Crafting a Cloning Policy

From Dolly to Stem Cells

Andrea L. Bonnicksen

"Bonnicksen has successfully written a novel synthesis and analysis of an emerging societal debate that addresses the unique moral, legal, and social issues of that debate."
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Ever since Dolly, the Scottish lamb, tottered on wobbly legs into our consciousness-followed swiftly by other animals: first, mice; then pigs that may provide human transplants, and even an ordinary house cat-thoughts have flown to the cloning of human beings. Legislators rushed to propose a ban on a technique that remains highly hypothetical, although some independent researchers have announced their determination to pursue the possibilities. Political scientist and well-known expert on reproductive issues, Andrea L. Bonnicksen examines the political reaction to this new-born science and the efforts to construct cloning policy. She also looks at issues that relate to stem cell research, its even newer sibling, and poses a key question:

How does the response to Dolly guide us as we manage innovative reproductive technologies in the future?

Various legislative endeavors and the efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee cloning, as well as policy models related to federal funding, individual state laws, and programs abroad, inform Bonnicksen's identification of four types of cloning policy. She analyzes in depth the roles of diverse interest groups as each struggle to become the dominant voice in the decision-making process. With skill and insight, she clears the mists from a complicated topic, and addresses the legal, political, and ethical arguments that are not likely to disappear from the national conversation or debates any time soon.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Underpinnings of Policy Development

3. Attempts to Legislate: U.S. Congress, 1997

4. The Politics of Reproductive Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, 1998

5. The Politics of Therapeutic Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, 1999

6. Administrative Oversight: Food and Drug Administration

7. Oversight through Federal Research Funding

8. State Legislatures and State and Federal Courts

9. Cross-National and International Oversight

10. Toward Responsible Policymaking


"Bonnicksen has successfully written a novel synthesis and analysis of an emerging societal debate that addresses the unique moral, legal, and social issues of that debate."—Medical Humanities Review

"A highly readable, detailed, well researched, and well organized treatment of the cloning debate in the United States and abroad. . .. For those who have not followed the cloning debate in detail, and who wish to understand the options and legal pitfalls before us, Crafting a Cloning Policy is a marvelously detailed and readable chronicle. For those who wish to become active in the debate, it is essential reading on the basics of the history and parameters of the controversy, which could help readers to better appreciate the full flavor of the political motivations that lie beneath the public statements."—Nature Genetics

"Crafting a Cloning Policy makes a major contribution to the understanding of the philosophical dilemmas raised by the intersection of science and public policy. . .. This book is perhaps the most comprehensive discussion available of U.S. efforts to develop a cloning policy. It provides a sophisticated synthesis of the scientific and public policy dilemmas created by a technology that races ahead of government action. While the book is important reading for academics and the general public, it should be mandatory reading for policymakers."—Perspectives on Politics

"If only we could clone Andrea Bonnicksen! She has produced a lucid, close-grained political history of the cloning debate in the U.S., culminating in an insightful analysis of the real options now open to American policymakers.... all involved should stop and read this book."—Eric Juengst, associate professor of bioethics, Case Western Reserve University

"Bonnicksen's analysis of cloning reveals why a nation so rich in its scientific accomplishments is unable to craft effective policy in the face of rapid advances in biomedical science. But the seeds of such policy are present, and she offers us some well-thought-out ideas on how to draw from the strengths of our system. Whether you are interested in the politics of cloning or science policy more broadly, this is a must read."—Mark S. Frankel, director of the Scientific Freedom, Responsibility, and Law Program, the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Supplemental Materials


Chosen as a 2003 Outstanding Title for Public and Secondary School Libraries by the American Association of School Librarians

About the Author

Andrea L. Bonnicksen is professor, Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. She is the author of two books, including In Vitro Fertilization: Building Policy from Laboratories to Legislatures, and co-editor with Robert Blank of three books, including Setting Allocation Priorities: Genetic and Reproductive Technologies.

232 pp., 6 x 9

Jul 2002

232 pp., 6 x 9

Jul 2002

232 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-808-2
Jul 2002

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