VATICAN CITY, October 22, 2004 ( – The Vatican permanent observer at the United Nations commented Thursday on current attempts to have the UN endorse embryonic stem cell research, calling the practice “disrespectful to human dignity.”

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, speaking before a committee reviewing the UN’s International Convention Against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings, said, “. . . so-called therapeutic cloning, creating human embryos with the intention of destroying them, even if undertaken with the goal of possibly helping sick patients in the future, seems very clearly incompatible with respect for the dignity of the human being, making one human life nothing more than the instrument of another.”“If adult stem cell research has already demonstrated conditions for success and raises no ethical questions,” Archbishop Migliore argued, “it is only reasonable that it should be pursued before science embarks on cloning embryos as a source for stem cells, something which remains problematic both scientifically and ethically.”“[T]he choice is not between science and ethics, but between science that is ethically responsible and science that is not,” he emphasized. “. . . [A]dult stem cell transplants are safe, and preliminary results suggest they will be able to help people with Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, heart damage and dozens of other conditions.”  In conclusion, the Archbishop said that the Holy See sees the issue as being best decided by a court of law. The Vatican is “convinced that the subject of human embryonic cloning can be best addressed by a juridical instrument, since the rule of law is essential to the promotion and protection of human life,” he said.  See Thursday’s coverage:  United Nations Chief Kofi Annan Endorses Human Cloning United Nations Commences Debate on Human Cloning Ban – U.S. Remains Firm   tv


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