Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Next Up: Bioethics

Recently, every year-end's seen the release of a notable curial document... this time around, reports CNS' John Thavis, the CDF will visit the moral imperatives of bioethics:
A new Vatican instruction on bioethics, prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is scheduled to be published Dec. 12, informed sources said Wednesday.

The document, under discussion for at least two years, is expected to examine ethical issues in biological research and health care that have emerged in recent years, including the cloning and freezing of human embryos, stem cell research and new therapeutic possibilities....

Addressing the congregation in January, the pope said the new problems included the freezing of human embryos, the selective reduction of embryos, pre-implant diagnosis, research on embryonic stem cells and attempts at human cloning.

The pope said the starting point for the church’s reflection remains the same:
The two fundamental criteria for moral discernment in this field are unconditional respect for the human being as a person from the moment of conception to natural death, (and) respect for the originality of the transmission of human life through the acts proper to spouses.
The new document is expected to be unveiled at a Vatican press conference, the sources said.