EMBRYO WAR; It Is of Vital Importance That Embryos Are Never Treated Other Than as Human Persons Whose Worth and Dignity Are Valued and Vindicated CATHOLIC CHURCH the Respect Due to Embryos Is Different in Character from That Due to the Foetus and Due to the Human Person Who Is Alive after Birth" ADELAIDE HOSPITAL Protestant Hospital and Catholic Church Clash over Genetic Testing

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THE Catholic Church yesterday slammed tests on human embryos as a Protestant hospital announced its support for such research.

The Adelaide Hospital Society in Dublin said the green light should be given to research on embryos up to 14 days old.

The society also supports the screening of embryos for genetic abnormalities.

But the proposals sent to the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction are expected to be bitterly opposed by Catholic churchmen.

A spokesman for the Catholic Communications Office declined to comment yesterday.

However, a statement on its official website said:

"It is of vital importance that embryos are never treated other than as human persons whose inherent worth and dignity are valued and vindicated."

The Adelaide Hospital Society also supports the freezing of embryos.

However, the contraversial group opposes cloning and says it should be banned.

The society's proposals say: "The respect due to human embryos is clear, but is different in character from that due to the foetus and...due to the human person who is alive after birth."

In relation to assisted human reproduction, the society says: "Having children is so fundamental a need for human beings that such a service may be described as contributing to the development of a contented society.

The Adelaide Hospital adds in its submission that parents are entitled to know whether their unborn children have genetic abnormalities.

It also claims the screening of embryos is a necessary part of ante-natal care. …