Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

VATICAN-CELLS Aug-2-2010 (310 words) xxxi

Vatican condemns use of embryonic stem cells in tests on humans

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican condemned the recent decision by U.S. regulators to begin using embryonic stem cells in clinical tests on human patients.

The destruction of human embryos involved in such research amounts to "the sacrifice of human beings" and is to be condemned, said the president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Bishop Elio Sgreccia.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave final approval for a clinical trial of embryonic stem cells as a treatment for patients with spinal-cord injuries, making the United States the first country to allow the testing of such cells on human beings.

Geron Corp., the U.S. company which won the FDA approval, plans to perform tests on a small group of patients paralyzed by a spinal cord injury.

The company had won FDA approval early last year, but after mice treated with the cells developed spinal cysts, the government put the clinical trials on hold amid concerns over the safety of the procedure. The new government-approved trials aim to test the therapy's safety on humans as well as its effectiveness.

In a July 31 interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Sgreccia said science itself recognizes the human embryo "is a human being in the making."

Destroying embryos "receives a completely negative judgment" from an ethical point of view, no matter what justifications are given for their use, he said.

The Italian bishop said embryonic stem cells have not been proven to be effective in therapies. He said embryonic stem cells are "totipotent," that is, they tend to reproduce a whole organism or individual, but not specialized cells.

However, even if there were positive results from the use of such cells, "morally it would still be a crime," he said.

The church supports research and therapies that utilize adult stem cells and stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

END


Copyright (c) 2010 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250