms used by Parliament and the Council of the EU in the directive on patentability of biotechnological inventions;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the governments of the Member States and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 96, 17.4.1989, p. 165
(2) OJ C 96, 17.4.1989, p. 171
(3) Minutes of the same date, Part II, point 9
(4) Document DIR/JUR(96) 14 of the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Council of Europe
(5) OJ C 320, 28.10.1996, p. 268
(6) ‘Texts adopted’ of the same date, point 9

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