As the ladies have pointed out, we as Catholics have a great responsibility to recognize the human person and act accordingly.
Below is an excerpt from the latest article on the subject:
Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org)
I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons. Embryonic stem cell research always takes the life of an embryonic person by extracting the stem cells. One cannot do evil to accomplish good.
At first glance, it seems so right...
However, there is a serious moral problem. It must not be swept under the rug. The ALS Association uses some of the funds raised in its work to fund embryonic stem cell research. One simply cannot do evil to accomplish good. The moral error of consequentialism is one of the oldest of moral errors. It is running rampant these days, even within some Christian communities.
It was exposed by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans (Romans 3:7-8) and is the clear, unbroken tradition of the Christian Church. In its profound treatment of the Morality of Human Acts (Par. 1749-1761) the Catholic Catechism affirms the principle of morality that the end does not justify the means. "An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention" (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). The end does not justify the means." (par. 1751)
Diocese of Richmond Statement on Participation in ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge"
Over the last few weeks, in an attempt to raise awareness about the debilitating disease of ALS, people around our Diocese and throughout the country have participated in the "Ice Bucket Challenge." This challenge invites people to make donations to a charity of their choice to support further research to treat and cure ALS. The ALS Association is the largest organization researching this disease.
Catholics may not be aware that the ALS Association uses embryonic stem cell research to research the cause, treatment and possible cure of the disease. Because it involves the destruction of human life, embryonic stem cell research is contrary to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, which upholds the dignity of human life at every stage of development. Catholics and Catholic organizations cannot morally contribute to this kind of research.
However, the Diocese does support research to treat and find a cure for this debilitating disease. As Catholics we insist that this research must recognize the sanctity of all human life. We ask that Catholics participating in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" donate their financial contributions to pro-life research groups, such as the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, which uses adult stem cell research. This method of research is morally acceptable, because it does not involve the destruction of human life.
Full text available at www.catholiconline.org