Doc. 9581

14 October 2002

Human stem cell research

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Asciak and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

The Assembly,

Considering that stem cell research represents a big step forward in the treatment of several diseases up till now incurable or not effectively curable;

Recalling that the technique of human cloning has opened up new possibilities when combined with stem cells harvested from a human clone, and therefore very attractive to scientific researchers;

Taking note that the harvesting of embryonic stem cells necessitates the destruction of human embryos of whatever origin;

Considering that the availability of human stem cells is not limited to embryonic sources alone but may be derived from adult human sources such as blood, bone marrow and other tissues;

Recalling that new techniques for transforming the totipotency of tissues are now available from cultures of skin tissue;

Reminding European governments that human cloning is prohibited by the Assembly’s own decision to ban all forms of human cloning whether so called therapeutic or reproductive in the first protocol to the Bioethics Convention of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine;

Reminding European governments that article 18 of the Bioethics Convention of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine voted by the Assembly expressly states that when research is carried out on human embryos, “the law … shall ensure adequate protection of the embryo”;

Reminding European governments that article 18 of the Bioethics Convention of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine voted for by the Assembly expressly prohibits the creation of human embryos for research purposes;

Reminding European governments that the mass destruction of human beings for research purposes is highly utilitarian and against all deontological norms, highly reminiscent of historical eras in Europe when human beings were stripped of all dignity and rights and subjected to the most degrading forms of research in the name of science and the god of reason;

Calls on European governments:

- to call a moratorium on stem cell research of embryonic origin;

- to promote stem cell research of adult provenience;

- to promote alternative scientific techniques to promote cell pluripotency;

- to sign and ratify the bioethics Convention of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine if they have not yet done so;

- to give adequate consideration to the ethical aspects of research over those of a purely utilitarian and financial nature.

Signed: 1

Asciak, Malta, EPP

Aguiar, Portugal, EPP

Alvarez-Arenas, Spain, EPP

Andican, Turkey, EDG

Braun, Hungary, EPP

Büchel, Liechtenstein, EPP

Bušić, Croatia, EPP

Clerfayt, Belgium, LDR

Debono Grech, Malta, SOC

Jansson, Finland, LDR

Kelemen, Hungary, EPP

McNamara, United Kingdom, SOC

Patarkalishvili, Georgia, EPP

Puche, Spain, EPP

Reymann, France, NR

Smorawiński, Poland, EPP

Surján, Hungary, EPP

Tevdoradze, Georgia, EDG

Topalli, Albania, EPP

Toshev, Bulgaria, EPP

Vella, Malta, EPP


1 .       SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group