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Science must operate within ethical boundaries says CMF

Published: 5th April 2007

Christian Medical Fellowship has reaffirmed its opposition to the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos.

CMF, Britain's largest group of Christian doctors, was responding to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's controversial Report into 'Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos'.

'The Committee has failed to recognise the limitations of science and has patronisingly dismissed major moral and ethical concerns' said CMF General Secretary Dr Peter Saunders. 'The word “science” just means “knowledge” and in questions like whether to create human-animal hybrid embryos, society needs wisdom, which is knowledge tempered by judgment. Science must operate within ethical boundaries.'

Noting that all the clinically relevant advances in stem cell treatments come from ethically non-controversial adult stem cells (such as this week's announcement of heart valve material being made from bone marrow sources), CMF called on the Government to maintain the prohibition it proposed in December 2006 on 'the creation of hybrid and chimera embryos in vitro'.

'Creating such hybrids would blur boundaries, and cross the fundamental line that has always separated humans from non-human animals' said Dr Andrew Fergusson, CMF Head of Communications. 'This is another example where the possible ends do not justify the means.'

'CMF welcomes the “full and proper public debate and consultation” promised by the Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority, and insists that Parliament must have the final say in regulating science in these areas.'

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee releases its Report 'Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos' on Thursday 5 April.

The Submission from CMF to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos can be found at www.cmf.org.uk/ethics/submissions/?id=43

For further information:

Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

Christian Medical Fellowship:
uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
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