Stem cell research and Bernard Siegel

A self-styled human-cloning entity named ‘Clonaid’ registered in the Bahamas claimed that the organization had for the first time in human history cloned a human being. Since the claim was made in the US Congress in December 2002, the assertion created a furor. Bernie Spiegel, a University of Miami law graduate gave up his 3-decades old flourishing career as a public prosecutor to lay the foundations for ‘Genetics Policy Institute’ which later became known as ‘Regenerative Medicine Foundation’. Now, how do you connect these two events that seem unrelated?

Bernard Spiegel, a ‘Florida Bar’ member since 1975 and practicing as an attorney in Florida, completed and submitted a statutory application for seeking guardianship of “Baby Eve”-the purported clone. Several press conferences and debates followed but Baby Eve never appeared in public. The case filed by Siegel had thoroughly shattered the integrity of the shocking claim and exposed Clonaid.

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Clonaid was working on behalf of ‘Raelian Movement, a Canada-based religious cult that was promoting the belief that cloning would make humans immortal and the technology was a gift from extraterrestrials. The case also led to intense media speculation and turned the spotlight on cloning as well as on stem cell research that was still in a nascent stage. The events that unfolded following the filing of the case also catalyzed Siegel to set up the Genetics Policy Institute.

The Regenerative Medicine Foundation (previously the GPI) now encourages stem cell research on a global basis. The organization supports research that is transparent and carried out in an ethical manner by organizing informative seminars. The entity also arranges conclaves and meetings of researchers, scientists, and activists and updates information on its official website.

RMI also sponsors Student Society for Stem Cell Research or SSSCR that has branches in 35 US states and 15 countries.


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