May 6, 2004
By Melissa Lauber*
PITTSBURGH (UMNS) — The production of embryos for purely research purposes is wrong, the United Methodist Church declared May 6.
church opposes the creation of embryos “with the intention of
destroying them for research purposes.” By a 708-171 vote, the assembly
further stated, “Neither should we, even for reproductive purposes,
produce more embryos than we can expect to introduce into the womb in
the hope of implantation.”
was one of series of actions on bioethical issues addressed May 6 by
the top legislative body of the 10-million denomination.
The statement also disputes the practice of using embryonic stem cells in the practice of “therapeutic cloning.”
also supported “those persons who wish to enhance medical research by
donating their early embryos remaining after in-vitro fertilization
procedures have ended.”
church calls upon the U.S. government to authorize funding for research
on embryonic stem cells that were generated for in-vitro fertilization
and remain after the fertilization procedures have been concluded, and
to establish an oversight body for public and private stem-cell
other action, General Conference delegates voted 467-421 to create a
task force to “prayerfully research” the many issues surrounding
artificial insemination and other reproductive methods.
task force is asked to report its findings on “the theological, ethical
and moral framework of artificial insemination to guide the people
called United Methodists” to the 2008 General Conference.
proposed $100,000 for the task force is under consideration by the
General Council on Finance and Administration. Delegates will consider
that amount as they vote on the final budget May 7.
is associate editor of UM Connection, the newspaper of the United
Methodist Church’s Baltimore Washington Annual Conference.
News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7. After May 10: (615) 742-5470.