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Tuesday, 15 October 2002
Page: 5115

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in parliament assembled.

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the Senate:

· Stem cells are non-specialised cells that can differentiate into more mature cells with specialised functions. Adult stem cells can be taken from living humans and umbilical cord blood after child-birth without harm.

· Embryonic stem cells are taken from surplus IVF or cloned embryos. There is the risk of cloning embryos just to extract stem cells resulting in the destruction of the embryo, a human life in formation.

· Adult stem cells have been used to successfully treat diseases, therefore it is unnecessary to use embryonic stem cells.

· The human embryo is a distinct, living human being and as such is entitled to all the rights and protections that other human beings enjoy.

We therefore request and pray that the Senate will not legislate to allow the use of embryos for stem cell research or other medical procedures.

by Senator Calvert (from 192 citizens).