Resolution on Human Cloning, European Parliament, 1998 O.J. (C 34) 164 (Jan. 15, 1998)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its resolution of 12 March 1997 on cloning animals and human beings(1),

-   having regard to its opinion of 16 July 1997 on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions(2),

-   having regard to the 1996 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, also known as the 'human rights and biomedicine convention', and the additional protocol prohibiting human cloning,

A.  having regard to the disquiet caused by the announcement by an American researcher of his intention to clone human beings,

B.  whereas human cloning is defined as the creation of human embryos having the same genetic make-up as another human being, dead or alive, at any stage of its development from the moment of fertilization, without any possible distinction as regards the method used,

C.  whereas the cloning of human beings, whether carried out on an experimental basis, in the context of fertility treatments, preimplantation diagnosis, for tissue transplantation, or for any other purpose whatsoever, is unethical, morally repugnant, contrary to respect for the person and a grave violation of fundamental human rights which cannot under any circumstance be justified or accepted,

D.  whereas scientific research, which is one of the keys to human progress, must be pursued; whereas, however, it may not undermine the dignity and integrity of the human being,

E.  whereas on 12 January 1998, the Council of Europe opened for signature the first and only international text imposing a stringent ban on human cloning,

1.  Reiterates that every individual has the right to his own genetic identity and that human cloning must be prohibited;

2.  Calls on the Member States of the Council of Europe to sign and ratify the Council of Europe human rights and biomedicine convention and its additional protocol prohibiting human cloning, as these two legal instruments are binding and provide for severe penalties in the event of their being breached in the countries of Europe; in the event of a difference of opinion on the definition, calls for the definition given by the European Parliament to be used;

3.  Calls on each Member State to enact binding legislation prohibiting all research on human cloning within its territory and providing for criminal sanctions for any breach;

4.  Calls on the Member States, the European Union and the United Nations to take all the steps necessary to bring about a universal and specific ban, which is legally binding, on the cloning of human beings, including the convening of a world conference on this subject;

5.  Calls on the international scientific community, in carrying out research on the human genome, to refrain from the cloning of human beings;

6.  Reminds the Council of Parliament's insistence that no Community funds should be used, directly or indirectly, for research programmes which make use of human cloning and calls for confirmation that this prohibition is being fully applied;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States, the Secretary-General and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Secretary- General of the United Nations.

(1)OJ C 115, 14.4.1997, p. 92.
(2)OJ C 286, 22.9.1997, p. 87.


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