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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 11 May 2004

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Draft human cloning & other prohibited practices bill

The Ministry of Health (MOH) proposes to introduce a new Bill to prohibit human reproductive cloning.

The draft Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Bill will be put up on the Ministry's website (www.moh.gov.sg) from 10 May 2004 to 31 May 2004 for public consultation and comment.

The proposed Bill is a result of careful consideration of the feedback received from the public and the scientific community during the public consultation of the draft Regulation of Biomedical Research Bill in November 2003.

The Ministry received about 320 responses on the draft Regulation of Biomedical Research Bill from the various professional organizations, religious groups, the scientific research community and members of the public.

Respondents generally agreed that biomedical research should be conducted in an ethical manner, and supported MOH's efforts to regulate biomedical research through a legislative framework. Several respondents also strongly supported the ban on reproductive cloning. The summary of the feedback received is available on MOH website.

Based on the feedback received, MOH has decided to adopt a step-by-step approach to regulate biomedical research activities. As a first step, MOH proposes to introduce the Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Bill. This is because human reproductive cloning is the most pressing issue at this time and attracts the greatest ethical concerns.

The proposed Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Bill will prohibit against placing of any human embryo clone in the body of a human or the body of an animal.

 It also prohibits the import and export of any human embryo clone into and out of Singapore, as well as the commercial trading of human eggs, human sperms and human embryos.

The Bill will also prohibit certain practices associated with reproductive cloning activities such as developing human embryos created other than by fertilization of human egg by human sperm for a period of more than 14 days, and prohibition against developing human embryo outside body of woman for more than 14 days.

It will also prohibit the removal of human embryos from the body of the woman for the purpose of collecting a viable human embryo.

Any person who carries out reproductive cloning research shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000, or imprisonment for less than 5 years, or both.

Source: Ministry of Health Press Release 10 May 2004

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