Tuesday, February 22, 2005

UN Declaration against Human Cloning

UN Adopts Pro-Life Declaration Against Human Cloning

In a monumental victory for the pro-life movement, the UN today adopted a declaration condemning human cloning. The UN called on Member States to adopt urgent legislation outlawing all cloning practices "as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."
"This is a powerful message to the world that this morally questionable procedure is outside the bounds of acceptable experimentation," said Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, one of the main NGOs involved in the negotiation. "By adopting this declaration, the international community is united in condemning all human cloning as exploitative and unethical. This should encourage similar bans in legislatures around the world including in the US Senate," said Ruse. The declaration also marks the end of three years of UN deadlock over human cloning.

Countries were divided mainly over whether to protect "human life" or
the "human being." Costa Rica, Uganda, the United States and others who
sought to ban all forms of human cloning, supported "human life."
Countries including Belgium, Singapore and the United Kingdom, who wanted
to ban only cloning that would result in born human beings, insisted on
protecting the "human being," which according to some international legal
documents would protect only those already born.

The declaration also calls on countries to "prevent the exploitation
of women." Cloning requires harvesting eggs from women, and delegates from
developing countries feared their women being turned into inexpensive "egg
farms." The declaration calls on wealthier nations to direct attention and
funding to pressing medical issues such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and
malaria. It also condemns all applications of any genetic engineering
techniques that threaten human dignity.

The declaration sets an international ethical standard that sends a
clear signal to countries that encourage human cloning. For instance, in
the United Kingdom, two "licenses" for research cloning have been issued.
The first is currently subject to a legal challenge on the basis that the
cloning "license" is unlawful and unnecessary. It is due to be heard in
the High Court shortly. Cloning opponents in the United Kingdom welcomed
the UN's resolution and look forward to Member States fulfilling their
international obligations.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Dear leaders in AFCMA,

1. There is a widening gap between civil law and the
medical concept of ethics on the one hand and Catholic
medical ethics on the other.

2. In spite of a proliferation of clinical and
research ethics committees, we have widespread and
increasing contraception, abortion, manipulation and
cannibalisation of embryos, a disordered sexuality and
a pandemic of AIDS. Without trivialising the Asian
tsunami tragedy and the grief of those afflicted by
it, this man-made medico-moral tsunami is surpassing
it in horror and magnitude and engulfing the whole

3. Underlying this flood of evil is an increasing
willingness to do evil acts for medical, scientific
and social goals. Evil acts are becoming good things
to do when there are good reasons, and since no one
does anything without a good reason this trend is
opening the door to all evil actions, to the
corruption of conscience and to the increasing
inability to make moral choices. Without divine
intervention, such a fundamental error can have no
outcome but catastrophe.

4. The holocaust began in the mind but mass killing in
clinics and laboratories is now part of mainstream
life. In Evangelium Vitae 1995, Pope John Paul II
characterised the bioethical deviation and the
resulting disrespect for human life as the Culture of
Death, warning that it is "expanding and has reached
broad sectors of public opinion, a real network of
complicity that reaches out to include international
institutions, foundations and associations."

5. Catholic doctors need to restore and enhance the
sense of belonging in the fecund family harmony of
God, which is the source of Man's dignity and the
meaning of health, and to beware the ruptured link
between the Creator and the creature that secular
humanism represents.

6. Forearmed with this sense of being, they will then
be able to resist more effectively the anti-life
forces that are trying to establish an egoistic
sterility and the destruction of the family, and thus
to be leaders against the Culture of Death that is
consuming the profession and the world.

7. We must act. Faith without works is dead. If we
Catholics do not practice our Catholic pro-life
beliefs in public for fear of offending others, we are
being not tolerant but cowardly. Silence favours the
oppressor. Being Catholic only in private and
remaining neutral or silent in public in the face of
evil, or worse supporting it, is not an option for us.
We must leave the upper room. If we are not part of
the solution, we are part of the problem.

8. Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput put it this
way, "If we believe in the sanctity of life we need to
prove that by our actions, including our political
choices. Anything less leads to the corruption of our
integrity. Claiming that 'we don't want to impose our
beliefs on society' is not merely politically
convenient; it is morally incoherent and

9. Following the decision made at the 13th AFCMA EXCO
meeting on 27th Nov 2004 and noting the final
resolutions of the 13th AFCMA Congress in Taiwan, the
recently formed Bioethics committee of AFCMA seeks to
disseminate Church teaching on life issues, Catholic
medical ethics and moral theology and to preserve our
own integrity in a deteriorating world. The committee
comprises moral theologians and a few doctors from
different member countries.

10. Perhaps the committee could draft a paper at
quarterly intervals and issue a consensus view
consistent with Church teaching after discussion with
all of you over the e-mail, which you could then
translate and disseminate to your own national
doctors' groups.

11. Increased communication among the like minded will
help to overcome the sense of being overwhelmed,
fearful and alone and thence to spread the truth, to
experience Grace and to acknowledge our God in public.

12. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome on
how we could go about our task of inspiring and
enabling Catholic doctors in our own individual
societies to become more effective bearers of truth
and more actively resist the Culture of Death.

13. Or in the words of Pope John Paul II, "to bear
witness to the Gift of Life in our profession,
committing ourselves to defending it from conception
to its natural end, and respecting the dignity of
every human being, especially the dignity of the
weakest and the most in need." (Prayer of the doctor.)

