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Church Not Down With Human-Animal Hybrid Embryos

The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland plans on lambasting Gordon Brown this Easter Sunday for the prime minister's proposal to use animal-human hybrid embryos for medical research. Supporters of the bill believe that the fusion will lead to significant advances in combating multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

In his sermon on Sunday, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will call the bill "grotesque," "hideous," and an approval of "Frankenstein" experiments.

If you had a family member suffering from a life-threatening disease, would you want all avenues of research pursued, even if you initially opposed the techniques in the abstract? If you're religious, do the views you hear at services influence your politics?


Join The Conversation
rpenner rpenner 9 years
i agree with cine_lover and caterpiller girl. i also like what hypnotic had to say - it's a slippery slope as they say.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
What's a Chruch? and why havent they fixed that yet? I think pop needs to create a CatholicSugar page since they like posting about it so much! ;)
stephley stephley 9 years
I'm not sure I totally understand Jude's question, but I'm of two minds: my first reaction was yes but immediately I started thinking of buts and what ifs. I'd need to know something about how the cure came about and long term impact. I had a friend who died of DES-related cancer before she was 30, and I'd worry about quality and length of life issues, especially if the person being treated was a child. My problem with the research has more to do with the other uses people are finding for these discoveries and the lengths some researchers seem willing to go to, to get to the next big thing. I fear that the cures could someday prove to be just as bad as the diseases they were meant to erase.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
Oh wow..hybrid of human..and's that even...? Wow. It sounds creepy more than anything to me. How harmful is it to the experimental objects? JudeC, if a family member can be cured with a technology that uses cloning, etc, would (I) refuse them the medication? Of course not! It's going to be UP TO THE SICK one if s/he wants to use the medication or not :) It's not going to be up to me. If it's a loved one, I'd try my best to do everything I can, I'd probably suggest it but if I know the person in question has a very religious view and won't be appreciative of my attempts, I'll honor his/her wish regardless the outcome. Yea, it's going to be hard, but y'know what, it's life.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I see I'm quite in the minority here :) I have another question to pose. How would you guys feel if you had a family member or other loved one terminally ill, and could be saved by a treatment that had been developed through means such as cloning and other related research, if that research was in the past? If you were the one in control of what medications or treatments that loved one received, would you refuse to allow them that treatment because of its background? I'm not trying to be confrontational with anyone. I actually happen to feel that quite a lot of good points were raised here, and don't have a beef with any answers given. I'm just curious. If you had a loved one terminally ill, whose life could be saved by a medication that had been developed some time ago through cloning or other related research, would you refuse that medication or treatment to your loved one? I'm very curious as to the answers to this question.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Of course what I hear in religious services influences my political views. If I know that something is not the way that God would want it, I would seriously reconsider my stance on that issue. And although I have been blessed with good health and my family has been also, I have read many many accounts in my research on stem-cell policies where families who faced such difficult choices REFUSED to compromise their values for an uncertain chance at better health.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I'm not Catholic, but I have read way too much science fiction over the years. hypnoticmix, I'm with you, I don't trust humans to handle the technology. Caterpillar Girl: "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." I've said that for many years. It applies to so many things, from biotech to clothes shopping! And, Jude, I lost my mother at 15, so I understand. If you have not read it, I HIGHLY recommend "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edelman.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I've always heard one common theme in the religious opposition to genetic engineering and stem cell research and that is "it could lead to". I'm all for the research, but it is human curiosity to do the unthinkable somewhere in some dark laboratory is what scares the bageebies out of me. On the one hand it will help but on the other hand I don't trust us with the technology.
stephley stephley 9 years
I agree with Caterpillar Girl, can doesn't mean you should. We've already seen that these kinds of research aren't solely directed at curing horrible diseases and I'm not sure some of the paths they're headed down would do anyone any good. There's cancer in my family and muscular dystrophy and while I hope and pray for cures, I'm not sure I'd being willing to agree to absolutely anything.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
I have to agree with O'Brien on this one. I too, have had family members die of life-threatening diseases and illnesses, but I could never condone the experiments of human-animal hybrid embryos, and neither would they. What gets me is that there are individuals, and organizations such as PETA who go to extremist actions and are disgusted by animal abuse, and fur coats, etc., but see this as acceptable. There are other ways to find cures other than creating appalling experiments, and I see this as an abuse of their liscenses. Just my opinion, but that's how I see it. :-)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
my father died of cancer, my father in law is fighting throat cancer as we speak, but i would never want any life created and than destroyed for the sake of research. Just because you can , doesnt mean you should.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Oh and how cute is that little girl?
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I would do almost anything to save the people I love, or peoples lives in general. But I do not believe that one life is more important then another, therefor I do not agree with creating life simply for medical research.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"If you had a family member suffering from a life-threatening disease, would you want all avenues of research pursued, even if you initially opposed the techniques in the abstract?" YES. My mother died of cancer when I was 13, and my father of complications resulting from heart disease, diabetes, and renal failure when I was 17. You can bet I'd damn well support any research that could have resulted in saving their lives, and the lives of all the world's other parents, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and friends that could be saved by such research.
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