EU should update its research policy on stem cells
COMECE Press 07/12/2011
Human embryonic stem cell research is no longer patentable in the EU, it is ethically problematic and therefore is not a consensual research field among Member States and EU citizens. Moreover, it offers less and less clinical promise. COMECE therefore calls on the EU to exclude human embryonic stem cell research from its upcoming research funding programme Horizon 2020 and to focus instead on the more innovative and promising field of alternative stem cell research.
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s new programme for research and innovation running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget. This programme has to be welcomed as a major tool for promoting growth and innovation in the European Union. In the field of medical research, in particular, it may lead to innovative treatments for patients.
The European Commission recently presented a package of proposals for Horizon 2020. These proposals improve the current ethical framework by indicating some of the ethical principles which are applicable. Nevertheless, two of the most important principles are missing: protection of human dignity (Article 1, Charter of Fundamental Rights) and putting the interests and welfare of the human being before that of society or science (Article 2, Convention of Oviedo). Continue reading >>