National Bioethics Advisory Commission

Background:

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) was created by Executive Order 12975 on October 3, 1995.  Eighteen members were appointed by the President.  Its inaugural meeting was held on October 4, 1996.  The Commission was working on addressing two issues defined in the charter when the news about Dolly broke in February 1997.  At the Presidentís request, the Commission considered the legal and ethical implications of applying somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning technology to the creation of human beings.  Their report was delivered to the President on June 9, 1997.  On the same day, the President transmitted a draft bill to Congress adhering to the Commissionís principal recommendations:

Status:

On November 14, the President requested that the Commission "undertake a thorough review of the issues associated with human stem cell research, balancing all the ethical and medical considerations." The Commission is also working concurrently on two projects defined as high priority in the establishing Executive Order: Federal protection of human subjects (with an emphasis on individuals with mental disorders that may affect their decision-making capacity), and use of biological material in human subject research.  Topics of interest for future work include ethical guidelines for U.S. funding of international human subject research and broadening Federal oversight of private sector research.



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