The Ethical Dilemma

 

shutterstock_68073163The folks at Planned Parenthood and its defenders are trying to mitigate their public relations nightmare by reminding us that fetal tissue played a vital role in the development of vaccines, including polio. Their main points are:

  • We are doing vital work in saving lives.
  • If you received the vaccination and you don’t have polio you are already an accomplice, so get over it.

Where then, do you draw the line?

Most of us received the vaccine as a matter of course, before we were old enough to understand the concept of the ethical dilemma. But we surely could have understood when we had our own children vaccinated; that is, if we had even known about the history of the research.

It is an imperfect analogy (as most analogies are) but say you need a new heart. A match is found in a woman who’s been murdered. She did not consent to have her organs harvested but her family did. In accepting her heart for your own life-saving procedure, are you complicit in her death?

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    1. No. You did not kill her. PP is engaged in killing in order to sell body parts. Totally different.

    2. How Polio was arrived at does not matter to what people are doing now. That logic would be no different than saying “Hey, the land you own used to belong to Indians, so yo have no right to be against land seizure.”

    3. These videos show evil people talking about evil things.

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    No matter how many millions have to die, it’s worth it if it saves the life of even one child.  And if it’s your child’s life who is saved, think what it will do to his/her self-esteem to know that so many others were sacrificed to saved him/her.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    The polio vaccine was developed using HeLa cells, which were derived from cervical cancer cells taken on February 8, 1951, from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who eventually died of her cancer on October 4, 1951.

    Do they mean that the polio vaccine is currently manufactured from fetal stem cells, or are they simply lying because that’s what PP does best?

    • #3
  4. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Misthiocracy:The polio vaccine was developed using HeLa cells, which were derived from cervical cancer cells taken on February 8, 1951, from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who eventually died of her cancer on October 4, 1951.

    And from whom the cells were taken without her knowledge or consent (not required at the time.) There are privacy issues involved, which the family of Henrietta Lacks took into account in their agreement as to how the HeLa genome could be accessed.

    • #4
  5. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    It seems that the MSM is repeating the PP talking points. The vaccines in question seem to be these:

    • Hepatitis A vaccines [VAQTA/Merck, Havrix/GlaxoSmithKline, and part of Twinrix/GlaxoSmithKline]
    • Rubella vaccine [MERUVAX II/Merck, part of MMR II/Merck, and ProQuad/Merck]
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine [Varivax/Merck, and part of ProQuad/Merck]
    • Zoster (shingles) vaccine [Zostavax/Merck]
    • Adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7 oral vaccine [Barr Labs] *
    • Rabies vaccine [IMOVAX/Sanofi Pasteur] *

    * Vaccine not routinely given

    • #5
  6. V.S. Blackford Inactive
    V.S. Blackford
    @VSBlackford

    Here is some good information from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia:

    “Two main human cell strains have been used to develop currently available vaccines, in each case with the original fetal cells in question obtained in the 1960s. The WI-38 cell strain was developed in 1961 in the United States, and the MRC-5 cell strain (also started with fetal lung cells) was developed in 1965 in the United Kingdom. No new or additional fetal cells are required in order to sustain the two cell strains.

    The vaccines below were developed using either the WI-38 or the MRC-5 cell strains.

    • Hepatitis A vaccines [VAQTA/Merck, Havrix/GlaxoSmithKline, and part of Twinrix/GlaxoSmithKline]
    • Rubella vaccine [MERUVAX II/Merck, part of MMR II/Merck, and ProQuad/Merck]
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine [Varivax/Merck, and part of ProQuad/Merck]
    • Zoster (shingles) vaccine [Zostavax/Merck]
    • Adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7 oral vaccine [Barr Labs] *
    • Rabies vaccine [IMOVAX/Sanofi Pasteur] *

    * Vaccine not routinely given”

    • #6
  7. V.S. Blackford Inactive
    V.S. Blackford
    @VSBlackford

    Also, from same above source:

    “In total only two fetuses, both obtained from abortions done by maternal choice, have given rise to cell strains used in vaccine development. Neither abortion was performed for the purpose of vaccine development.”

