No matter how often it is repeated, the distinction between reproductive and therapeutic cloning remains specious. Embryos are human beings, whether implanted in the womb and carried to term, or reproduced and then destroyed in the laboratory. To create embryos purely with intent to destroy them soon afterwards, is a most profound attack on the dignity and sanctity of human life.
Archbishop Mario Conti, a member of the Catholic Bishops Joint Bioethics Committee, commented; "The Catholic Church has consistently called for a total ban on human cloning as a gross and unjustified interference in the natural processes of human reproduction. We should not initiate a human life only to destroy it, whether for selfish purposes, or for purposes, however nobly intended, which renders that life a means to someone else's ends. Human life is not a commodity; a baby is not a product; an embryo is not a cluster of exploitable cells but a human being with potential."
Recent research has shown, that adult stem cells, in particular bone marrow cells, are not only theoretically as potentially therapeutic as embryonic stem cells, but have been shown in practice to have a therapeutic effect.
In theory, and in practice, their use has demonstrated an advantage over foetal stem cells in having an inbuilt control mechanism the lack of which in foetal stem cells gives rise to anxiety regarding their risk of creating tumors, a case of good medicine following good ethical practice and proof that embryonic stem cells are not required to advance such research.
Peter Kearney, Director of the Catholic Media Office added;" This is a bleak day for the United Kingdom, signaling that the UK has become a bolt-hole for scientists from around the world keen to push the boundaries of medical research far beyond the limits of public acceptability, regardless of the moral and ethical implications"
Catholic Media Office
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