On Thursday, a South Korean investigation found that scientist Hwang Woo-suk and his discredited research team had no real evidence to prove their claims that they had cloned human embryos for their stem cells.
Yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the hoax demonstrates that a lack of ethics in the scientific field only produces bad medicine, and bad science.
Richard M. Doerflinger, Deputy Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities called the debacle "the most obvious symptom of a field where ethical concerns were dismissed in the pursuit of alleged miracle cures," and said that "good ethics is a necessary and integral part of good science and good medicine."
In a statement released yesterday, Mr. Doerflinger pointed out that “after almost a decade of intense effort by teams around the world, it seems no one has been able to take even the first step needed to derive treatments from human cloning.”
He also cited the Washington Post, which reported on January 10th that the hoax also means that “the highly touted field of embryonic stem cell research is years behind where scientists thought it was.”
Asking how long our society will “insist on exploiting more hundreds of women, and creating and destroying many more thousands of helpless human lives, in pursuit of this mirage”, the deputy director called on lawmakers to step up to the plate, and enact tougher laws.
He stressed that "Lawmakers can best respond to this scandal by enacting a complete ban on human cloning, as called for by the United Nations, and by increasing government support for stem cell research that is both medically promising and morally sound."