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Sunday, December 14, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Vatican issues document condemning biomedical technology

Human Embryonic Stem CellsHuman Embryonic Stem Cells
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Sent in by Sean

The Vatican issued its most authoritative and sweeping document on bioethical issues in more than 20 years on Friday, taking into account recent developments in biomedical technology and reinforcing the church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization, human cloning, genetic testing on embryos before implantation and embryonic stem cell research.

The Vatican says these techniques violate the principles that every human life — even an embryo — is sacred, and that babies should be conceived only through intercourse by a married couple.

The 32-page instruction, titled “Dignitas Personae,” or “The Dignity of the Person,” was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal office, and carries the approval and the authority of Pope Benedict XVI.

Under discussion for six years, it is a moral response to bioethical questions raised in the 21 years since the congregation last issued instructions.

It bans the morning-after pill, the intrauterine device and the pill RU-486, saying these can result in what amount to abortions.

The Vatican document reiterates that the church is opposed to research on stem cells derived from embryos. But it does not oppose research on stem cells derived from adults; blood from umbilical cords; or fetuses “who have died of natural causes.”

-- Boston Globe

The Vatican's position is outright unbelievable!

How can they be so concerned about a cell that is far from being a human, when it is later OK when a child dies because mom and dad believe in prayer healing?

It's also OK to punish someone with the death penalty, although the condemned person is much more of a human being than an unfertilized egg. And why is it OK to send human beings to war, or into Third World countries for dangerous evangelistic mission trips? It's OK to die for a religion, but it's not OK to prevent a cell with severe disabilities from developing?

And what about all the warfare and human sacrifices, the killing of all humans during the flood story (I know it didn't happen, but they believe it did)? Is that an example of God valuing every human life?

I personally value every person, regardless of any disability (I happen to be a special ed teacher and plan on adopting a handicapped child), but caring for disabled children is not easy. Severely handicapped children may be loved just as much as any children, but the burden on a family can be devastating. Health insurances do not take these children with open arms, and many families suffer financial disaster. Does the Catholic Church ever offer to help pay for any or all medical and educational needs of a severely handicapped child?

Let's ask ourselves: Does a fertilized egg suffer if it is not allowed to develop and be born? No! Is it likely a human being born with severe disabilities will suffer tremendously?

If I had a baby on the way with a life expectancy of two years, unable to ever eat, walk, crawl, sit or participate in life, only to finally die a painful death, I would not want that baby to be born.

And last but not least: As a man who is unable to have biological children, what's wrong with in vitro? I am planning on it!

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