In recent days a controversy has arisen over whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children. Some politicians with presidential aspirations were criticized for defending the rights of parents to make that decision. As an internal medicine doctor, I believe strongly in the efficacy of vaccines. I also believe strongly that our vaccines (and all of our medical advances) should be safe and derived in a morally principled fashion.
There is an ethical concern about the measles vaccine issue that I do not believe the American public is aware: a component of the current MMR vaccine is derived from an aborted fetal cell line. As such, there is a large group of Americans who will not avail themselves of this “tainted” therapy. The unfortunate truth is that there are ethical, morally acceptable alternative vaccines that are simply not made available to Americans.
Measles is a viral disease that can lead to infection of the brain (encephalitis) in 1 in 1,000 cases, resulting in serious neurologic complications and sometimes death. In addition, it can lead to other problems such as pneumonia. Vaccines for measles are now commonly combined in the MMR vaccine with vaccines for rubella and mumps. These diseases can also result in deadly complications. Vaccination can nearly eliminate the risks from these viral infections.
In order for vaccines to be made for viruses, the virus must first be isolated, then grown in a cell line to provide sufficient numbers of the virus. That viral material is again isolated and put into a vaccine to be injected into the recipient. In isolating the virus after it is grown in a cell line, particles from the cells, including particles of the host DNA in which it was grown, are collected and become part of the material that is injected into the recipient. When the cell line used is of human origin, legitimate concerns about the consequences of injecting another’s DNA into the recipient have been raised and not yet answered.
The rubella virus used in the rubella component of the MMR vaccine was obtained from a fetus that was aborted in the 1970s. To make the current MMR vaccine, it is grown in a human cell line, WI-38, that was derived from a 3-month-old fetus that was electively aborted in the early 1960s because the parents felt they had too many children. The cells from that original fetus have been kept in culture media, and have given rise to multiple daughter populations that are use in making vaccines.
The strain of virus used in the measles and mumps components of the MMR vaccine were derived from the blood of living children who had the disease in question and is grown in chick embryo cells, hence, there is no ethical concern about these components of the vaccine.
Prior to 2009, Merck, the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine used in the U.S. and in many other countries, made available individually separate vaccines for mumps and measles that were derived from the ethically acceptable sources as described. In 2009, they stopped making these vaccines available, despite reassurances to the contrary. Since then, Merck has refused to license these vaccines to other companies who were interested in making them available to the public. It has been since 2009 that the incidence of measles in this country has risen, so it is not inconceivable that legitimate ethical concerns have been at least one factor for the decline in the rate of measles vaccination.
The ethical problem is not isolated to the MMR vaccine. Cell lines from aborted fetuses are used in the vaccines for Hepatitis A, chicken pox, shingles, rabies, some small pox vaccines, some polio vaccines, some combination polio vaccines such as Pentacel and Quadracel, and in some of the new Ebola vaccines. Additionally aborted fetal cells are utilized in some treatments for hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The fact is, that none of these need to come from such sources, but could be made from other cell lines readily available in research circles.
For instance, the Kitasato Institute in Japan makes MMR vaccines that are ethically acceptable. Regrettably, the FDA decided not to allow their importation into the United States. Individuals can travel to Japan to receive these vaccines, but obviously, that is not a sensible solution to improving vaccination rates significantly.
Politicians and some in the media have suggested mandating vaccinations of children against the moral objections of their parents. Those same public figures would serve us better by helping to promote the manufacture or importation of vaccines that are derived ethically. Parents and their children deserve wholesome untainted vaccine alternatives to promote the health and the safety of their children.
This story comes from a Feb. 13 posting on Crisis magazine by Jay Carpenter, M.D.
Yes, people should be more aware that the vaccines that are available in the U.S. are probably not produced in accordance with Catholic ethical (pro-life) standards.
Have we heard from the U.S. Bishops on this issue? I can’t recall that we have.
Dave N. – we’ve heard from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on this issue. Some gave the cogforlife.org website – but here’s the direct link to the CDF’s statement: https://www.ncbcenter.org/Document.Doc?id=7
Also, here’s a FAQ Vaccination page from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC): https://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=1284
This information and more can be found on the website cogforlife.org (children of God for life). They will have the truth about the different ethical and non ethical vaccines. Thankfully, I am able to fill out a form for my kids in school which is a religious exemption form and we are able to get around this issue. I refuse to get my kids the MMR and the chickenpox vaccine since they use aborted fetal cell lines. Most people and Catholics do not even know this information.
