A multi-disciplinary working group of the SRT Project has produced a report on human stem cell research and embryology, which was debated at the Church of Scotland General Assembly on 23 May 2006. It assessed the scientific developments in adult and embryonic stem cells and cloning, in the context of case studies on their potential use to treat Parkinson's, Huntington's and and motor neurone diseases, diabetes and blood disorders. The report warns against overclaiming the potential of different approaches, which are mostly far from therapeutic application. It re-examines the complex issue of the moral status of the human embryo, recognising the differences of view within the Church. The Assembly agreed with the report's main conclusions :
that embryo stem cell research might be permitted up to 14 days, using surplus IVF of PGD embryos, but only for a very good reason
to oppose the creation of IVF or cloned embryos for research, except under exceptional circumstances
to oppose animal-human hybrid and parthenogenetic embryos.
It also urges the Government not to relax the present regulations governing embryo research in forthcoming legislation.
Download the Report to the 2006 General Assembly Embryo Research, Human Stem Cells and Cloned Embryos - Summary Report
Download the full background report Embryo Research, Human Stem Cells and Cloned Embryos - Working Group report