Hybrid embryos - comment by Archbishop Peter Smith

  Following today's decision by the HFEA to to allow the creation of part-human part-animal embryos, The Most Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff and Chairman of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship has issued the following statement: The decision as to whether or not our society allows the creation of part-human and part-animal creatures for scientific research is of profound significance. Human beings have a unique nature specifically distinct from the natures of all other animals, and the profound ethical question is: Is it right to transgress that species boundary and attempt to mix human and animal natures in however limited a fashion? There is also the question whether the HFEA should have taken this decision now given that Parliament is about to debate legislation which embraces these issues and indeed the future of the HFEA itself. Instead of promoting ethically problematic research into hybrid embryos, why do we not simply encourage more research into the proven and uncontroversial area of adult stem cells? The Catholic Church is not against all stem cell research, and strongly supports such research using adult and cord blood stem cells. This has already led to major clinical benefits, whereas it appears that embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce any. Source: CCN