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By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/13/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death

The French Media called the child conceived through IVF specifically to be used to cure another already born child a "savior sibling". French Bishops responded with these words "To conceive a child to be used -- even if it is for treatment -- is not respectful of his dignity, A child born specifically for use, even a noble use, is to turn a child into an object." Thank God for the Catholic Church, the Defender of Life. Once again she is rising to defend the truth concerning the inviolable dignity of every human person from the beginning of life to its end.

The French Media referred to the child born through IVF - specifically to be used to cure a born child - as a 'Savior Sibling'

The French Media referred to the child born through IVF - specifically to be used to cure a born child - as a "Savior Sibling"

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/13/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: savior siblings, culture of death, culture of life, bioethics, pro-life, Deacon Keith Fournier


PARIS, France (Catholic Online) - On January 26, 2011 the Nation of France announced the birth of a child being heralded as what the media called the first "savior sibling." The French Media coined the term to refer to the intentional use of In Vitro Fertilization to manufacture another child to be used for the benefit of an already born child. A sort of "spare parts" approach.

The Catholic Bishops of France stood firm for the truth, every child is a unique gift to be received and must never be manufactured as a product to be used.The child was born at the Antoine Beclere Hospita. Because the child was conceived through in-vitro fertilization, in the process "excess embryos" were also "manufactured" and discarded. Every human embryonic person has a right to life. 

The Bishops responded to this birth of the one called by the media a "savior sibling" with these words "To conceive a child to be used -- even if it is for treatment -- is not respectful of his dignity, A child born specifically for use, even a noble use, is to turn a child into an object."

Thank God for the Catholic Church, the Defender of Life. Once again she is rising to defend the truth concerning the inviolable dignity of every human person. The French Episcopal Conference acknowledged their empathy and compassion for the parents of all sick children. However they stood strong for the truth of the Natural moral law, persons must never be used as objects. They did not succumb to the appealing language of "savior siblings". .

They stressed that using "the most vulnerable human being to cure" is unworthy of humankind. "To legalize the use of the most vulnerable human being to cure is unworthy of man. To conceive a child to use him -- even if it is to cure -- is not respectful of his dignity."  They insisted "such utilitarianism is always a regression." 

In 2008 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith in the Catholic Church issued an instruction on the "Dignity of the Human Person." It began with these words "The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. 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".

The instruction offered "a word of support and encouragement for the perspective on culture which considers science an invaluable service to the integral good of the life and dignity of every human being. The Church therefore views scientific research with hope and desires that many Christians will dedicate themselves to the progress of biomedicine and will bear witness to their faith in this field. She hopes moreover that the results of such research may also be made available in areas of the world that are poor and afflicted by disease, so that those who are most in need will receive humanitarian assistance".

The Church does not discourage progress in biomedicine, it encourages it. However, the human person 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 is revealed in the Natural Law; the fundamental human 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. Footnote 7 within the document cites Pope Benedict XVI's presentation to the United Nations in April of 2008 which summarizes 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 and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights"

A troubling story out of London in 2009 reflected the downward spiral the West is on as turning human persons into commodities to be sold or experimented upon becomes increasingly acceptable. The article in the "Daily Mail" entitled "Storm over embryo 'bank' which could be used as a body repair kit" was written by Beezy Marsh and Jo Macfarlane and noted:

"Couples could be allowed to store embryos in order to use them to create new body parts or cure diseases. Government legal and ethical experts are to discuss whether families can 'bank' embryos not just for procreation but also for use by doctors to create personalized treatments for parents and their children. Now, embryos - the first stage of life after an egg has been successfully fertilized - can be stored for up to five years but only for procreation. But a huge ethical debate is set to erupt as the Government's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), moves closer to endorsing new developments in medical science.

"It will debate whether embryos could be stored to harvest important stem cells that have the ability to turn into any tissue type in the body. Research on using the cells is still in its infancy, but it is thought that within ten years it could lead to cures for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and some forms of cancer. The embryos could also be used to grow new organs and bodily 'spare parts'."

On Monday, March 9, 2009, President Barrack Obama promoted this kind of commodification of human persons in the United States by signing an Executive Order which "directed NIH to formulate the best method for moving forward with stem cell research, both ethically and scientifically". This led to the promulgation of new NIH Guidelines which support the notion of human embryos as property, capable of being "manufactured" and available to be used as spare parts in experimentation which has produced no discernible scientific results, such as research using embryonic stem cells.

Make no mistake; every so called "extraction" of embryonic stem cells kills a living human embryonic person. In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation". Among the many questions it answered with absolute clarity was: "What Respect is due to the human embryo, taking into account his nature and identity?" The answer given by the Magisterium: "The human being must be respected - as a person - from the very first instant of his (her) existence."

In the "Dignity of the Person" from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith we were reminded that science must always be placed at the service of the human person, the family and the common good. Any use of new technologies must 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."

We must oppose genetic slavery. We commend the French Bishops for their courageous stand and encourage the Catholic faithful throughout the world to learn the reason for the Church's defense of the dignity of every human person as a gift to be received and not a product to be used.This is the defining issue of our future, and the future of civilization itself.

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