Statement on the Basic Human Rights of the Human Embryo
We Are Protesting Against the Ruling of the Constitutional Court Denying the Basic Human Rights
of the Human Embryo
President of the CBCK Committee for Bioethics, Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, expressed grave concern about the latest ruling of the Constitutional Court of Korea denying basic human rights of embryos. The Constitutional Court said that the articles of the 'Bioethics and Safety Act' allowing 'the use of fertilized human embryos for the treatment of sterility and research of diseases, as well as the destruction of the residual human embryos which are preserved more than five years after in vitro fertilization' are not unconstitutional on the ground that 'a human embryo not implanted in the uterine wall or in a stage (until about two weeks after conception) showing no primitive streak cannot be regarded as a human being' (Cf. Constitutional Decision No. 2005Heonma346, May 27, 2010)
Bishop Chang mentioned that dignity of man is already guaranteed for a human life from the moment of conception, so an embryo destined to be developed into a human being must be a human being from the very beginning without a doubt. He also said that the Catholic Church gives support to the development of biotechnology. However, the Catholic Church teaches it entirely undesirable when the medical development is used as followings: related to the destruction of human begins; used for a purpose opposing the integral good of man (Cf. Dignitas personae).
In conclusion, Bishop Chang hoped that our society becomes a community where all its members truly respect, protect, and love, and serve every human life.