03/05/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Korean bishops concerned about renewed embryonic research

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The Committee for Life of the Archdiocese of Seoul sends message to the government, which is currently examining a revised bioethics law, urging decision-makers to stop the destruction of innocent lives in the name of progress. It invites the scientific community to focus research on adult stem cells.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The Korean Church is “deeply concerned” about renewed research on human embryos. For this reason it reiterates there are paths that research can follow that do not need to manipulate life, this according to a message released by the Committee for Life of the Archdiocese of Seoul titled “The Catholic Position about the Law on Bioethics and Biosafety.”

For the Committee’s president, Mgr Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, “the revised bioethics bill that is currently under being examined by the National Bioethics Committee is of deep concerns.”

“Stem cell research means manipulating the embryo, i.e. man. This research is based on commercial interest and the profit motive. They have nothing to do with the concerns of medicine,” Mgr Yeom said.

Stem cell research “brings a serious ethical problem, that of destroying a powerless human life in order to cure another,” he added.

The Church “is not opposed to research or innovation. On the contrary, it supports research on adult stem cells and shall continue to do so. For our society’s ethical growth we urge that any kind of embryonic stem cell research be abandoned.”

The message was sent to the government which is examining embryonic stem cell research and limits applicable to researchers on the basis of the proposed revised bioethics law.

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