The Christian view of embryonic stem cell harvesting

The current teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion represents a far less severe discipline than that of the early Church, and a strong sense of the damage done by abortion to the mother, as well as to the child. However, the inviolability of unborn life at every stage has been a constant feature of the Western Christian tradition. This was so even for those medieval theologians who held that God infuses the rational soul at some point after conception. For the whole tradition each human embryo is a uniquely precious gift of God. If an embryo is deliberately created only for the sake of destroying it to harvest its cells, it is difficult to see how this embryo would be ‘special’ in any sense remotely recognisable to the Western tradition.

Quote source

Jones, D.A. (n.d) The Human Embryo in Christian Tradition: an Historical Note. The Lincare Centre. Available http://www.linacre.org/embryo.html. Last accessed 13th Sep 2014.

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