“Children of God for Life – Pro life World Leader in the campaign for ethical vaccines, medicines, and consumer products” –
Randy Thomasson of http://www.savecalifornia.com has published some Very Interesting information about Vaccinations & Effectiveness, and I strongly suggest those interested check out his website / Facebook page for further info.
Here are Some headlines / Links:
Measles outbreak likely caused by vaccinated children, science shows
These good doctors oppose forced vaccination — shouldn’t you too?
SaveCalifornia.com urges every parent to read this and share with others
What are the facts about childhood vaccinations (which, right now, is a raging debate in California due to fact-free scaremongering by Democrat politicians)?
First, it’s a historical fact that the threat of dying from any of the traditional roster of infectious diseases has been significantly diminished where there is proper nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and refrigeration. Another fact is that once you have weathered chickenpox, measles, rubella, or mumps, you attain life-long immunity.
And it’s also a fact that breastfeeding “installs” a baby’s nascent immune system and provides substantial protection against germs.
So in the face of government-forced vaccinations that destroy parents’ rights, where part of a disease-causing microorganism is injected into a child’s skin and muscle (the safety of which has not been proven), learn from these 5 outstanding doctors who are experts on vaccines and who truly care about people’s health and strengthening their immune systems.
Measles Spread by the Vaccinated: Vaccines may be a Greater Danger than You Ever Knew! link
by Dr. Robert Rowen.
Rubbish! Our successful eradication of most diseases in the world came about by having 90%+ vaccination against them. Any parent that does not vaccinate their children can make that choice, but they should not then be able to send those kids to a nursery, school or other gathering places where they can spread the disease. We have become a country that has too large a population that doesn’t believe in science. Further, they don’t believe in institutions anymore, so they go with the writings of anybody that will tell a different story. Autism is the perfect example. It is not caused by vaccines as a totally false “scientific” article claimed years ago and has since been rebuked. You not only vaccinate your kids to protect them but to also protect the rest of the population. Its called Public Health!
Bob One, are you demanding that every individual illegally crossing our boarders or flying in from any number of foreign nations to stay away from “gathering places” until they have ALL been medically cleared and vaccinated for the sake of “Public Health”?!!
Yes! There once was a law, may still exist, that you had to have your vaccinations before you could come into the country. Why not now?
ILLEGAL immigrants should not be allowed into this Country in the first place.
Those who support ILLEGAL immigration are not only breaking the law, but assisting in spreading disease, etc.
Per the Doctrine of the Catholic Faith, all immigrants are required to OBEY the law, and that includes immigration laws.
I dare anyone to look up McDermott’s source and see that he is well known for his quackery.
God bless Randy Thomasson. Thank you McDermott for bringing up his link. Randy is a person who fears the Lord, although not Catholic, but is a good man protecting the rights of parents. He is a voice for those who have conservative views. Much appreciated!
Read this important article about disciplinary action against Dr. Rowen: https://www.casewatch.org/board/med/rowen.shtml
What research has been done as to whether ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are bringing in measles
and other contagious diseases such as TB, etc. ?
Why isn’t it being discussed in the secular press as a possibility ?
Good question – about contagious diseases and ILLEGAL immigrants.
I have been wondering why all the silence about this in the liberal/secular media.
Leigh and SIDNEY, Barak Hussain Obama made it very clear. He plans to “Fundamentally change America”. When he promised this, he knew he had the media and various un-ellected government bureaucrats more than ready and willing to help him in this task!! Of those who refuse to help him, he destroys one way or another. Even though your’s was probably a rhetorical question, it never-the-less truly amazes me that individuals such as yourselves still ask the question of why the main stream media does what it does.
And don’t forget rampant STDs.
The cells (a God given and loved human) are not immoral even if the originating action was immoral. I believe NOT vaccinating children based on the original abortion argument is invalidated because of the moral position of placing your children at risk from greater harm. Yes, political and scientific based pressure should be placed on the companies to shift to morally acceptable alternatives, but the economic battle would be exposing the net income of vaccine production/delivery along with the cost to develop a ethically sound strains of vaccine for future generation.
The MMR vaccine is, as I understand, distantly related to an originally evil act. The greater battle is the marketing and political promotion of marginally valuable vaccinations such as the HPV vaccine which at $1k each series protects only from a fraction of specific virus strains that could potentially develop into a smaller number of specific cervical cancer types that are highly treatable and only transmitable through intimate contact not by riding on a public amusement or even attending church with an unimmunized carrier.
CCC: ” 1759 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. ”
– – – –
US citizens over age 55 were not vaccinated for measles, mumps or chickenpox.
