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Resolution Number: 2003-A014
Title: Support Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Substituted and Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, believing that a wider availability of embryonic stem cells for medical research holds the potential for discovery of effective treatment of a wide variety of diseases and other medical conditions;

(A)Support the choice of those who wish to donate their early embryos, remaining after in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures have ended; and
(B)

Urge that the United States Congress pass legislation that would authorize federal funding for derivation of and medical research on human embryonic stem cells that were generated for IVF and remain after fertilization procedures have been concluded, provided that:

  1. these early embryos are no longer required for procreation by those donating them and would simply be discarded;
  2. those donating early embryos have given their prior informed consent to their use in stem cell research;
  3. the embryos were not deliberately created for research purposes;
  4. the embryos were not obtained by sale or purchase; and be it further

Resolved, That the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church urge the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish an interdisciplinary oversight body for all research in both the public and private sectors that involves stem cells from human embryos, parthenotes, sperm cells, or egg cells, and have this body in place within six months of passing such legislation; and be it further

Resolved, That the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Secretary of General Convention to communicate this resolution to appropriate members and committees of the United States Congress and direct the Office of Government Relations to identify and advocate the legislation called for by this resolution.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, 2003 (New York: General Convention, 2004), p. 613f.