Catholic union official compares therapeutic cloning to Nazi experiments

Creating human life for the express purpose of destroying it to obtain stem cells for research amounts to experimentation on human life that is no different to what was done by Nazi doctors last century, says union leader, Joe de Bruyn.

The Australian reports that the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union secretary was responding to the move by the Victorian and Queensland premiers to urge the Howard Government to reconsider its ban on human embryo research.

"Therapeutic cloning is the creation of human life for the express purpose of destroying it so you can obtain the stem cells and do research," de Bruyn said.

"That's no different to what Hitler's doctors used to do during the last century. They experimented on human life, and that's what this is."

In an opinion piece also published in The Australian, Steve Bracks and Peter Beattie claimed that Australia will go backwards unless the next wave of stem cell research is pursued. "To not shoulder our share of the scientific burden, would be an abrogation of our social and economic responsibilities," the premiers wrote.

"People suffering from degenerative diseases would possibly wait longer for a treatment, our best and brightest scientific minds would probably be lured offshore, and our growing biotechnology sector would definitely lose its critical mass.

"In other words, the status quo is not the safe option. Australia stands to go backwards - socially and economically - if we stand still."

Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott told the National Press Club there was "very little evidence embryonic stem cell research is the health nirvana" portrayed by its supporters.

Embryo research 'like Nazi experiment' (The Australian, 3/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association

Premiers face stem cell backlash as Hart criticises debate (CathNews, 24/7/06)
Catholics divided over stem cells (CathNews, 14/7/06)
Don't lift ban on cloning, says Brennan (CathNews, 23/6/06)

Steve Bracks & Peter Beattie: States must go it alone in race for stem cell gains (The Australian, 3/8/06)

4 Aug 2006