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USCCB Submits Comments to NIH on Proposed Guidelines for Stem Cell Research
Date:5/22/2009

USCCB General Secretary urges respect for human life at all stages

Says science and ethics have been ignored in proposed policy

Cites advances in stem cell research that do not destroy human embryos

WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) missed "an enormous opportunity to show how sound science and responsible ethics can not only co-exist but support and enrich each other," said Msgr. David Malloy, General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in comments on draft guidelines to authorize federally funded human embryonic stem cell research. The comments were submitted during the official public comment period on the proposed guidelines, which ends May 26. The Conference has also provided a convenient way for other concerned citizens to submit comments to the NIH on this issue, by visiting the Web site www.usccb.org/stemcellcampaign.

Msgr. Malloy cited the dignity of human life at every stage and the innate human right not to be subjected to harmful experimentation without one's express and informed consent. He said laws that fail to recognize this right "do not succeed in nullifying the right in question, but only call into question their own moral legitimacy."

Msgr. Malloy highlighted the "central fact of science" relevant to the issue of embryonic stem cell research, that the embryo that will be destroyed to obtain embryonic stem cells "is a human being at a very early stage of his or her development."

This is not a matter of religious belief, he said, but a fact acknowledged by federal advisory groups on this issue, including the National Bioethics Advisory Commission appointed by President Clinton. This group concluded that because human embryos deserve "respect" as a form of human life, destroying them for stem
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SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
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