US Supreme Court Refuses Appeal on behalf of Human Embryonic Persons: Human Experimentation Continues
Sadly, the view of human rights in recent American judicial precedent and legislation denies the equal protection of the law to the human embryonic person
We must speak for human embryonic Life and oppose the genetic slavery whereby an entire class of human persons is labeled as property to be used by those who are more powerful. We must insist on the recognition of human rights for all human persons, no matter what stage of life's development continuum. Human embryonic stem cell research kills human persons.
Drs. James L. Sherley and Theresa Deisher
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The Obama administration's favoring of the always deadly use of embryonic stem cells - in spite of the medical science which shows that adult stem cells actually produce results and never kill - is morally repugnant. On Monday, March 9, 2009, the President issued one of his many Executive Orders to accomplish his agenda - without any use of either a vote or advice and consent. That Order turned a whole class of human persons, embryonic human persons, into commodities to be used. The NIH Guidelines treat human embryos as spare parts.
Human embryonic stem cell research has had no discernible positive results. It is always deadly for the human embryonic person. To the contrary, adult stem cell research harms no-one and has borne great results. The teaching of the Catholic Church on the use of Human Embryonic Life for deadly research is consistent, clear and unequivocal. In 1987 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See issued an "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation". Among the many questions answered was this one: "What Respect is due to the human embryo, taking into account his nature and identity?" The answer: "The human being must be respected - as a person - from the very first instant of his (her) existence."
On September 8, 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Vatican Congregation responsible for the protection of Doctrine (The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) released a passionate defense of the dignity of every single human life from the moment of conception until natural death. It was entitled, in Latin, Dignitatis Personae: On Certain Bioethical Questions. As is the custom with magisterial documents, the title of this instruction was taken from the first line, "The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death". The document continued, "This fundamental principle expresses a great "yes" to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today's world."
At the release of the instruction the Press was filled with reports. Some accurately described the content and properly affirmed its significance. Others were based on mistaken caricatures of the Catholic Church and not on the substance of what the teaching document actually presented. Still others demonstrated that the writers did not read the document or, if they did, did not like what it had to say and actually chose to mislead the public. Finally, some were based on old tired assertions of the Catholic Church as being "out of touch" or "anti-technology" or "anti-sexuality" or any number of other absolutely untrue and groundless assertions.
The Instruction continued the consistent defense of the dignity of every human life, respect for the goods and ends of marriage and the insistence on having authentic moral criteria with which to evaluate alleged advances in medical science as presented by the Catholic Church through her teaching office. The Catholic Church is not against science. Rather, she simply insists that good science must always respect the first goods; life, marriage and the common good of our life together.
The instruction did not discourage progress in biomedicine. In fact it encourages it within an ethical framework, one which accepts that science must always be placed at the service of the human person, the family and the common good. Any use of the so called new technologies must also respect that the human body is never an "it" - but an "I" - some-one who must never be treated as an object: "The body of a human being, from the very first stages of its existence, can never be reduced merely to a group of cells. The embryonic human body develops progressively according to a well defined program with its proper finality, as is apparent in the birth of every baby."
The insistence upon this framework for evaluating biomedicine finds support in the history of other true advances in Medical Science. The ethical criterion is revealed in the Natural Law; the fundamental right to life and the dignity of human persons. This right is knowable by and binding upon all men and women and is not simply a religious construct. In point of fact, footnote 7 within that document cited Pope Benedict XVI's presentation to the United Nations in April of 2008 which summarized this point well:
"Human rights, in particular the right to life of every human being, are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range ...
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