Following the news that scientists have successfully harvested embryonic stem cells from human embryos Archbishop Peter Smith issued the following statement. In all the hype surrounding the announcement last week about the successful harvesting of embryonic stem cells from human embryos we seem to forget that what is involved is the creation and destruction of new human lives. It is deeply morally troubling that this country is leading the world down a dangerous path by cloning human lives to obtain these stem cells. It cannot be right to treat young human lives as disposable. The tragedy is that this moral problem is entirely avoidable. Astonishing advances are being made around the world in stem cell research using stem cells taken from adults or from umbilical cords. Already stem cells from these sources are increasingly recognised as providing a basis for research and even treatments into diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Such stem cell research is a wonderful and exciting scientific development which offers tremendous hope for humanity - but it can and must be restricted so that it does not require the cloning of human lives. It is profoundly wrong to create new human lives only then to destroy them by harvesting embryonic stem cells from them. Archbishop Smith is Chair of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. Source: CCN
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