Catholic columnist: ‘Brave new world’ of embryo experimentation could sharpen Communion debate – Catholic World Report

Recent developments regarding experimentation on human embryos could force a larger conflict between Catholic Democratic politicians and U.S. bishops on ethical issues, a New York Times columnist wrote on Tuesday. In May, the influential International Society for Stem Cell Research relaxed its guidelines on human embryo experimentation. The society said it would be permissible to perform research and experiments on lab-grown embryos that are older than 14 days, provided certain conditions are met first. The society did not place a ceiling on when it would be inappropriate to research and experiment on embryos. “The issues raised by this shift could fill several bioethics journals, but for today I’m interested in a single political and religious question,” wrote columnist Ross Douthat of the New York Times on June 22. “Is there any scenario in which this kind of future would attract much opposition from Catholic politicians in the Democratic Party?” “I think the answer is no: There is just too little daylight now between secular utilitarianism and liberal Catholicism in its political and partisan form,” he wrote. The International Society for Stem Cell Research set a previous limit on embryo experimentation at either 14 days or the formation of the first primitive streak, “whichever occurs first.” The new guidelines call for public conversations on not only the ethical concerns but also the “scientific significance” of the embryo experimentation.

Catholic columnist: ‘Brave new world’ of embryo experimentation could sharpen Communion debate – Catholic World Report

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