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Christian Medical Association Doctors Tag U.S. Senate Stem Cell Bill as a Path to Turn Human Embryos and Women into Commodities

Contact: Margie Shealy, Christian Medical Association, 423-844-1047, margie.shealy@cmda.org


WASHINGTON, April 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Christian Medical Association (CMA), the nation's largest faith-based association of physicians, today urged the U.S. Senate to reject the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (S.5), scheduled for debate tomorrow, because the bill is scientifically impractical and assaults human dignity.


CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens urged senators to vote against the bill, saying, "By exploiting the relatively few stored human embryos currently considered eligible for research, this bill would result in just a tiny fraction of the stem cell lines from embryos that researchers demand. It's clear that the ultimate utility of the bill is to further erode respect and protections for human embryos and thus pave the way for creating embryos purely for experiments--including through sperm and egg donation and human cloning.


"Creating human embryos and harvesting their stem cells, ostensibly for disease treatments, is a highly speculative, impractical and unethical proposition. Human cloning and egg donation would exploit poor and vulnerable women and subject them to potential harm through the superovulation and egg harvesting process.


"So while reducing human embryos to a commodity now, embryonic stem cell research would eventually exploit women as a commodity as well.


"Besides the moral wrongs of killing embryos and exploiting women, this bill would also divert precious healthcare funds away from ethical and effective research using stem cells found in the patient's own body, and also in cord blood, amniotic fluid and placenta. Such non-embryonic stem cell research does not harm a human embryo and is already producing real therapies for real patients in over 70 different diseases and injuries."


CMA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd noted, "Instead of killing through research the few stored embryos whose parents do not intend to implant them, we should instead promote adoption by childless couples. Agencies such as the National Embryo Donation Center stand ready to help couples accomplish this life-honoring dream."


Dr. Rudd said, "Instead of paving the way for human cloning with this bill, the Senate should instead pass a real ban on human cloning, such as the bipartisan Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.1036) introduced by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.)."


To schedule an interview, please contact Margie Shealy at (423) 844-1047 or by e-mail: margie.shealy@cmda.org. The Christian Medical Association is equipped with Ku Band Digital Uplink satellite and ISDN lines.