Stem Cells Could Be Taken in Cases of Miscarriage, Says Bioethicist

ROME, MARCH 13, 2003 ( It is morally acceptable to extract organs or stem cells from human embryos that have died as a result of a miscarriage, says a Catholic expert in bioethics.

Professor Adriano Bompiani, director of the Paul VI International Center of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, said today: “In the ambit of spontaneous abortion, if the embryo is still vital at the cellular level, there is no difficulty.”

It is a case analogous to that of the transplantation of organs taken from a cadaver, he explained.

In order to meet proper moral criteria for extracting organs or cells from the fetus, at least two conditions are required, he said.

First of all, “explicit maternal permission,” Bompiani told a press conference at Vatican Radio headquarters.

Second, “there must be no doubt whatsoever that the miscarriage was not provoked,” he said.