Volume 3, Issue 11 (Winter 2009)                   Medical Law Journal 2009, 3(11): 145-170 | Back to browse issues page

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Fakour H. A Study on Criminalizing Human Cloning in Iranian Statutes. Medical Law Journal. 2009; 3 (11) :145-170
URL: http://ijmedicallaw.ir/article-1-125-en.html

Cloning, as a new technology, has attracted the attention of statesmen, physicians, lawyers and other scientific communities. This phenomenon both opens a new horizon on human society regarding its therapeutic features and brings some concerns to it. This technology is divided into two parts: Human or generative cloning and therapeutic or investigative cloning. The first meaning which comes to the mind is simply to make and compose a human being like the one existing before. Medical cloning is defined as the transfer of somatic nucleus cell into an ovum without nucleus. Theoretically speaking, researchers try to make a somatic cell into a fetus through cloning. In the above-mentioned clonings, the beginning of the processes are the same while their results are quite different. In human cloning the outcome is a human being who is genetically like the person whose active nucleus cell has been used. But in therapeutic cloning, the aim is to generate embryonic stem cells from an embryo which is just a few-day old. Such cells have the capacity to change into the cells of tissues and organs. As the primary and important sources of cloning, religions have a considerable effect on the process of legislation in this regard. Different religions have different and numerous decrees. Regarding plant and animal cloning, they considered a favorable conduct. Reading the status of cloning in therapy of diseases, some are advocates but some are opponents to it. But what is seriously condemned in all religions is human cloning. Catholic condemned both human cloning and therapeutic cloning and disagrees with it seriously. In Islam, Sunnites considered human cloning as unethical and something opposite to Islam. From Shi’ite prespective, this has not yet been considerably studied. Human cloning is permitted and favorable but therapeutic cloning does not enjoy a consensus. Regarding the usage of this technology and its possible disadvantages, its use has been accompanied by some agreements and disagreements for which there are numerous reasons. Accordingly, some countries deal with it based on religious, cultural, ethical and social approaches, and put it in the process of legislation and criminalizations. Unfortunately, like other scientific and social phenomena that come to the process of legislation very late, human cloning has not yet been put in the process of legislation in Iran. Even a draft has not been prepared for consideration. Furthermore, statesmen have not declared any formal stands so that it will indicate Iranian criminal policy. Nevertheless, Iran is included in a few countries in the world which accessed to embryonic stem cells. Studying the advocates’ opinions and those of opponents of cloning, and with a view to the Act for Fetus Donation to Sterile Couples which may be considered a little of cloning concern, the author tries to examine criminalization and required legal performance in Iran.

Received: 2009/09/30 | Accepted: 2009/12/4

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