The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore(CMG) held a seminar recently to raise awareness on the Catholic response to stem cells research. The CMG team consisted of Drs. John Hui, Sally Ho, Gabriel Oon and Victor Loh. Father David Garcia, a professor in Biology and Moral Theology, addressed the participants from the churchs point of view. It is not enough for Catholics to repeat what the church says but to know why embryonic stem cells research is not in line with church teachings, he said.
Dr. John Hui discussed how adult stem cell research is acceptable so long as it does not harm the person involved. However, it is not right to harm any embryo for research purposes.
"As long as you injure or kill the embryo, it's gravely immoral," Dr. Hui said. "The ends does not justify the means." He also added that this seminar aimed to educate more teachers, catechists and parents so that they can discuss this issue with their young charges.
Regarding a Catholic's responsibility, Dr. Hui said that if we participate in embryonic stem cells research in any way, then we are effectively "endorsing what is being done".
"I used to think it's OK since it's for a greater good," said 17-year old Ken Koh, a student at Tampines Junior College. Now she realises it is not.
Husband and wife Anne Marie and Anthony, parents of four children aged from 8 to 18, wanted to understand better the relevance of stem cells research to their roles as parents and as presenters at the Marriage Preparation Course.
The Catholic Medical Guild will, together with the Catholic
Lawyers Guild and the Family Life Society, organise a forum on euthanasia at the Singapore Pastoral Institute on Sat, Sep 24 from 2 to 5 pm.