    • #7
  8. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    As of I believe 2012 embryonic stem cell research has not provided a cure for any disease. I would have to believe if there had been a cure Planned Parenthood would have been the first to point to that cure. Perhaps Planned Parenthood believes that once they’ve pulled a child from the womb they think whatever organs they harvest qualify as adult stem cells.

    • #8
  9. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Please go to Children of God for Life, the definitive source on all your ethical vaccine research dilemmas.

    • #9
  10. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    The National Catholic Bioethics Center also offers some good information:

    http://ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=1284

    • #10
  11. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    EJHill:It seems that the MSM is repeating the PP talking points. The vaccines in question seem to be these:

    • Hepatitis A vaccines [VAQTA/Merck, Havrix/GlaxoSmithKline, and part of Twinrix/GlaxoSmithKline]
    • Rubella vaccine [MERUVAX II/Merck, part of MMR II/Merck, and ProQuad/Merck]
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine [Varivax/Merck, and part of ProQuad/Merck]
    • Zoster (shingles) vaccine [Zostavax/Merck]
    • Adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7 oral vaccine [Barr Labs] *
    • Rabies vaccine [IMOVAX/Sanofi Pasteur] *

    * Vaccine not routinely given

    The pharmaceutical companies did not have to use fetal stem cells for these vaccines. Consumers need to put pressure on them and DEMAND non fetal stem cell versions.

    • #11
  12. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    Scott Wilmot:The National Catholic Bioethics Center also offers some good information:

    http://ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=1284

    Thank you for this very helpful resource.

    • #12
  13. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    I found this stunning work on the Ethics of fetal tissue research on the RicoTwitter feed.

    http://www.equip.org/PDF/DE192.pdf

    • #13
  14. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    I draw the line at killing a human being for the purposes of research… Interestingly, the last pro-choicer I talked to was also staunchly anti-war and calls himself a pacifist. I’m not sure that “ethics” means the same thing to the left as it does to us. At least, I fail to see how the two positions can be reconciled.

    • #14
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Would you kill a person for a vaccine or some other utalitarian purpose?  I don’t think so.  The unborn, even at the moment of conception, are human beings.  There is no line to draw.  You don’t do it.

    • #15
  16. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    EJHill:It is an imperfect analogy (as most analogies are) but say you need a new heart. A match is found in a woman who’s been murdered. She did not consent to have her organs harvested but her family did. In accepting her heart for your own life-saving procedure, are you complicit in her death?

    This is a perfect example of PP shifting the blame from themselves to you, by making you choose to not take the heart in order to maintain your principals.

    A perfect rebuttal to this would be: “hearts,livers,eyes, etc are donated by victims of fatal car accidents, frequently drunk driving. Should we: a. eliminate  drunk driving laws to increases vehicle fatalities? b. simply run a certain number of people off the road each to increase donations?”

    • #16
  17. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I see no ethical dilemma in not worshiping Moloch.

    • #17
  18. Irene F. Starkehaus Inactive
    Irene F. Starkehaus
    @IreneFStarkehaus

    Perhaps the dilemma is akin to scientific advances that occurred because of research done on Holocaust victims.  The method by which the knowledge was obtained was immoral.  Once the information exists, is it immoral to use it?

    • #18
  19. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    I know a lot of Catholic homeschooling parents who have not had their children vaccinated for all diseases precisely because of the abortion link. They insist on the few manufacturers who provide ethical vaccines. They also have had to switch pediatricians when they get push back. Yes, whooping cough has reared it’s head not a few times. They just keep the kids isolated.

    There is a link at Children of God for Life (Thanks Pseudo!) that lists ethical brands/manufacturers. However, the link is dated 2011, so I don’t know what has changed.

