Borrowing Trouble: Should the FDA Regulate Human Cloning?

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Borrowing Trouble: Should the FDA Regulate Human Cloning?

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Title: Borrowing Trouble: Should the FDA Regulate Human Cloning?
Author: Carmody, Allison R.
Citation: Borrowing Trouble: Should the FDA Regulate Human Cloning? (2000 Third Year Paper)
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Abstract: Less than a year after scientist Ian Wilmut announced the birth of Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, entrepreneur and physicist Richard Seed stated on National Public Radio that he intended to establish a for-profit clinic to clone human beings as soon as the technology was available. An immediate, visceral reaction to the prospect of human cloning reverberated throughout the nation and the rest of the world, as private and public organizations alike rushed to impose moratoriums, pass legislation, and appeal to scientists' morality to suppress any attempts to clone a human being. In the thick of this debate it became apparent that no existing arm of the federal government had jurisdiction to monitor privately-funded research. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then stepped forward and asserted that it, in fact, did have authority to regulate human cloning under the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Since then the dust has settled. More than one legal scholar has questioned the FDA's claim to authority, and the FDA itself concedes to be re-evaluating its position. While legal scholars struggle to define the scope of the FDA's power, ethical scholars appear engaged in a debate over the moral implications of cloning a human. What these groups have failed to address satisfactorily, and what I intend to resolve, is how these two debates are intertwined and how they can be disentangled. While the bounds of FDA authority may appear no more complicated than any other academic legal question, I intend to show that by regulating human cloning the FDA necessarily takes a stand in the currently ongoing ethical debate in which it should remain neutral.
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