The rapidly developing field of stem cell research mobilises immense amounts of money in private and public grants, says Celia Deane-Drummond. But it also raises deep ethical questions regarding health justice and the dignity of human life.
The annual general assembly of the National Council of Churches USA and Church World Service has been taking place this week amid sober assessments of national and world conditions and calls for renewal of the churches’ unity.
As the federal government in the USA considers comprehensive reform of the health care system, faith groups, civic organisations and labour unions are mobilising for change. They want to see an end to the massive health divisions.
When people hear the word 'health' they think immediately of medical matters, says Juan Michel. But health is also an issue of clean drinking water, nutritious food, a safe work environment and essential care accessible at the community level - not least in a time of flu panics.
While the impact of flu viruses and the issues surrounding them is making life increasingly difficult in Mexico, churches in the USA are seeking to respond rationally and with care to a situation where panic can be a major part of the problem.