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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Bishops urge government support for UN cloning ban
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¬†The Bishops of England & Wales have urged the British government to back a UN resolution supported by over 30 states calling for a total ban on the cloning of human lives.. As the UN prepares to discuss a series of draft resolutions later this month on human cloning, the Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith, Chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship has written to the Prime Minister saying: 'The distinction which the UK government has repeatedly drawn in promoting regulations and legislation between reproductive cloning and research cloning (so≠called therapeutic cloning) has been heavily criticised by many countries around the world. 'In this debate language is slippery. Some things now being called 'therapeutic cloning' are perfectly morally acceptable: there is nothing wrong with taking adult stem cells or other cells in the body and cloning them. But what is deeply wrong is the creation of new human lives by cloning, when these lives are then destroyed. This too is being called 'therapeutic cloning'. 'Furthermore, huge advances have recently been made in adult stem cell research, which is producing prospects of treatment using stem cells without any need to clone young human lives to harvest them. 'The UK government want to support a ban on 'reproductive' cloning alone. But the difference consists only in the objective in the procedure ≠ whether the cloned human life is to be implanted in the womb to be born, or simply used for stem cell research and then destroyed. On Monday the Archbishop met Health Minister Melanie Johnson to press the case for supporting a complete ban. After the meeting he said: "I am grateful to the minister for seeing me. I understand that on a moral issue of this kind there are different views. But there are many who believe that cloning human lives is wrong. In the UK reproductive cloning is illegal and rigorous safeguards are in place. But this is not true of every country. "The techniques of assisted reproduction through IVF are now widely available, and cloned embryos have the potential to be brought to birth simply by transfer to a womb using such techniques in countries where regulations are often less rigorous. Without a total ban on all forms of human embryonic cloning, it will simply be impossible to enforce a global ban on reproductive cloning. "What our generation decides to allow now through the UN will affect the future of humanity in ways we cannot predict. To allow the cloning of human lives is to separate life and love, and a grave step towards the treating human life itself as a product to be ordered rather than something to be reverenced." Source: CMS
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