Oh boy!  Dull moments around here are about as plentiful as white blackbirds.


I returned from Europe to find The Interim office bussing with questions, counter-questions and speculations regarding the morality of using vaccine extracted from an aborted baby to inoculate school children against Rubella.


According to reports, the vaccine being used in Canada was extracted from a Swedish aborted baby in 1962.  The research was performed at Stanford University in California.  From the cells of this one baby literally millions of cells have been multiplied, to the extent that the whole world could be inoculated with this particular vaccine.  All this is mind-boggling but it does not answer the question, “is it moral to use this vaccine to innoculate the children?”


Heart versus head.


My initial reaction to the whole business was one of repulsion and disgust and it still is.  But is the action immoral?  My heart cries out, “yes, of course it is.”


But my head calls a halt and says, “Cool it.  Did you not study the principles of moral theology?  Well, just apply them coolly to the case in point.”  Reaching back over nearly half a century and applying the principles of proximate and remote co-operation in an immoral act, I have to – reluctantly – admit that I cannot say that either injecting the vaccine or receiving it is in itself, an immoral act.  As I write this, I can almost feel y heart turning somersaults.  But, truth is truth.


Some distinctions.


Having said that, there are some important distinctions to be made.  Of course the action of aborting the baby was immoral in the first place.  Whether it was done 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago does not enter into the morality of the question.  The time factor is about as relevant as the nationality of the baby.  If you asked me if it is moral to abort a baby in order to obtain the vaccine, my reply would have to be a very positive negative.  An abortion is always immoral no matter how good the intention may be.  If the baby was not alive when the cells were extracted, I still have strong objections which I hope to show later in this article.


So, to recap, the abortion was immoral.  The act of using the vaccine by someone who had nothing to do with the abortion is not, in y opinion, immoral in itself.  But, we can’t just leave it at that because there are too many far-reaching implications.


Fetal research.


What is medically and scientifically termed, “fetal research” is a very dangerous and slippery slope descending to unsound and unsearchable depths.


It is in this area that I see the gravest objection to any use of human embryos that would lessen the dignity and sanctity of the human person.  Perhaps I can best explain what I mean by giving a few examples of things which have occurred in recent years but which are not generally known to the public.


TV sets, soft drinks & cookies.


In 1976 Dr. Sophie Perry, Director of the Department of Pathology at the District of Columbia General Hospital, revealed to the press that the staff had collected more then $68,000 from commercial firms for organs of stillborn and premature babies.  The money was used to buy a television set for the lounge and to cover expenses for soft drinks and cookies for visiting doctors.


Beauty products.


In April 1981, guards at the Swiss-French border intercepted a truck load of frozen fetuses destined for French cosmetic laboratories.  This was reported in the Gazette du Palais, a reputable legal journal, which explained that there was a busy trade for fetal remains for “beauty products used for rejuvenating the skin, sold in France at high prices.”




In 1977 the Environment Protection Agency in the US acknowledged that an Ohio medical research company tested the brains, hearts and other organs of nearly 100 fetuses as part of a pesticide research project.


Live babies exploited.


An anesthetist, giving sworn evidence before an abortion commission in Pennsylvania said, “It was repulsive to watch live fetuses being packed in ice while still moving and trying to breathe, then being rushed to the laboratory.”


The World Medical News reported in June 1973 that Dr. Peter Adam of Western University had performed an experiment at the University of Helsinki, Finland.  He cut off the heads of live babied, delivered by caesarian section.  He then ATTACHED THE HEADS TO A MACHINE which pumped various chemicals through the brain circulation of the severed heads.  The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported in January 1974 that live, beating hearts of pre-born babies up to 15 weeks were removed for experimentation of the University of Szeged, in Hungary


The Nuremberg code on human experimentation.


After the Nuremberg Trials the world was horrified at the evidence produced showing the uses to which human bodies had been put by German doctors in research laboratories.  An international code was drawn up, known as “The Nuremberg Code on Human Experimentation.”  Here is an extract:  “For research to be ethical, the subject must give consent.  The person is violated if unwillingly – even uncomprehendingly – he/she is used for the benefit of others.”


Even assuming that parents can give consent for minors, would anybody believe that parents had signed a consent form for the bodies or organs of their offspring to be used as pesticides or beauty products?  Would any mother consent that the head be cut off her living baby so that a doctor could try some new experiment?


Perhaps there are mothers who would agree to this for some consideration.  But I sincerely hope and pray that there are not!


What does all this mean?


The accumulation of all these facts, which have been documented, adds up to only one fact.  Science has lost its sense of morality.  Scientists – not all of them, of course – have lost sight of the trees in their preoccupation with the wood.  But the “wood” in this case is composed of individual “trees” each made in the Image and Likeness of God and possesses of the inalienable right not to be exploited in the interests of any other being – human or otherwise.


If society is prepared to sit comfortably on its hands and accept the exploitation of human beings which I have listed above, I feel like shouting, “STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF!”