.- Cardinal William Keeler, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee for Pro-life Activities, criticized Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s announcement July 29 that he will support federally funded embryonic stem-cell research. The senator’s insistence that human embryos unwanted by their parents are owed ‘the same dignity and respect’ as children and adults, but may nevertheless be killed for research is “especially disturbing,” the cardinal said.
“Such destruction of innocent human life, even out of a desire to help others, rests on a utilitarian view that undermines human dignity and human respect,” he continued.
Cardinal Keeler said the analogy the senator offered with organ transplants “fails “because it would be gravely immoral as well as illegal to harvest any patient’s vital organs when he or she is still alive.”
He said the senator repeated misleading claims about the promise of embryonic stem cells. “No one even knows whether [embryonic stem cells] will ever provide a safe and reliable treatment for the conditions already being successfully treated using adult stem cells,” the cardinal stated.
“Neither sound ethics nor good government can rest on the principle that ‘the end justifies the means,’” the cardinal concluded.
He commended President George Bush for his laudable pledge to veto the legislation.