Posted by Dr Ian Snodgrass, AFCMA Bioethics Committee

Thursday, February 10, 2005


This is a list of member associations' Email and postal addresses. The list is incomplete and I will welcome any updates from members viewing this site. Please email any changes and additions to :

Guild of St.Luke,Ss.Cosmas & Damian (G.S.L.SS.C.D.H.K.)
Central Council of Laity, 1 Tai Shek Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong

Indian Federation of Medical Guilds (IFMG)
Hillway Clinic, Hilll & Dale, 4th floor, Hill Road, Bandra, Bombay 50
E mail:

FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre
St Pius X college, Aarey Road, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400063
Tel: =91 22 874 7310/ 873 5583
E mail:

Japanese Catholic Medical Association (JCMA)
27-27 Yoyogi-4, Shibuyaku, Tokyo 151
Tel: 03-3374-2733 Fax: 03-33741565
E mail: or

Korean Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (KFCMA)
Catholic University Medical College, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-ku, Seoul 137-701
Tel: +82-2-590 1320; +82-2-590 1342; Fax: +82-2-595 2241

Catholic Doctors Association of Malaysia (CDAM)
c/o Assunta Hospital, Jalan Templer,46650 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
E mail:

Catholic Physician's Guild of the Phillipines (CPGP_
Ustmaa Office, Room 227, Medicine Building, San Martin de Porres, University of Santo Tomas, Espana, P.O.Box 3060, Manila 1008
Tel/Fax: 749 9786

Guild of St-Luke, Saints Cosmas & Damien
c/o Dr Hilary W.M. Cooray(Hon. Secretary), 141 Vauxhall Street, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka.
Tel: 50 88 30 4186 Email: (Dr Fernandopulle,Master of Guild of St Luke)

Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore (CMGS)
257 Selegie Road, # 02-281, Selegie Complex, Singapor 0718
Tel: +65 3384 235 Fax: =65 7371960


Catholic Physician's Association
c/o Cardinal Tien Hospital, 362 Chung Cheng Road, Hsintein, Taipeh Hsien. Taiwan

Catholic Physician's Guild of Thailand (CPGT)
St. Louis Hospital, 215 South Sathom Road, Yanawa, Bangkok 10120
Tel: + 662 681 5420; FAx: + 662 681 5419

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Condoms Debate - An interview with Cardinal Lozano

In this interview with ZENIT, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers articulates -- from the fullness of its perspective -- the Church's pastoral proposal to prevent and combat AIDS. Q: There is the impression in the media that the only message the Church can give today is whether or not condoms may be used. Is this so? Cardinal Lozano: Let's expand the topic. We, especially in this Pontifical council, have the obligation to combat AIDS, because the Pope appointed us to address the emerging sicknesses pastorally. The question we face is how can we, from this dicastery, address the pastoral care of AIDS? The answer is with the Commandments. In particular, this challenge affects two specific Commandments: one is the fifth, "Thou shalt not kill," which is an unfolding of the first two: to love God and to love one's neighbor. The other is the sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." By the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" we are obliged not to kill anyone but at the same time, not to let ourselves be killed, that is, to protect our life. So much so, that it is a traditional doctrine of the Church, which has never changed, that to defend one's own innocent life, one can even kill an aggressor. If the aggressor has the Ebola virus, flu, or AIDS and wants to kill me, I must defend myself. If he wants to kill me with AIDS, I must defend myself form AIDS. How do I defend myself? With the most appropriate means. I must decide. If it is a club, with a club. If it is a pistol, with a pistol. And with a condom? Yes, if it is effective in defending me, in this case of unjust aggression. Q: What do you suggest for the prevention of AIDS? Cardinal Lozano: We must see what ways there are to contract AIDS. There are three: blood, maternal-filial transmission and sex. In regard to blood, we say: "Be careful with transfusions! Be careful with drug needles!" In regard to maternal-filial transmission, we say: "Mothers, be careful about transmission to the children!" Thank God there are already very effective pills. "Be careful with the birth itself! Be careful when it comes to nursing the children, as it can be very dangerous!" In the third place is sex, for which the remedy is abstinence and faithfulness. Why? Because the Sixth Commandment is the most sublime expression of love that God has given us. And it means vital love and life is total giving. Which means that sex between man and woman exacts that nothing is left over for a third. Therefore, to really live out one's sexuality, one must do so only in a marriage that is one and permanent for life. To defend the preciousness of sex, God gave an absolute Commandment, enunciated in a negative way: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." He did not say, "Do not have sexual relations." Sexual relations are precisely the greatest expression of human love, which is fulfilled in marriage. Celibacy is still greater, but it is about divine love. By keeping these two Commandments --"Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery," life is protected. How do we defend ourselves from AIDS? By protecting life, in its sexual excellence and from its vicious aggression. If we are opposed to its vicious aggression, if we don't break that finest of crystals that is sex, we do not get AIDS. Q: So the Church does not give recipes, but proclaims the Ten Commandments? Cardinal Lozano: Let us be clear that in that sense, we are talking about the essence of Christianity, as it is about loving God above all things, and one's neighbor as oneself. What matters is abstinence, faithfulness and "Thou shalt not kill."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

CONTRIBUTIONS to our website

Our website has just been launched and we need contributions from members. Please let us have articles of interst and email them to with your name. Your cooperation will be most appreciated. Please let us know if you wish to link your association's website to the AFCMA website.