    • #19
  20. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Bryan G. Stephens: PP is engaged in killing in order to sell body parts.

    No, PP isn’t. PP is engaged in killing, period. With or without the sale of body parts, the killing goes on.

    Ryan M: I draw the line at killing a human being for the purposes of research…

    They aren’t killing the human being for purposes of research. They are providing to researchers the remains of a human being already (legally) killed. Moreover, they are doing so with the permission of the parent of that human being, who would have the same authority to donate the body of a miscarried baby, or an infant or child who died later on.

    There are people who refuse to be organ donors because they fear the disfiguring effects of the harvest. The reality is that death is disfiguring.

    Following an abortion, the baby is dead. The remains will be disposed of and dismantled, if not by technicians with forceps then by the same bacteria that awaits us all.

    The problem is not the disposition of the remains. The problem is the killing.

    • #20
  21. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    FightinInPhilly: A perfect rebuttal to this would be: “hearts,livers,eyes, etc are donated by victims of fatal car accidents, frequently drunk driving. Should we: a. eliminate  drunk driving laws to increases vehicle fatalities? b. simply run a certain number of people off the road each to increase donations?”

    That’s not a perfect rebuttal, Fightin’—unless PP, medical researchers or pro-choicers in general are attempting to increase the number of abortions done so as to provide more fetal tissue.  If increasing the number of abortions is their plan, they should be arguing strenuously against sex education programs and the easy availability of contraception.

    • #21
  22. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    Kate Braestrup:

    FightinInPhilly: A perfect rebuttal to this would be: “hearts,livers,eyes, etc are donated by victims of fatal car accidents, frequently drunk driving. Should we: a. eliminate drunk driving laws to increases vehicle fatalities? b. simply run a certain number of people off the road each to increase donations?”

    That’s not a perfect rebuttal, Fightin’—unless PP, medical researchers or pro-choicers in general are attempting to increase the number of abortions done so as to provide more fetal tissue. If increasing the number of abortions is their plan, they should be arguing strenuously against sex education programs and the easy availability of contraception.

    I may have overstepped with the word “perfect” (I blush.) But the fact that profit has been introduced by the tapes (and is forbidden by law) we now have a fuzzy situation where doctors have an incentive to perform the procedure differently, or at all, then they would otherwise.

    • #22
  23. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    FightinInPhilly:

    Kate Braestrup:

    FightinInPhilly: A perfect rebuttal to this would be: “hearts,livers,eyes, etc are donated by victims of fatal car accidents, frequently drunk driving. Should we: a. eliminate drunk driving laws to increases vehicle fatalities? b. simply run a certain number of people off the road each to increase donations?”

    That’s not a perfect rebuttal, Fightin’—unless PP, medical researchers or pro-choicers in general are attempting to increase the number of abortions done so as to provide more fetal tissue. If increasing the number of abortions is their plan, they should be arguing strenuously against sex education programs and the easy availability of contraception.

    I may have overstepped with the word “perfect” (I blush.) But the fact that profit has been introduced by the tapes (and is forbidden by law) we now have a fuzzy situation where doctors have an incentive to perform the procedure differently, or at all, then they would otherwise.

    I agree, really. But for me, the real value of the videotapes is that it is forcing everyone to think about what is happening in an abortion. And the cavalier way the main characters speak of what they do is (and ought to be) shocking.

    • #23
  24. bridget Inactive
    bridget
    @bridget

    We’re talking about killing the healthy babies of healthy mothers who had access to contraception and agreed to have sex – in the order of about three hundred thousand per year.

    In order for there to be an ethical dilemma, the baby parts would have to be concretely proven to save at least three hundred thousand lives, each and every year.  That isn’t happening.

    We are definitively killing three hundred thousand babies a year for the hypothetical benefit of…. maybe something that could just as easily be done with stem cells from umbilical cords.  Give me a break.

