Bishop defends clone research
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
MUSLIMS and Evangelicals have both condemned the Government’s go-ahead that
will allow scientists to clone human embryos for medical research.
The Evangelical Alliance (EA), regretting the fact that the Human
Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) had granted a licence to the
University of Newcastle’s Centre for Life to perform therapeutic cloning using
human embryos, said that it was trading off one life against another.
Don Horrocks, head of the EA’s public affairs, said they understood the need
to find cures for diseases, but avenues of research that did not involve any
embryo experimentation could achieve the same results.
The spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association, Dr Majid Katme, said that
Muslim doctors and scientists were forbidden to practise embryonic cloning,
which was unnatural, unnecessary and unproved. It was inhumane because it
killed embryos that were human beings; harmful, because tumours had been noted
in animal cloning; and against Islam. The Government’s decision was "tragic".
An international meeting in Saudi Arabia last year had forbidden the
practice, he said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Arguing for the legitimacy of the HFEA’s decision (
Comment ), the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries, a member of
the HFEA, said that the research could be undertaken only on embryos up to 14
Perhaps as many as two-thirds of fertilised eggs are lost naturally, he
says: "Are we really to believe that these are persons who are lost, that is,