Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Act

06 Sep 2018

The Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Bill was drafted to ban reproductive human cloning research activities in Singapore. The Ministry of Health conducted a public consultation exercise for the draft Bill from 10 to 31 May 2004. The public were unanimous in their support of the ban on reproductive cloning. 

The Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Act was passed by Parliament in September 2004 and came into effect on 1 October 2004. 

The Act has the following provisions:

  1. To prohibit the implantation of any human clone into the body of a woman
    This effectively prevents a human clone from being implanted into a human womb for gestation to full term.
  2. To prohibit against developing embryos outside the human body for more than 14 days
    This would address any attempt to circumvent the 1st provision by developing the embryo into a viable foetus outside of a human body. The cut-off point of 14 days was used as the cells start to differentiate and form tissues around that period. This 14-day rule is found in similar legislation in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Japan and the UK.
  3. To prohibit against certain uses of embryos to prevent repugnant experimentation such as placing a human embryo in an animal or placing an animal embryo into a human.
  4. To prohibit the implantation of "prohibited embryos" such as embryos that have been developed outside of a woman's body for more than 14 days.
    The Act also bans the deliberate removal of an embryo from a woman's body with the intention of obtaining a viable embryo.
  5. To prohibit against import and export of prohibited embryos
    This ensures that local scientists do not collaborate with overseas parties in unethical human cloning research activities.
  6. Prohibition of commercial trading in egg, sperm and embryo.
    This prevents the giving of valuable consideration such as money or gifts in exchange for a supply of egg, sperm or embryo, but does not refer to the reasonable reimbursement of expenses incurred or services provided in the collection, storage of transport of the tissue.
  7. Penalties
    The maximum penalties for offences under this Act are a $100,000 fine, a 10 year jail term, or both.