This Globethics collection gathers a large set of official statements and declarations from churches and ecumenical organisations regarding bioethics and biotechnology, dealing with controversial issues, such as abortion, cloning, procreation, etc., including from the World Council of Churches.

Recent Submissions

  • Human Cloning: Papers from a Church Consultation

    Willer, Roger (Augsburg Fortress, 2001)
    This book introduces readers to the science of cloning, draws upon Christian beliefs to frame the topic, and confronts the important ethical issues human cloning raises. The book takes a very complex aspect of science and makes it accessible to those of us with a layperson's grasp of scientific topics. It encourages and prepares readers to think carefully and to enter into meaningful deliberation on human cloning. It is a book suitable for individual study and for educational purposes in congregations and other settings. Human Cloning: Papers from a Church Consultation offers an initial contribution from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on human cloning to the church ecumenical and to the wider society.
  • Basic positions on the ethics of assisted reproduction

    The Bioethics Committee of the Church of Greece (2005)
  • Basic positions

    Church of Greece (2000)
  • Bioethics conclusions

    Ecumenical patriarchate (2003-09)
  • Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide

    The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
    "Life is a gift from God that should be respected and protected through all of its stages. Care for the sick and the elderly is part of God' s call for Christians. Palliative care and emotional support are appropriate responses to those who suffer from terminal diseases or are near death. We must not abandon those in need. However, we must not deliberately bring about their death even for compassionate reasons."
  • Genetic engineering: How far should we go in modifying animals?

    Church of Scotland
    "Animal genetic engineering is one of today's key issues. Scientists are increasingly able to make genetic changes in animals, and great benefits are being claimed, but many are asking whether we should be doing it, and how society should control such developments. In 1998 the Church of Scotland SRT Project produced a new book "Engineering Genesis", of a unique 5 year expert working group study of the ethical and social issues in non-human genetic engineering, involving prominent specialists in genetics, ethics, theology, sociology and animal welfare. This information sheet gives a few of our findings on animal issues."
  • Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Ethical Dilemmas

    Church of Scotland (1998)
    "Dolly the cloned sheep has become an icon for biotechnology, with a characteristically post-modern ambivalence. She represents both the hopes and the fears of what embryology and genetics might led us to. The world's media and many of its leaders set offhares with fears that cloned human beings were just around the corner. In the Church of Scotland, we had already been discussing these issues with the Roslin scientists. We argued that not only would this be ethically unacceptable on principle, it would carry an unacceptably high risk of producing deformed babies. To most people's relief, the fear of human cloning has not materialised. The science has focused on the hopes that Roslin's Dolly technology and other breakthroughs could herald medical benefits. The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) allowed embryo research for limited purposes mainly for infertility, but in December 2000, MP's voted to allow research on human embryos as sources of stem cells for treating degenerative diseases."
  • Human cloning - The Ethical Issues

    Church of Scotland (1998)
    "Dolly the cloned sheep caused a media sensation. But after the hype subsided, what are the real issues? Why would it be wrong to clone human beings? What about possible medical uses of the technology, like cloning embryos for replacement body cells?"
  • Euthanasia and the Catholic Church

    Catholic Church in England & Wales (1995)
    The Catholic Church's position regarding euthanasia.
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology

    Church of England
    "The development of medical techniques for assisting conception has led Christians to think carefully about the connection which needs to be made - morally rather than scientifically - between marriage (as understood by Christians), sexual intercourse, conception, birth, and the nurturing and parenting of children. In earlier times it was enough to rely on a fairly simple notion that what was ‘natural’ was ‘right’. It seemed to follow that anything which could be judged ‘unnatural’ (or even, perhaps, unusual) was wrong."
  • Issues in Human Sexuality

    Church of England (1991)
    "The Gospels provide little evidence that Jesus said much about sexuality in his teaching. Nevertheless Christians have tended to be identified as people who have a great deal to say about sex - much of it very negative. There is no doubt that the Church’s understanding of the place of sex in God’s created order has developed significantly, particularly in the last 50 years."
  • Is it right to clone animals?

    Church of Scotland (1998)
    "It was ironic that Dolly the cloned sheep caused a media sensation about human cloning, which may or may not ever happen, and largely neglected the important ethical questions of cloning animals which we can already do. This information sheet tries to redress the balance."
  • Présentation de l’Essor de la génétique et dignité humaine

    Verspieren, Patrick
    "Le développement des sciences génétiques représente une véritable conquête de l'esprit humain. L'Église considère avec admiration et reconnaissance les efforts des scientifiques qui s’attachent a mieux comprendre le phénomène de la vie, et notamment à analyser le génome humain, à découvrir la multitude des gènes, à comprendre leurs fonctions et le rôle de leurs mutations dans l'apparition des maladies."
  • Cloning

    Catholic Bishops’ Joint Bio-Ethics Committee For Britain And Ireland
    "With animals, cloning is expensive and inefficient - average success rate is just 2 per cent. In addition, many abnormalities occur in those cloned animals successfully brought to term. This raises serious questions about the safety of implanting cells from cloned embryos into humans. How would we know that the cloned embryos to be raided for cells were "normal"?"
  • Communique de presse

    La Conference des eveques suisses
    "La Conference des eveques suisses (CE,S) reagit une to is de plus a I'intro-duction de la pilule abortive Ulj 486 (Mife^yne) en Suisse. Quand bien memi! lc cadre legal restrictif promet de tout niettre en place pour eviter mi cvcntufl dcraj);igc, le,s evequos suisses condnnttient fe»'menictit ceftc nouvelle forme (I'avorlemcnl."
  • Antenatal Tests: What you should know

    Catholic Church in Great Britain and Ireland
    This document, giving information about different prenatal tests, is for parents-to-be, particularly pregnant mothers. It is based on beliefs fundamental to Catholic morality: life is a gift from God; each person is created in the image of God; each person, therefore, is equally a member of the human family and so has the same basic right to life and protection.
  • Today's church looking at Tomorrow's technology

    Church of Scotland (2005-03)
    "Technology is changing the face of our society. Often it happens unseen. It's hard to stand back and grasp the impact of the car, electricity, telephones, TV, computers and the Internet. They're now part of our life, things we could hardly imagine being without. Yet ethical challenges like cloning and GM food, and environmental impacts like global warming have made us aware of the risks of letting our skills run ahead of our judgement. There is now a recognition that we need to take wider ethical and social values into account in technology. This has been SRT's aim for over 30 years."
  • Factum of the interveners, the evangelical fellowship of Canada, Christian medical and dental society and physicians for life

    The Evangelical Fellowship Of Canada, Christian medical and Dental Society and Physicians For Life (2001)
    "At its core, this appeal raises a single issue: does Canadian law equally protect the lives of all persons, or does it permit or condone the killing of some because of their physical or mental disabilities?"
  • Cloning animals and humans

    Church of Scotland General Assembly; Church of Scotland General Assembly (1997)
    "A very significant development was the fact that quite a lot of media picked up SRTs involvement from the Internet. This was because Dr Bruce had an written article on the ethics of cloning at the time of the first Roslin cloning discovery a year before, and had included this in SRTs own site on the World Wide Web. When the news broke, press agencies like CNN News searched for "cloning" on the Internet and found SRTs article as one of very few in existence. They put in a link to SRT from the own site, and all the world has since been following the trail - a month later, the SRT article was still receiving 400 Internet "visits" every day. This speaks volumes for the importance of SRTs work at the cutting edge of some of the most important issues which science is raising for our times. SRT identified four main issues - the basic genetic engineering work at Roslin, whether we should already clone animals, whether we might one day clone humans, and how such research should be controlled and kept accountable to the public."

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