They were considered normal childhood diseases.
We got the illnesses as a matter of course, were sick for a few weeks, and moved on. No big deal.
Today, is this a matter of secular press hysteria today, which helps make certain pharmaceutical companies richer ?
(We were vaccinated for serious diseases such as smallpox and polio.)
– – – –
HPV vaccine is not needed for those who abstain from sexual activity until married. It is only needed by the morally corrupt.
Dottie – I agree that sex kept solely inside of the marriage bond is the best protection against HPV and wanted to bring forward a different type of vaccine controversy of which Catholics should be aware.
Karin, regarding vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases such as HPV –
HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus.
The CDC clearly states that the best prevention from ALL sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) is abstinence from sexual activity.
“The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral).”
Here is a link to the 2013 CDC Fact Sheet on the “Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the USA”.
People have to learn to be responsible for their own actions.
Actions have consequences.
Poor baby. The picture here shows a tiny aborted baby. I hope that it moves hearts. Its hard to look at but it needs to be seen. Some Human beings can be so cruel.
Abeca, I too feel for the child in the photo, but my educated guess is that this child was naturally miscarried, not aborted.
My father, a physician, was never really sick a day inn his life. When his doctor retired, he went to a new one, who urged him to get a flu vaccination, which he did in August. In the following December, he died. Perhaps the polio vaccination is fine, as well as a few others, but the other ones are dangerous to say the least. Some of them are also made from aborted babies. My siblings and I all had the measles, mumps and the chicken pox, and we are quite healthy. The nanny state is soon going to demand that all children are vaccinated for all illnesses. A radio commentator remarked a few days ago that, if it is not illegal, the government will make it mandatory. Our rights and our freedoms are quickly being taken away from us, but we are too blind or too uninterested to take notice. Just as in France a statue of Our Blessed Mother is removed, so too will the statue of Junipero Serra be taken away so an image of a lesbian can take the place of a saint. Wake up, people, and pray to God for the fortitude to resist this evil.
You are obviously not old enough to remember when getting the measles was a big deal, and those who caught it and those living in their home were quarantined with large red signs on the door warning people to stay away. A boy, after puberty, does not want to get mumps does he? You have a custom, Father Karl, of saying anything that is against our institutions. How does that have anything to do with statues? Geez!
Bob One, did you get the measles, mumps, or chickenpox ?
If you are over 50 you probably got one or more of these normal childhood contagious diseases once, and our bodies then developed their own immunities afterward.
In fact there was more than one type of measles.
The government should mind their own business when it comes to normal childhood diseases that are not fatal, and do not leave someone permanently damaged.
The government should not interfere in parental decisions and responsibility.
If the government wants to help they should protect and close our borders to ILLEGAL immigrants who can easily bring in diseases of all kinds.
It is a bit of a simplificaiton to say measles was just a normal childhood diesease. It kills a lot of people even today but not in the US where we have the vaccine – and it can cause brain swelling, which yes, can and does cause permanent damage.
Carol, I don’t know how old you are, but most young children in the USA used to get measles and chicken pox (prior to the 1960’s).
Once they got the disease children’s immune systems kicked in and they never got it again.
It was simply a normal occurrence.
Are you stating that measles and/or chickenpox vaccines are causing the viruses to mutate so that they are more dangerous ?
Most of the countries from which immigrants come have higher rates of vaccination than we do. Thinking that closing borders will result in less disease is not born out by the facts.
Bob One, it is not to be against government or against good institutions.
It is to be against EVIL politicians at local, state, and federal levels.
Read CCC: 1883, 1885, 1894, 2209, & 2411.
Those who violate our Faith and insist that WE MUST violate our Faith by obeying their evil laws and/or pay for them with our tax dollars.
Btw, when was the last time you voted for a DEMOCRAT ?
By their public voting record or statements did he or she support – Abortion, Contraception, Euthanasia, Homosexual Marriage, or
Embryonic Stem Cell Research ?
Check out their goals in the National and also the State Democratic Party Platform.
If you check out the 2014 California Democratic Party Platform – you will see the NANNY state in action. They want to control everyone, and have everyone finance the evils they propose.
