Pro-life Group Mourns the Death of Christopher Reeve

But Says Use of Embryonic Stem-Cells Wouldn't Have Saved Him

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 11, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A pro-life group mourned the death of "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve but cautioned that destructive research on human embryos wouldn't have helped him.



"Today we mourn the passing of the great entertainer Christopher Reeve," said Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation in a press release. "Our sincere condolences go to his brave family and friends who supported him through his long years of struggle."

"We regret that his passing, like that of Ronald Reagan, will provide the opportunity for some to make the false case for embryo-destructive research," Ruse said.

Reeve, who was left paralyzed by a 1995 horse-riding accident, died Sunday of complications from an infection caused by a bedsore. He was 52.

Among other things Reeve advocated stem cell research on human embryos in the hopes of finding a possible cure for his kind of spinal cord injury.

Ruse, in his statement, said: "The fact is that after 20 years and many millions of dollars, embryo-destructive research has not successfully treated a single patient or a single disease. Embryo-destructive research was no where close to helping Mr. Reeve walk again. To suggest otherwise does a disservice to those who suffer by raising profoundly false expectations that will not be realized."

The Culture of Life Foundation president added: "While embryo-destructive research has cured no person and no disease, adult stem cell research has already treated thousands of patients and more than 100 diseases. In fact, adult stem cell therapy has already helped those with severe spinal cord injuries to walk again, two of whom testified before the U.S. Senate last month. One of those who testified even suffered from quadriplegia just like Christopher Reeve."

"Embryo-destructive research is morally problematic because it kills a human embryo in the process," Ruse added. "On the other hand, adult stem cell research poses no such moral dilemma."