We have read the press reports on a documentary to air tonight purporting to show attempts to transfer clonal human embryos. Nine years ago, The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a report calling attempts at human cloning unethical. This statement was reviewed in 2006. The statement concludes, "As long as the safety of reproductive SCNT is uncertain, ethical issues have been insufficiently explored, and infertile couples have alternatives for conception, the use of reproductive SCNT by medical professionals does not meet standards of ethical acceptability."
(See full report at http://www.asrm.org/Media/Ethics/cloning.pdf.)
Nothing we have seen since has caused us to change our views. Any attempt to create a cloned human embryo for gestation and birth is ethically, scientifically, and clinically unacceptable.
Having said that, we would call on the media and the public to demand more evidence before taking seriously any claims to have produced human clonal embryos.
Below is a statement the ASRM issued more than five years ago in response to similar claims. It appears little has changed since then.
For immediate release
January 17, 2004
ASRM Responds to Latest Cloning Claims
Washington, DC –Marian Damewood, MD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued the following statement in response to claims of a cloned human embryo having been created and transferred:
“The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has been on record for years as opposing any attempts at human reproductive cloning. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that such an attempt would be unacceptably dangerous. We would deem any attempt to transfer a cloned human embryo into a woman for gestation and birth unethical.
“As has been the case with others claiming to be proceeding with cloning, we have yet to see any evidence that these safety concerns have been addressed. And as was the case with previous claims, we have also yet to see any evidence as to the veracity of the claims
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 8,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology. Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and the Society of Reproductive Surgeons.