COMECE protests removal of EU research program's ethics clause
Published: September 21, 2012
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A commission representing the European Union's Catholic bishops protested the removal of an ethics clause from a major EU research program, saying it could encourage funding of research using embryos. "The procurement of human embryonic stem cells hasn't been funded by the EU till now -- but if this program now goes ahead as proposed, this will depend on the discretion of the governing European Commission," said Jose Ramos Ascensao, legal adviser for research and bioethics for the bishops' commission, COMECE. "With many other organizations, we want greater protection for human embryos. Although the EU's member-states see it as their prerogative to fund any research they want, EU funds shouldn't be given to any projects involving embryo destruction." Members of the European Parliament are preparing to vote on "Horizon 2020," the EU's new research and innovation program, which will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of 87 billion euros ($113 billion). Ascensao told Catholic News Service Sept. 21 that research on human embryonic stem cells had raised "important ethical issues" without achieving any "significant clinical benefits." He added that the European Court of Justice had banned the patenting of inventions using embryo destruction in an October 2011 ruling, thus "clearly defining a legal standard" within the EU.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .