At a meeting with people affected by a rare and incurable genetic brain disorder called Huntington’s disease, Pope Francis made clear that destructive research can never be justified, said: “But we know that no ends, even noble in themselves, such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society, can justify the destruction of human embryos.”
Pope Francis spoke during a meeting at the Vatican Thursday with people affected by a rare and incurable genetic brain disorder called Huntington’s disease, along with their families and caretakers.
His comments were significant, given the massive slate of members from the medical and scientific communities who treat the patients with Huntington’s and perform research on how to prevent the disease or slow its progression. Present were some 1,700 people from 16 different countries. Sponsors for the event included major corporations such as Virgin Airlines.
There are several ethical problems surrounding the research on Huntington’s disease, including the use of embryonic stem cells taken from embryos made through in vitro fertilization.
The Pope noted this fact during the audience, encouraging scientists to pursue scientific advancement only through means that do not contribute to the “throw-away culture” which treats human beings as objects for use.
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