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Friday, February 14, 2002

Session 7: Cloning and Public Policy:
Legislative Alternatives

CHAIRMAN KASS: We have not taken up the policy questions here. It is in a way regrettable but I think I am not wrong that to have cut off this kind of discussion in the midst would have cost us more in the long run and that we have at least the basis for beginning to move further on this, inchoate though the current situation is.

On the policy question, up to this point we have guided ourselves because we entered this discussion where policy alternatives existed out there before us in the form of two competing sets of legislation. In the discussion today, both from you, Rebecca, and from Dan Foster, talk about regulatory bodies as appended to possibly permissive activities was introduced.

And Frank Fukuyama, were he here, and he did ask me at least to allude to this, wants us — since he is much more interested in how we go about making these decisions in the long run rather than what is decided in this case, is very much interested in the question of institutional designs, review mechanisms, things of that sort that might accompany whatever happens here because cloning is not the only issue and, as everybody knows, legislation is a poor weapon or instrument for dealing with most of what we have to deal with. So Frank, also, would like very much for us to broaden our own policy considerations to include things in addition to the legislative alternatives as they now exist.

Let me propose that when we return, we will have, I hope, a draft, thanks to the contributions of all of you, on the arguments of the ethics of clonal baby making. We will try to get some early briefs prepared regarding the moral goods that have been in this discussion and we will try to lay the groundwork for a first serious pass on the policy questions, which you have been thinking about and reading about but we will have to take it up de novo.

I would also like to say that we have to start thinking about what we will take up after we take up cloning in addition to stem cell matters. We are open to suggestions but we have got ten weeks between this meeting and the next so that there is time to do real planning as well as to prepare the materials of a somewhat more sophisticated and thorough sort on this topic.

Lastly, a warning. I have not abandoned the goal of having some sort of self-conscious reflection on what we are doing, whether it be by means of finding other stories or finding someone in the group to do what Gil did for us the last time, to commission some kind of a paper where we do not have — you should forgive me, have to spend all or our time talking about human cloning.


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