"These essays explore the ethical questions surrounding cloning and genetic engineering. The contributors to this volume -- ethicists, theologians and scientists -- discuss and provide in-depth information on impending advances in reproductive technology, including cloning, germ line modifications, stem cell technology, and fetal gene therapy. Arguing from varied and sometimes conflicting viewpoints, each scholar urges careful reflection on the theological and moral convictions concerning the application of these advances". -- back cover.
Contents: The Era of Biological Control / Ronald Cole-Turner -- A Christian Physician at the Crossroads of New Genetic Technologies and the Needs of Patients / Kenneth W. Culver -- Ethics Keeping Pace with Technology / Donald M. Bruce -- Making All Things New ? / Eric B. Beresford -- Religious Perspectives on Human Germ Line Modifications / Audrey R. Chapman -- A Case Against Cloning / Gilbert Meilaender -- Seeking the Significant in the Factual / Nancy J. Duff -- Cloning and Sin : A Niebuhrian Analysis and a Catholic, Liberationist Response / Lisa Sowle Cahill -- Contingency, Tragedy, and the Virtues of Parenting / Sondra Wheeler -- A Parallel to the Care Given the Soul : An Orthodox View of Cloning and Related Technologies / Demetri Demopoulos -- Towards a Theology for the Age of Biotechnology / Ronald Cole-Turner -- Contributors.
OTCH Note: Eric B Beresford, one of the contributors, is a priest and the Consultant for Ethics and Interfaith Relations, Anglican Church of Canada.
Letter to the Editor. Author commends the publication of Eric Beresford's column in the Anglican Journal on the ethics of cloning. "It is clear now that certain sectors in our society have a huge vested commercial interest in preventing any discussion of the ethics of cloning, and that they will do all they can to further their commercial ends. Clearly it is time for the church to discuss this issue and to speak clearly. Eric Beresford's article, with its suggestion of a temporary ban on further cloning while the ethics are debated more publicly is timely, reasonable and helpful."
MONTREAL (May 28, 1998) -- The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has passed a motion urging the federal government to prohibit the cloning of human beings. The 300-member synod consists of bishops, clergy and laity from 30 dioceses across the country and is the church's highest governing body.
The mover of the proposal, Elizabeth Hutchinson of the diocese of Montreal, said the church has been approached repeatedly to make its position clear on the subject of cloning.
"While there appears to be widespread agreement in our society that there should be a moratorium on human cloning, there are some individuals in the scientific community who have expressed their intention to proceed", she said. She added that some people have voiced the concern that international trade agreements will provide a means for these scientists to bypass any government moratoria.
The motion approved by synod calls on the Prime Minister of Canada and the federal Minister of Health to encourage the government to prohibit the cloning of whole human beings, and to ensure that international trade agreements do not become a means of dissemination of such cloning.
Synod also asked the Canadian bishops to raise the issue of human cloning at the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of 800 Anglican bishops from around the world to be held in Canterbury later this summer.
Phyllis Creighton, a member from the diocese of Toronto, said that the church must speak out on issues that the scientific community may ignore.
"There is a push in the scientific world to go further and further in the field of biotechnology," she said. "But the church knows that there are deeper questions which must be asked about the impact of such technologies".
She said that the scientific community and the wider society must examine whether cloning and other genetic techniques will enhance the wholeness and dignity of human life and will further the will of God. "When we are making choices about how we pursue biotechnology we must be aware of the difference between arrogance and wisdom," Ms. Creighton said.
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Contact: Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, General Synod News Room (514) 398-5192; Cell phones: (514) 953-7981 (Carriere) or (514) 953-8091 (Chortyk)
1. To write to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Federal Minister of Health to encourage the Government to prohibit the cloning of whole human beings.
2. To write to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask that they use all means possible to ensure that international trade agreements do not become a means of the dissemination of cloning of human beings.
3. To draw the attention of the Anglican Communion's United Nations Office to these initiatives; and
That General Synod request the House of Bishops to bring these concerns regarding the cloning of human beings to the Lambeth Conference and ask that body to establish an international coalition to examine the implications of the potential international spread of cloning and other human reproductive and genetic technologies.
Moved by: Mr. P. Bennett
Seconded by: Ms. L. Zimmer
That the words "to continue the current moratorium" be inserted into item #1 after the word "government". DEFEATED
The original motion was then put and- CARRIED Act 50
Abstentions were noted from Chancellor David Wright, Captain Baxter Park, Captain Todd Meaker, Mr. Bryan Campbell and Canon Andrew Gates.
That a Human Life Task Force be re-established, reporting through the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to the Council of General Synod, to reflect theologically on the ethical issues surrounding biotechnologies, euthanasia and assisted suicide, reproductive technologies and human cloning, and to monitor ongoing developments in these areas. Membership of no more than 7 should include 1 member of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee, ethicists, theologians, scientists and clinicians from the various disciplines as required by the issues. CARRIED Act 27