January 6, 2003
There has been talk in the news that the first human clone may have
been born in December of 2002. This news stunned the world, and
initially came with few details. As more has been learned about
the group and the circumstances, the validity of the claim has been
questioned. As of yet, no outside source has been allowed to check
the DNA of the mother and daughter to compare the two. More than
a year ago, Scientific American ran an article dated November 24,
They Want to Make a Baby" As the story went.. "Zavos is
a professor of reproductive physiology at the University of Kentucky
and co-founder of a fertility clinic in Lexington; Antinori is director
of a Rome-based fertility clinic. Both have reputations as renegades:
Antinori has helped many post-menopausal women become pregnant,
including at least one woman who gave birth in her 60s. At a conference
onhuman cloning at the National Academy of Sciences last August,
Zavos said that he and Antinori would work to help couples in which
the man did not produce viable sperm reproduce via cloning. The
two announced they would have pregnancies by the end of this year.
Their claim is credible: both have extensive expertise in fertility
and access to potentially interested couples."
This is the group in the
news today claiming to have done what they said they would. They
claim that this baby girl was born just last month with the DNA
of her mother. This group made a claim and made headlines. Everyone
is talking about what they say
they have done. They have the media telling the world each day more
and more about who they are and what they believe as a group. They
have emotionally charged people on different sides of the cloning
issue. This group is using this baby (if there is a baby) for publicity.
The media is using this story for ratings. Different sides of the
cloning debate are using this baby in the attempt to help their
It may be a long time before
we know if this breaking news story was all just a hoax.
"Boisselier made the
announcement on Friday that her group had produced the world's first
cloned baby. She said the baby was delivered to a 31-year-old American
woman by Caesarean section on Thursday and that a pediatrician had
examined the child--nicknamed "Eve"--and found that she
was in fine health. The scientific community has responded with
skepticism and dismay, citing the several failed cloning attempts
of other mammals.
They have also pointed out that Boisselier has offered no proof--no
photographs or genetic tests--to prove her claim." http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/DailyNews/gma_clonedbaby021230.html
And if this baby does exist?
And if this baby is a clone? What level of privacy will we (her
fellow citizens) provide her? How much of her life are we "entitled"
to know about in the name of science?
Questions of the Week:
There is legitimate medical news that reports new findings through
research; there is curiosity about a new development; and there
is the respect for the right to have a private life if one chooses.
Where do we draw the line? Will this child ever understand the existence
of that line? Does she still have the right to a private life, or
did her mother give that up for her?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum