Hello! Is embryonic stem cell research a grave violation of God’s law solely because it presupposes the murder of an innocent human person, or is there another reason together with this? I ask because my friend posed to me a question which I didn’t know how to answer: if a baby were to be killed in the womb for some unrelated reason, could his or her body then be used for stem cell research if this was not the purpose of the baby’s death? The comparison he made was medical use of adults’ bodies postmortem, which is morally licit if I am not mistaken. What is the correct response to this? Thank you and God bless you!
While I am not sure that stem cells from a deceased would be of any use scientifically, the general answer is that yes they can be used if the death is not the result (i.e. willed means) of obtaining the stem cells.
Embryonic stem cell research is gravely immoral because its source is the willful destruction of human life. However, should an unborn child die of natural causes his/her remains could be used for scientific purposes with the proper knowledge and consent of the parents.
The Church is not against scientific research or the advancement of science. The Church simply opposes unethical/immoral means of reaching these goals.