Human Cloning/Stem Cell ResearchENCOUNTERING JESUS, WITNESSING WITH JOY

Human Cloning/Stem Cell Research

Thank you to all who sent a comment in September 2016 to the National Institutes of Health regarding their intent to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.  This corporal work of mercy for September had a very short window of opportunity. Your quick action makes a real difference!  

And now, we pray the the NIH does not move forward with this horrible research.

Public comments will be posted on the NIH website here


Read more about the grave concerns surrounding this issue here 

 

Public Information & Education

 

Prayer & Worship

Lord God, you alone have the power to instill the spark of life,
yet, you have made humankind the stewards of creation. 
Help us to be faithful to this sacred trust so that we may protect and promote the dignity of every human life from the very moment of conception, particularly the tiniest humans in the embryonic stage of human development who are so often forgotten by society & used by modern science.  May the these tiny humans be given the full respect due all human life.  May those entrusted to care for them protect them fully from all experimentation and harm.  And may these tiniest of us be afforded the opportunity to grow to the fullness in this life for which they are created.  We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Church Teaching on Human Cloning/Stem Cell Research

From Donum Vitae (4):

“If the embryos are living, whether viable or not, they must be respected just like any other human person; experimentation on embryos which is not directly therapeutic is illicit. No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or foetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's womb.”

 

From Dignitas Personae (28, 29, 30):

“Human cloning is intrinsically illicit in that, by taking the ethical negativity of techniques of artificial fertilization to their extreme, it seeks to give rise to a new human being without a connection to the act of reciprocal self-giving between the spouses and, more radically, without any link to sexuality. This leads to manipulation and abuses gravely injurious to human dignity.  If cloning were to be done for reproduction, this would impose on the resulting individual a predetermined genetic identity, subjecting him – as has been stated – to a form of biological slavery, from which it would be difficult to free himself. The fact that someone would arrogate to himself the right to determine arbitrarily the genetic characteristics of another person represents a grave offense to the dignity of that person as well as to the fundamental equality of all people.

From the ethical point of view, so-called therapeutic cloning is even more serious. To create embryos with the intention of destroying them, even with the intention of helping the sick, is completely incompatible with human dignity, because it makes the existence of a human being at the embryonic stage nothing more than a means to be used and destroyed. It is gravely immoral to sacrifice a human life for therapeutic ends.”

 

From Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on reports that a biotechnology firm has cloned human embryos (2001):

“Human cloning does not treat any disease but turns human reproduction into a manufacturing process, by which human beings are mass-produced to preset specifications. The cloning procedure is so dehumanizing that some scientists want to treat the resulting human beings as subhuman, creating them solely so they can destroy them for their cells and tissues....

While cloning may never produce any clinical benefit, its attack on human dignity has already begun.

 

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2275):

"One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival…It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."

From Donum Vitae (4):
“If the embryos are living, whether viable or not, they must be respected just like any other human person; experimentation on embryos which is not directly therapeutic is illicit. No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or foetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's womb.”

From Dignitas Personae (31, 32):

“Among the sources for human stem cells which have been identified thus far are: the embryo in the first stages of its existence, the fetus, blood from the umbilical cord and various tissues from adult humans (bone marrow, umbilical cord, brain, mesenchyme from various organs, etc.) and amniotic fluid. At the outset, studies focused on embryonic stem cells, because it was believed that only these had significant capabilities of multiplication and differentiation. Numerous studies, however, show that adult stem cells also have a certain versatility. Even if these cells do not seem to have the same capacity for renewal or the same plasticity as stem cells taken from embryos, advanced scientific studies and experimentation indicate that these cells give more positive results than embryonic stem cells. Therapeutic protocols in force today provide for the use of adult stem cells and many lines of research have been launched, opening new and promising possibilities.

In these methods, the origin of the stem cells must be taken into consideration. Methods which do not cause serious harm to the subject from whom the stem cells are taken are to be considered licit. This is generally the case when tissues are taken from: a) an adult organism; b) the blood of the umbilical cord at the time of birth; c) fetuses who have died of natural causes. The obtaining of stem cells from a living human embryo, on the other hand, invariably causes the death of the embryo and is consequently gravely illicit: research, in such cases, irrespective of efficacious therapeutic results, is not truly at the service of humanity.”