European court bans patents related to embryos

October 31, 2011

A leading Catholic bioethical institute has welcomed the decision of a European court to ban the patenting of any medical treatment derived from destructive experiments on human embryos.

The Oxford-based Anscombe Bioethics Centre praised the decision by the European Court of Justice as a "triumph of ethical standards over commercial interest."

Said David Jones, director of the centre formerly known as the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, serving the Catholic Church in Great Britain and Ireland: "From the perspective of those who recognize the dignity of the human embryo, this is a small step in the right direction.

The court has acted with clear and commendable ethical consistency in judging that if it is wrong to profit from destroying human embryos, then it is wrong to profit from cells that are derived from destroying human embryos," Jones said.

"It should not matter if someone else has destroyed the embryos for you."