Human cloning is a ‘sign of moral regress': Cardinal Keeler

The scientific experiment in South Korea that has used cloning to create and destroy dozens of human embryos "is a sign of moral regress," said Cardinal William Keeler.

"Using this or any means to create innocent human lives solely to destroy them is an ultimate violation of research ethics," said the chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The cardinal affirmed that science and technology are great human goods when placed at the service of the human person. However, he said if scientists “will not voluntarily turn away from this abuse of science,” an international effort to ban human cloning is necessary. 

Dozens of human embryos were created and destroyed in the South Korean project to produce a single stem-cell line, said the cardinal. As well, 16 women were given potentially harmful fertility drugs to produce 242 eggs for this experiment.

“These women were used as egg factories while their embryonic offspring were treated as nothing more than objects of research, their human dignity ignored in the name of progress,” said Cardinal Keeler.

“Human cloning turns procreation into a manufacturing process, treating human life as a commodity made to preset specifications,” he said.

The cardinal said no scientific study has ever shown that human cloning is a necessary path to medical benefits. However, adult stem-cell research and other morally sound experiments are producing positive results in research, he said.

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