Doctors Urged To Abstain From Cloning

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The World Medical Association's annual General Assembly, meeting in Hamburg, Germany, has called on all doctors engaged in research and other researchers to abstain voluntarily from participating in the cloning of human beings.

Endorsing a resolution from its Council earlier this year, the General Assembly said doctors should cease work in this field "until the scientific, ethical and legal issues have been fully considered by doctors and scientists and any necessary controls put in place".

The resolution said that the cloning of sheep had raised the possibility of such techniques being used in humans, "in turn raising concern for the dignity of the human being and protection for the security of human genetic material".

Dr Anders Milton, chairman of the WMA Council, said: "The WMA will continue to study the ethical, human and legal implications of whether some of the techniques used in cloning should or should not be used in other areas, be they scientific or related to the treatment of patients."