The material in this article is shocking and depressing! I wish all doctors, nurses, scientists, and medical personnel, could see this dear little picture of the poor, dead fetus– and cry their hearts out, knowing that they MUST take the Oath of Hippocrates, and also believe in God, and vow to PROTECT ALL LIFE, from conception to natural death!! As for the aborted fetus of the selfish 1960’s family, that “had too many children,” and didn’t charitably even consider adoption alternatives— why didn’t the Catholic Church speak up, at that time, and warn everyone?? The 1960’s elective abortion, was also ILLEGAL, in the U.S.!! So— where did that poor fetus come from?? Why didn’t the Catholic Church FORBID and threaten to EXCOMMUNICATE, any scientist, doctor, nurse, or layperson, from participating in this HORRIFICALLY IMMORAL “medical” operation?? The Church was much stronger, at that time, than it is, today! Millions of Catholics have been deliberately misled!
An American patriot once said, THE GOVERNMENT WHO GOVERNS LEAST, GOVERNS BEST! The United States was not founded to be a despotic power, but unfortunately it is quickly becoming that. With all the free bees that the government is passing out, we are becoming more enslaved than ever. and it does apply to religious themes in the public square. Hardly any politician says Merry Christmas, because that would offend a few atheists. But now the gay mafia is demanding that all their filth be allowed and promoted. All these changes came about because of the silence of the majority. In a few years we will all be forced to get all vaccinations the government and big farma are pushing, but we will be forbidden to practice and exercise our faith.
Do we have culpability if we use the vaccine? I was told no because we have no moral option available, but I must say I don’ know. I don’t think parents should have to choose between deadly diseases and moral vaccines. Being very pro-life I don’t support aborted babies being used for vaccines but I don’t know what happened and what is true. You used to be able to not get the MMR and get the separate shots. And I think the individual measles vaccine doesn’t have the ethical problems that the MMR does, but again, I don’t know that to be true, it’s just what I heard. So do we have culpability? Does anyone know?
CCC: ” 1759 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.”
Paul, a person who gets vaccinated did not participate in the evil action of abortion. Whatever abortion happenned happenned decades ago, and the person who uses the vaccine is not at all culpable for the abortion. Not at all culpable, even in the slightest.
Think of a person who is shot to death as the victim of a violent crime. The victim signed the form that would result in his organs being used for transplantation after his death. Your daughter needs a liver transplant. Do you refuse the liver because the person was the victim of a violent crime? Would your daughter be culpable for the murder of the man? No, absolutely in no way would your daughter be culpable for the murder of the man.
In order for CCC 1759 to apply to a situation, the person must be causing the evil action, which is clearly not the case in the person getting vaccinated or in the daughter receiving a liver.
Carol, it would be a different moral equation if the production of vaccines meant that more abortions. ,The vaccines currently available do not cause more abortions, and there is no direct linkage between aborting fetuses and producing vaccines. There were immortal cell lines established decades ago from a fetus, and these cells lines live on regardless of whether they are used in vaccine production. Vaccine production won’t make the cell lines stop growing, and they have zero impact on the number of abortions in the past or in the future. You are not causing abortions by using these vaccines, and that is the critical moral question at hand.
Here’s the Vatican CDF statement on the issue – and it speaks to culpability:
Here’s the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) on the issue:
A good authority to learn true Catholic thinking on the topic of measles vaccinations is DR. G. KEVIN DONOVAN Professor of Pediatric Medicine and the Director of Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical School. From a recent EWTN interview: “It’s not that vaccines can’t have side effects, and in rare-extremely rare-instances they can be severe. But he must have been talking to an extremely small group. Because the vast majority of vaccines cause no severe problems at all. And the real concern here that everybody seems to be missing the point is that these diseases for which we are vaccinating can cause terrible problems. Measles is so easily spread. If 10 people were lined up and a kid with measles starts sneezing, 8 of them are going to get sick if they are unvaccinated. We should vaccinate our children for our children’s sake. We should do it for the people around our children who might be infected by them. And we should do it for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. . . . All of this [supposed autism connections] started with an (1998)article published in The Lancet, by a Dr. Wakefield who was found to be fraudulently claiming that there was a connection. It was so embarrassing that The Lancet withdrew the article. They rejected it. He lost his license; he is no longer a registered physician in Great Britain. And he supposedly studied only 12 children!”
An additional real problem that should be addressed is – what Governments can be trusted regarding vaccines ?
“Report: 30% of Kenyan vaccine samples contained sterility-inducing antigen ”
“A report issued by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has found that 30% of tested tetanus vaccine samples included a sterility-inducing antigen.
The vaccine, funded by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, was administered to Kenyan women of childbearing age in 2014.”
“It is both unethical and immoral for WHO and UNICEF to sponsor and fund an inhuman campaign like this in our country,” the bishops’ conference said in a statement describing the vaccination as a “monumental human rights abuse” and “attack on the survival of a people.”