This Health video looks into the legal argument behind cloning.
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Jennifer Matthews: When Kevin Hoagland was 18, a wrestling match with his brother changed life as he knew it. Kevin Hoagland: I fell the wrong way and in an instant, I knew something was wrong. Jennifer Matthews: For nearly 30 years, Kevin has been waiting for science to move forward. Kevin Hoagland: My ultimate wish is that whatever cure they find will alleviate any of this paralysis from ever happening, or if it does, it's real short term. Jennifer Matthews: Scientists say therapeutic cloning could be the answer. It could reverse paralysis, and help many other people with diseases like Parkinson's and diabetes. The research has stirred great hope and great controversy. Congressman Mike Castle, a Republican from Delaware, supports the research. Mike Castle: There are a number of Republicans who are opposed to the policy which I am advocating here. Jennifer Matthews: Lawmakers are entangled in the debate surrounding therapeutic cloning -- which uses cloned embryos to produce stem cells that could generate healthy cells, tissues and organs. On August 9, 2001, President Bush announced the government would not fund any stem cells created after that day. Bernard Siegel: The NIH is probably the most powerful engine for scientific research the world has ever known and for us, not to be able to fully utilize federal funding for this research in its infancy really is a setback. Jennifer Matthews: Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute, is leading the way to keep the research going. Bernard Siegel: We have to listen to our scientists, listen to our physicians and by all means listen to the millions of people that are suffering with diseases. Jennifer Matthews: A federal bill recently passed in the house to ban all cloning but the senate has delayed voting on it. Only ten states have any laws on cloning. Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, and North and South Dakota have banned it. Michigan's law carries a ten million dollar fine and up to ten years in prison for any scientist who violates it. Castle is pushing to change federal law. Mike Castle: I want to see American medical research resources put into this as soon as possible. Jennifer Matthews: That's already happened in two states. New Jersey approved 50 million dollars and California is considering more than three billion for research on therapeutic cloning. This is not just an American issue. It's global. Last year, Siegel led a grassroots effort to defend therapeutic cloning in the United Nations. He was successful. He saved the potential ban by a single vote. Jennifer Matthews: They'll vote again this fall. Bernard Siegel: Eventually, this science will advance. I think the question is, how many millions of lives might we lose. How much suffering will take place before we find the benefits, the true benefits of this research? Jennifer Matthews: That's the question all politicians will have to ask themselves and so will each of us. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.
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