Pope Francis has urged scientists not to take part in a “throwaway culture” by destroying human embryos in the search for a cure for Huntington’s disease.

“We know that no ends, even noble in themselves, such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society, can justify the destruction of human embryos,” the Pope said last week.

At a meeting with 1,700 people, many of whom suffer from the condition, Francis said that Jesus proved through His love that disease and sickness are “never an obstacle to encountering people”.

“Fragility is not an evil. And disease, which is an expression of fragility, cannot and must not make us forget that, in the eyes of God, our value is always priceless,” the Pontiff said.

The meeting was sponsored by HDdennomore (pronounced “Hidden no more”), a coalition of neuroscientists, research experts and institutes with the goal of “ending the stigma and shame around the disease”.

Huntington’s disease results in the death of brain cells and causes problems with a person’s mental abilities, body coordination and movement.

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