Pro Life Campaign welcomes decision of Geron Corporation to cease embryonic stem cell research
This week’s decision by one of the
world’s foremost promoters of scientific research involving the
destruction of human embryos has been hailed by the Pro Life Campaign
(PLC) as "very welcome”.
Geron Corporation, a US-based firm, was involved in carrying out the
first US government-backed embryonic stem cell research. But the lack
of progress in producing a commercially viable product forced the
company to cease its operations in this area.
In a statement responding to the move, spokesperson for the PLC, Dr
Ruth Cullen, said that the decision by Geron showed that “research which
treats human beings as commodities is unviable scientifically and
She continued: “For over a decade, the cheerleaders for embryonic
stem cell research (ESCR) have been trying to convince us of its ‘almost
unlimited potential’ to cure a variety of diseases. But the fact
remains that in that time period, ESCR has produced virtually no
scientific or medical breakthroughs.
“Geron’s decision this week shows that, despite lavish Government
funding, this area of research is unsustainable, both scientifically and
Dr Cullen also pointed out that adult stem cell research, which is
ethically uncontroversial, has yielded a range of medical advances over
the same time period.
She said: “In a range of areas, from heart disease to brain cancer
treatments, adult stem cell research has produced results that are being
“Adult stem cell science is a win-win solution. It does not involve
the destruction of human life and it is repeatedly demonstrating its
worth in medical and scientific terms.”
Dr Cullen added that it was now time, following this decision, and
the ruling last month by the European Court of Justice to acknowledge
the humanity of the embryo, to legislate to protect the embryo from
“It is past time for the Government to act on this issue. The Irish
people have repeatedly said that they would back laws vindicating the
dignity of the embryo, and it is increasingly clear that even the
scientific rationale behind ESCR is negligible. The Government must
legislate to protect the embryo.”, Dr. Cullen concluded.