The U.S. bishops adopted a statement on embryonic stem cell research this morning, the first time the conference has spoken specifically on the issue. It asserts that harvesting embryos for research amounts to “the deliberate killing of innocent human beings,” and is therefore “a gravely immoral act.”
The statement was prepared by the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, led by Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. Because Rigali wasn’t in attendance, it was presented by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.
The bishops warn that embryonic stem cell research is potentially part of a slippery slope toward other dangerous outcomes, including:
• Human cloning
• Putting women’s health at risk in order to obtain eggs for the production of embryos
• Creating human/animal hybrids that blur the boundaries between species, once again in order to get egg cells
“Once we cross the fundamental moral line that prevents us from treating any fellow human being as a mere object of research, there is no stopping point,” the bishops say. “The only moral stance that affirms the human dignity of us all is to reject the first step down this path.”
The bishops add, however, that they are not opposed to scientific progress, endorsing research that relies upon adult tissues and umbilical cord blood.
What John Allen Jr. has said is not exactly right. The bishops did not make a slippery slope argument in their statement or that the three items he listed are only potential. The Bishops statement speaks specifically to the morality of ESCR and makes no statements on what ESCR will lead to except to mention animal/human hybrids.
Human cloning is not a potential part of ESCR it is an essential method to be able to create cells that the persons body won’t reject. Cloning would solve the tissue-match problem
Women’s health is not potentially at risk, it is already at risk everyday as they are encouraged to donate eggs for money or in the case of South Korea were pressured to do so. There was as story just this week of a 22-year old Stanford graduate who agreed to donated her eggs for a fee of $15,000 and ended up spending two months in a coma and is still fighting for her life. There are in fact worse cases where women have died, suffered sever effects, or lost their fertility. Egg donation is a risky procedure and required for the clone and kill technology for ESCR.
We do not need to make slippery slope arguments in regards to ESCR, the exploitation of human life where some persons must die for the sake of others.is already bad enough.