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Vatican official raps US for approving clinical trial of embryonic stem-cell treatment

August 02, 2010

A leading Vatican official has denounced the US decision to allow clinical testing on human subjects for medical treatments using embryonic stem cells.

The Food and Drug Administration (DFA) approved trials in which embryonic stem cells will be injected into the spinal columns of paralysis victims in an effort to regenerate nerve tissue. Archbishop Elio Sgreccia, the former president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that the FDA decision “from an ethical point of view can only receive a negative judgment.” He reminded a Vatican Radio audience that embryonic stem cells can be harvested only by killing the human embryos, so that human lives are sacrificed for the sake of the experimental treatment. Medical treatments using adult stem cells—which to date have yielded far more promising results—involve no such ethical problems.


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