Pro-Life Advocates: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Guidelines Impossible

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Guidelines Impossible Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life advocates on Wednesday responded to a call from the National Academies of Science for ethical guidelines for embryonic stem cell research. They said such guidelines are impossible because such destructive research is inherently unethical.

"These so-called ‘guidelines’ for destructive human embryonic stem cell research try to put a good face on an unethical line of research," Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback told Reuters.

Brownback, a Republican who is the lead Senate sponsor of legislation banning all forms of human cloning, told Reuters that process and embryonic stem cell research are unethical because they both involve the destruction of human life.

"They attempt to frame the issue as ‘how to conduct ethical research,’ but the guidelines entirely miss the point: We should not be destroying young human lives for the benefit of others," Brownback explained.

Meanwhile, Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation, said a call for ethical guidelines fails to address the most serious ethical concerns involved with embryonic stem cell research.

"These guidelines are both inadequate and disingenuous," Ruse said. "The members of the Academies are attempting to give the appearance that they are offering thoughtful and temperate solutions."

"The reality is that their belief in the total acceptability of destroying human life in its most vulnerable stage for the purposes of scientific research prohibits them from producing an ethically acceptable set of principles," Ruse explained.

Ruse said the lack of ethical concerns of those associated with the National Academies of Science is seen in their refusal to call for a ban on the creation of animal-human hybrids.

He questioned why the members did not call for an increase in adult stem cell therapies and other alternative means of obtaining stem cells.

"Since umbilical cords and placentas have proven to be entirely ethical means of obtaining effective stem cells, the National Academies should be advocating their use," Ruse concluded.