News, 7 June 2005

The South Korean scientist who successfully cloned a human embryo last year has described human cloning as "not only ethically outrageous and medically dangerous, but technically impossible as well." Hwang Woo-Suk of Seoul Nation University was referring to so-called 'reproductive' cloning as opposed to the destructive cloning for research purposes in which he is involved. Dr Woo-Suk refused to enter into a debate about the ethics of human cloning for research whilst talking to reporters. [Yahoo News, 7 June] A leading Australian stem cell researcher who supports human cloning for research purposes has said that therapies using embryonic stem cells would be far too expensive to be of practical use. Professor Trounson made his comments as Australia debates its laws on embryo research and cloning. [Bioedge, 4 June]

A man has been convicted of two courts of murder by a court in Texas after causing his girlfriend to miscarry twins. Erica Basoria, 17, said that she asked Gerardo Flores to help her to abort the babies by stamping on her stomach to cause a miscarriage. Texas law protects unborn children from injury or death but permits abortion. [The Guardian, 7 June]

A Cardinal of the pontifical household has called on Italian voters to recognise the human embryo as a human life. Speaking in connection with the forthcoming referendum on Italy's IVF laws, Cardinal Georges Cottier argued that the welfare of the children should be taken into account and warned that the promise of IVF had been exaggerated with success rates remaining very low. [CWNews, 6 June]

A book that instructs people how to commit suicide has been condemned as 'the most dangerous publication in print.' Fr Willie Purcell blamed the book, entitled 'Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying' for a spate of suicides in Dublin among young people. The book details different methods for committing suicide including methods that can be made to look like an accident. [Total Catholic, 7 June]

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