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Ethicist says don't limit stem-cell debate to status of embryo

The ethical concerns regarding human embryonic stem-cell research should go beyond whether or not the embryo is a human person, according to Dr Paul Lauritzen of the Jesuit John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

"This either/or tends to drive people to the extremes," he said in a paper presented last week to the President's Council on Bioethics, a body that advises the US President.

Lauritzen maintained that his own view was that embryonic stem-cell research is ethical.

"I do not think the early embryo is a person and I believe that both embryonic and adult stem-cell research should go forward under a system of strict regulation," said Lauritzen, also director of the applied ethics program at the university in the Cleveland suburb of University Heights.

Church officials have repeatedly opposed embryonic stem-cell research both because it destroys human life and because they say the use of adult stem cells can have the same benefits.

Catholic News Service

The President's Council on Bioethics | Meeting Agenda | Stem Cell Reseach: Current Ethical Literature (transcript of Lauritzen talk)
Paul Lauritzen - Neither Person Nor Property: Embryo research and the status of the early embryo (America 26/3/01)
John Carroll University | Program in Applied Ethics | Paul Lauritzen

30 Jul 2003