    • #24
  25. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    Kate Braestrup:

    FightinInPhilly:

    Kate Braestrup:

    FightinInPhilly: A perfect rebuttal to this would be: “hearts,livers,eyes, etc are donated by victims of fatal car accidents, frequently drunk driving. Should we: a. eliminate drunk driving laws to increases vehicle fatalities? b. simply run a certain number of people off the road each to increase donations?”

    That’s not a perfect rebuttal, Fightin’—unless PP, medical researchers or pro-choicers in general are attempting to increase the number of abortions done so as to provide more fetal tissue. If increasing the number of abortions is their plan, they should be arguing strenuously against sex education programs and the easy availability of contraception.

    I may have overstepped with the word “perfect” (I blush.) But the fact that profit has been introduced by the tapes (and is forbidden by law) we now have a fuzzy situation where doctors have an incentive to perform the procedure differently, or at all, then they would otherwise.

    I agree, really. But for me, the real value of the videotapes is that it is forcing everyone to think about what is happening in an abortion. And the cavalier way the main characters speak of what they do is (and ought to be) shocking.

    We’ll just have to agree to agree. :)

    • #25
  26. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    bridget:We’re talking about killing the healthy babies of healthy mothers who had access to contraception and agreed to have sex – in the order of about three hundred thousand per year.

    In order for there to be an ethical dilemma, the baby parts would have to be concretely proven to save at least three hundred thousand lives, each and every year. That isn’t happening.

    We are definitively killing three hundred thousand babies a year for the hypothetical benefit of…. maybe something that could just as easily be done with stem cells from umbilical cords. Give me a break.

    But that’s my point—we’re killing the three hundred thousand babies (by PP alone) anyway, for whatever reason the women involved have for wanting an abortion. That’s one very large ethical dilemma.

    The other  is whether—given the availability of legally-aborted fetal tissue— is it ethical to make use of it, with the hope that some good may come out of these deaths.

    And, I suppose, there’s the third dilemma , which is whether it’s okay for Planned Parenthood (or any other abortion provider) to be reimbursed by the procuring entity or end-user  for the costs of providing the fetal tissue (the technicians in the video are getting paid, the electricity powering that fridge and those bright lights has a cost, etc.) or should that cost be paid for by PP, or passed along to its clients. If the latter, why should the research facilities, or the middlemen be excused, either from financial liability or moral liability?

    • #26
  27. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    BTW—we missed you in Cambridge! Next time…

    • #27
  28. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Kate Braestrup:

    Bryan G. Stephens: PP is engaged in killing in order to sell body parts.

    No, PP isn’t. PP is engaged in killing, period. With or without the sale of body parts, the killing goes on.

    Ryan M: I draw the line at killing a human being for the purposes of research…

    They aren’t killing the human being for purposes of research. They are providing to researchers the remains of a human being already (legally) killed. Moreover, they are doing so with the permission of the parent of that human being, who would have the same authority to donate the body of a miscarried baby, or an infant or child who died later on.

    There are people who refuse to be organ donors because they fear the disfiguring effects of the harvest. The reality is that death is disfiguring.

    Following an abortion, the baby is dead. The remains will be disposed of and dismantled, if not by technicians with forceps then by the same bacteria that awaits us all.

    The problem is not the disposition of the remains. The problem is the killing.

    Yes, I totally agree.  I intended that as an answer to “where do you draw the line in regards to research.”  Of course, now that I think about it, I draw the line long before we get to the actual killing of human beings.

    • #28
  29. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    11058095_972944332748215_8792002999950755923_n

    Bullseye.

    • #29
  30. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    EJHill: It is an imperfect analogy (as most analogies are) but say you need a new heart. A match is found in a woman who’s been murdered. She did not consent to have her organs harvested but her family did. In accepting her heart for your own life-saving procedure, are you complicit in her death?

    A closer analogy would be the  practice in China of them executing prisoners who then “donate” organs to waiting pre-matched recipients who have paid for their transplants. Pretty hard to argue you aren’t complicit in that case.

    • #30

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