Cloning fails to find favour

December 4, 1998

There is little public support for cloning for reproductive purposes, claims a report by the Wellcome Trust.

The study, Public Perspectives on Human Cloning, found that even groups that might be expected to see human cloning for reproductive purposes in a positive light, such as infertile women or parents who had lost children, were, with few exceptions, no more supportive than the public at large.

The report found the 79 participants, who joined in small group discussions and interviews, were initially more prepared to support the idea of using cloned human embryos for research, such as for growing replacement organs.

But as they gained more information and considered the issues, significant reservations and conditions were stipulated. Participants wanted evidence for the medical benefits of cloning and reassurances that the suggested medical benefits could only be achieved through such research.

A striking finding was the lack of trust expressed in scientists and those perceived to be in control of scientific research.

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