News archive 2006

Bishops express concern in advance of EU Parliament vote on funding of research on human embryos

PRESS RELEASE

14 JUNE 2006

BISHOPS EXPRESS CONCERN IN ADVANCE OF EU PARLIAMENT VOTE

ON FUNDING OF RESEARCH ON HUMAN EMBRYOS

The Irish Bishops’ Conference today highlighted the serious moral implications of the
imminent vote in the EU Parliament which could approve the funding of research on human
embryos, which results in their destruction.

The Bishops said: A question of such profound moral and human significance should not
be treated under the heading of research funding.

The crucial issue is that using a human embryo as an object of research is nothing short
of destruction of a human life.

Much of what is written and said in this area ignores the fundamental difference between
embryonic and adult stem cells.

We repeat the recommendation which we made to the Government in December 2003, that the
EU should give significant funding to research using adult stem cells. Adult stem cell
research is very promising and has already led to positive clinical results. This type
of stem cell research comes with none of the ethical difficulties associated with research
on human embryos.

Ireland, at European level, should take a lead in opposing the destruction of human embryos,
which regrettably, it has not done so far.

ENDS

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

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