2006 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri
Constitutional Amendment Adding a New Article Pertaining to the Regulation of Cloning and Human Engineering
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT
Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:
One new article is adopted and added to be known as Regulation of Human-Animal Crossbreeds, Cloning, Transhumansim, and Human Engineering Is Reserved to the People
Section 1. Findings Regarding the Threat of Unregulated Human Engineering
- Scientific discoveries and advances in genetic engineering have now made it possible to clone human beings, to genetically alter human beings for the purpose of eliminating disease or adding new biological features, and to create genetic hybrids using both human and animal genes.
- Proponents of transhumansim, neoeugenics, and human engineering have proposed ideas that would drastically alter society in known and unknown ways. Among other proposals, proponents of human engineering have suggested the following:
- the cloning or creation of modified clones that would be mutilated or destroyed to secure organ transplants for the benefit of the original cell donor;
- the genetic creation of a half-human slave race to serve humankind;
- the genetic creation of specialized humans who would be designed to undertake dangerous environmental or combat situations;
- the design of a genetically “superior” super-race with the concurrent elimination of genetically distinct groups of average or sub-average human beings whom proponents of human engineering would classify as genetically inferior.
- The use of genetic manipulations for the purpose of human engineering would have a profound effect on the structure and nature of families and society.
- The meaning of human being, person, parent, child, sibling, and family, both in the law and in social relationships, may be profoundly and permanently disturbed by advances in technology that may replace sexual reproduction with laboratory engineering of human beings with gestation in controlled environments.
- Gene enhancements may lead to profound discrimination, or even interspecies warfare, between normally conceived and born humans and genetically engineered humans.
- The biological risks and moral implications of human engineering have not been fully ascertained nor is there a consensus among the public regarding the forms of human engineering, if any, that would best benefit society.
- Mistakes in human engineering can cause irreparable injury to individuals which may be propagated throughout the human species risking injury to untold future generations unless the genetically damaged children are forcibly sterilization or killed.
- With an increase in the spread of infections from animals to humans and vice-versa, threatening the public health, both domestically and abroad, the creation of human-animal crossbreeds, or chimeras, present a particularly optimal and dangerous means of genetic transfers that could increase the efficiency of transmission and the virulence of diseases threatening both humans and animals.
- Because scientific advances relevant to human engineering are occurring at a remarkable rate, public discussion of these complex issues cannot lead to a consensus in a time frame sufficient to establish voluntary rules of compliance that adequately protect the society. Without statutory regulations governing human engineering, individuals and corporations with access to this technology can freely engage in human engineering which may result in profound harms to individuals and society.
- By use of animal and plant species, valuable scientific advances in the field of genetic engineering will continue to proceed at a rapid pace. Human lives and human genetic material are not necessary to the development of the general techniques of genetic engineering.
- Because of the complex moral, social, legal, familial, and economic issues involved, the decision to use genetic engineering techniques on human beings should not be left to the individual discretion of those who develop or have access to these technologies. These issues, and the conditions under which these technologies can be used, must most properly be resolved in the electorate and in the legislative bodies of their elected representatives.
- Based on the above findings, it is the purpose of this Article to erect a general prohibition against any genetic alteration of human beings, destructive experiments on human beings, and the artificial creation of life forms containing human genes with exceptions for specific technologies that are hereby specifically approved by the people of Missouri or may in the future be approved by means of amendments to this Article.
Section 2. Definitions.
"Fertilization" is that point in time when a male human sperm penetrates the zona pellucida of a female human ovum.
“Human being" is an individual living member of the species homo sapiens. The life of the individual human being begins at fertilization, but may also begin at the moment of monozygotic twinning or when artificial techniques are employed that result in totipotent cells that are substantially indistinguishable by experts in human embryology from sexually produced human life. A human being is a natural person under the law.
“Nascent human life” means an individual human being prior to birth.
“Human Engineering” means any intentional act that involves (a) the genetic alteration of human gamete material; or (b) a procedure that involves alteration of nascent human life, including but not limited to the alteration of cell structure, structures of cells, or genetic makeup, for any purpose other then the treatment of a known disease or injury of that individual nascent human life for the benefit of that individual human being.
Section 3. Prohibitions, penalties, and civil liability
(a) Except as specifically provided for in Section 4, human engineering is a crime against humanity and subject to appropriate criminal penalties that may be defined by the legislature and international law but shall in any case be not less than the penalties provided for aggravated homicide.
(b) Any human being whose gamete material or cells are used for human engineering in violation of this act shall be entitled to the greater of actual damages or $5,000,000 in statutory damages, plus attorney’s fees, and court costs.
(c) Any human being whose gamete material or cells are used as allowed in the exceptions provided for in Section 4, who did not give fully informed and free consent for the use of these cells or gamete materials for said purposes shall be allowed the greater of treble actual damages or $5,000,000 in statutory, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
(d) Any human being, or his survivors, who was altered by an act of human engineering in violation of this Act shall be allowed the greater of treble actual damages or $10,000,000 in statutory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
(e) In the event that the identity of the human being described in (b), (c), or (d) of this section can not be determined, any natural person may file the suit on behalf of the unidentified human being provided that 10% of any award of damages shall be paid to the person filing the suit and 90% shall be paid to the state’s treasury.
Section 4. Exceptions. The following are not prohibited by this Article:
(a) Any therapeutic procedure performed on a nascent human life that is intended to benefit that individual human being by correcting a genetic abnormality prior to birth;
(b) In vitro fertilization with unaltered human gametes wherein the resulting nascent human life is forthwith implanted into the womb of an adult human female with the intention of giving birth to a live born human child;
(c) Any therapeutic or experimental treatment performed for benefit of an individual human being using human stem cells extracted in a manner for which there is less than a one percent risk of significant harm to the individual human being from whom the stem cells are extracted;
(d) Any therapeutic or experimental treatment performed for benefit of an individual human being using stem cells extracted from a human embryo, in the blastula stage or within the first 30 days after cell division, provided all of the following are true:
- Animal experiments, and subsequent human trials, utilizing the technique for extracting embryonic stem cells demonstrate that there is at least a 70 percent chance that human embryo will still be viable after the stem cells are extracted and the embryo is forthwith implanted into an adult human female, where the viability rate is determined by the lower limit of the 95 percent confidence level calculated according to the appropriate statistical tests;
- the treatment addresses a disease that affects at least one in 100,000 persons;
- experimental tests of the same treatment on at least three species of mammals have demonstrated that the treatment resulted in at least a 50 percent cure rate in each of the three test species and involved no more than a five percent fatality rate, where the cure rate is determined by the lower limit of the 95 percent confidence level calculated according to the appropriate statistical tests; and
- no other treatment is available with similar or greater expected cure rates; and.
(e) Any other procedures that may subsequently be defined by the people of Missouri through a constitutional amendment of this section.Section 5. The provisions of this article are self-executing. All of the provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this article is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or unconstitutionally enacted, the remaining provisions of this section shall be and remain valid.