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Archbishop Carroll says human dignity the test of ethical stem cell research

The dignity and inviolability of human life must be preserved in research in relation to cloning and stem cells, according to Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll.

The archbishop's comments came yesterday as he issued a Discussion Paper on cloning and ethical stem cell research.

He said: "The Catholic Bishops of Australia wish to stress the dignity and inviolability of all human life at every stage of development as a fundamental principle of any truly civilised society".

He said that Commercial advantage and scientific research, operating in the same laboratory, "do not make good bedfellows".

"Our laws must be for the common good of all, not for the economic gain of some," he said. "To this end, medical and scientific research within clear ethical and legal boundaries is to be encouraged but all cloning in Australia must be banned."

Archbishop Carroll said: "Frozen embryos must not be consigned either to a frozen wasteland or to extinction on a commercial production line `in the name of science'."

The Paper and its supporting documentation will shortly be available on the bishop's