Thursday 4 August 2011

Diabetes UK supports and funds embryonic stem cell research

SPUC is re-launching its information on charities as an online index, with new entries and updated information added as and when new information is received. Today's charity is Diabetes UK.

Diabetes UK is a national charity which supports people with diabetes and promotes research into the condition.

In April 2010 Diabetes UK issued a position statement which read:
"Following a member and stakeholder consultation in 2001 and a survey of members in late 2009, Diabetes UK has committed to support stem cell research both publicly and financially through our research grant programme. This position is also in line with that of the Association of Medical Research Charities, of which Diabetes UK is a member. In our 2009 survey of Diabetes UK members, an overwhelming majority supported the use of adult stem cells in diabetes research, around two thirds supported the use of human embryos, and a majority supported the use of human-hybrid embryos."
The main feature of the March-April 2006 edition of its magazine "Balance" was an interview with the Reverend Ruth Scott, entitled "Compassionate Warrior", in which she claimed that human embryos used in stem cell research were:
"clusters of pre-sentient cells – cells that have the potential for human life but are not human life".
In a May 2005 statement, Dr Angela Wilson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said the creation of cloned human embryos and the extraction of stem cells from them was "extremely exciting".

SPUC comment: Human embryos are human beings from the moment of their conception (fertilisation or an analogous form of creation such as cloning). Removing stem cells from them usually results in their destruction. Both the creation of cloned human embryos and their use in stem cell research are unethical.

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