Navigation Links
Dignitas Personae, Vatican Instruction on Bioethics, Welcomed for Guidance on Issues of Procreation, Medical Research
Date:12/12/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dignitas Personae (The Dignity of a Person), an Instruction from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on ethical issues arising from biomedical research, provides guidance on how to respect human life and human procreation in our heavily scientific age, said Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"We welcome the Instruction as theologians, medical personnel, researchers and married couples consider new scientific and medical procedures that have profound ethical implications bearing upon the procreation of children and the integrity of marriage," Cardinal George said in a December 12 statement. "We applaud developments which advance medical progress with respect for the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception," he said. "We oppose discarding or manipulating innocent lives to benefit future generations, or promoting the creation of new human life in depersonalized ways that substitute for the loving union between a husband and wife."

Dignitas Personae can be found at http://www.usccb.org/comm/Dignitaspersonae/.

Cardinal George pointed out that the document defends again the life of unborn human beings, created like all other people in the image of God.

The Instruction notes that "behind every 'no' in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great 'yes' to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence."

Cardinal George also noted that Dignitas Personae approves fertility treatments that "succeed in re-establishing the normal function of human procreation" as well as "stem cell research and therapies that respect the inherent dignity of the human person." He also noted the Instruction's encouragement for assisting infertile couples through both adoption and research into infertility.

The Instruction also considers the challenge faced by researchers and families arising from the proposed use of unethically obtained cells and tissues, for example, in making vaccines.

It states that researchers have a duty to distance themselves and their work from unjust situations created by others and to affirm the inviolable dignity of human life.

"Grave reasons may be morally proportionate to justify the use of such 'biological material,'" the Instruction states, however. "Thus, for example, danger to the health of children could permit parents to use a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin, while keeping in mind that everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask their healthcare system to make other types of vaccine available."

The Vatican Instruction, dated September 8 but released December 12, highlights "some anthropological, theological and ethical elements of fundamental importance" as well as "new problems regarding procreation" and "new procedures involving the manipulation of embryos and the human genetic patrimony." It builds upon Donum vitae, the 1987 CDF instruction on reproductive technologies and embryo experimentation, and discusses more fully the threat of human cloning.

Other issues discussed in Dignitas Personae include:

Embryo adoption. The document does not reject the practice outright but warns of medical, psychological and legal problems associated with it and underscores the moral wrong of producing and freezing embryos in the first place. "Cryopreservation is incompatible with the respect owed to human embryos," the Instruction states.

Pre-implantation drugs and devices. Knowledge of the mode of action of some of these drugs offered to prevent pregnancy is incomplete. Nonetheless, prescribing and using them in order to prevent the implantation and therefore survival of any embryo involves the sin of abortion.

Gene therapy. "Somatic cell" gene therapy (correcting a specific genetic defect in the cells of an individual patient) raises the same basic issues of risk and benefit as other medical techniques, though "procedures used on somatic cells for strictly therapeutic purposes are in principle morally licit," the Instruction states. However, the Instruction raises special caution about "germ line" gene therapy (which would affect all of a person's cells, including reproductive cells, and therefore affect future generations). Human germ line therapy is not acceptable "in its current state," due to its massive and unpredictable risks and its need to manipulate human embryos in the laboratory.

"It is not morally permissible to act in a way that may cause possible harm to the resulting progeny," the Instruction states.

Genetic enhancement/designer babies. Beyond the medical risks involved, the Instruction warns against an attitude of dissatisfaction with finite human nature as created, a "eugenic mentality" that would drive new divisions between groups of human beings, the arbitrary and questionable criteria some would use to decide what a "better" human being is, and an ideology that seeks to take over God's role in creation. The Instruction says that "in stating the ethical negativity of these kinds of interventions which imply an unjust domination of man over man, the church also recalls the need to return to an attitude of care for people and of education in accepting human life in its concrete historical finite nature."

Human/animal hybrid embryos. The Instruction rejects attempts to create such hybrids (including the use of animal eggs in attempts at human cloning), noting that "from an ethical standpoint such procedures represent an offense against the dignity of human beings on account of the admixture of human and genetic elements capable of disrupting the specific identity of man."

The Instruction concludes by explaining the positive vision of human progress that grounds its moral judgments against specific abuses of biotechnology. Through modern science and technology, the Instruction says, the human person "participates in the creative power of God and is called to transform creation" in service to "the dignity and wellbeing of all human beings and of the human person in his entirety."


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Clergy Abuse Victims Want UN to Investigate Vatican
2. Physicians and Nurses Against Tobacco (PANAT) Petition Pope Benedict XVI to Condemn Tobacco Industry, and Tobacco Use, and Declare Vatican First Tobacco- Free Country
3. Vatican Affirms Church Teaching on Nutrition and Hydration for Individuals In Vegetative State
4. Written Instructions Cut Bleeding Risk for Blood Thinner Use
5. Better instructions reduce complications among patients using common blood thinner
6. Girling Health Care Employees and Patients Urged to Call for Instructions
7. Mayo Clinic, McMaster University Research Review Shows Internet-based Instruction Effective for Teaching Health Care Professionals
8. Internet-based instruction effective for teaching health-care professionals
9. Carnegie Mellon brain imaging study illustrates how remedial instruction helps poor readers
10. System of Simplified, Standardized Dosing Instructions for Prescription Medication Container Labels Proposed at Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference
11. System of simplified, standardized dosing instructions for prescription drug labels proposed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... in which the endometrial lining of the uterus spreads into the pelvic ... experiencing painful intercourse, painful periods, pelvic pain, or irregular bleeding may have ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... ... Lowe is a sought after actor, and also serves as the host of the ... all aspects of life, and a new segment is being developed on podiatry, which ... is essential to people’s overall well-being, and if viewers have feet problems, they may ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... York City (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 ... ... (EHR), Population Health and Clinical Integration company, announced today that its iClinic ... Medical Home (PCMH) 2017 Prevalidation. NCQA recently introduced PCMH 2017 standards which ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... New England Journal Of Medicine Confirms Viability of ... Response”, -The Rory Staunton Foundation Calls on Health & Human Services, Tom Price to ... ( http://www.rorystauntonfoundation.org ) today reported on a new study released on May 21, 2017 ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... By all indications, and due ... County. While officials call for diligence, asking homeowners to scout for any open water ... concerns. Along with the annoying buzz of mosquitos is the buzz associated with potential ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2017)... 2017  Getinge, a leading global provider of ... and cost efficiency within healthcare and life sciences, ... practice demonstrating that intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABC) appears ... patients. The single-center, retrospective, observational study showed that ... ® 50cc intra-aortic balloon (IAB) in contemporary ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... NEW YORK and ... the leading distributor of market intelligence, MarketResearch.com is pleased ... Tech Reimbursement Consulting AB that allows for the ... AB,s proprietary market analyses through the MarketResearch.com website. ... world easy access to complete product descriptions and tables ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... CORALVILLE, Iowa , May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... innovative, patient-centric radiotherapy solutions, announced today that ... has been with CIVCO since 2012 and has ... line management, senior vice president and general manager, ... manager. "I am extremely proud of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: