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Television icons join fight over stem cell research

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1402
  1. Fred Charatan, retired geriatric physician
  1. Florida, USA

    Don't criminalise scientists, says fictional couple Harry and Louise

    Big advertising has joined the battle in the United States over stem cell research. As recently as last month, a Gallup poll found that most Americans opposed both cloning for reproductive purposes and research cloning performed to harvest stem cells from human embryos. President George W Bush, referring to reproductive cloning and research cloning, said on 10 April, “I believe all human cloning is wrong, and both forms of cloning should be banned.”

    A bill banning all forms of cloning was passed in the United States House of Representatives last year. The current US Senate version—introduced by Republican senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democratic senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana—not only prohibits all forms of human cloning, but sets civil and criminal penalties for violators of the law. The debate on the Senate bill, put off several times, is being heavily lobbied and is the source of a number of emotional advertising campaigns.

    Last April, an alliance of patient groups, concerned parents, and leaders in …

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