The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), the American Association of Pro-life Ob-Gyns, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and the Catholic Medical Association released a joint position statement on the development of ethical vaccines devoid of any reliance upon abortion derived fetal cell lines.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our society has had to adapt to unprecedented restrictions and limitations. During this trying time, it has been difficult to find points of optimism. The rapid development of vaccine candidates utilizing varied techniques remains encouraging. However, while expeditious availability of effective vaccines is a laudable goal, the physician-led organizations presenting this statement stress the need for assurances of safety, efficacy, and a full commitment to uncompromised ethical development.
Recent reports of the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which are both mRNA vaccines, are encouraging. Although it is true that the animal-phase testing for these vaccines used abortion-derived fetal cells, commendably, it does not appear that production methods utilized such cells.
Dr. Cretella executive director of ACPeds stated, “Respect for life is foundational, and the exploitation of the unborn for vaccine production – even during animal-phase testing – is a violation of basic human rights. This is why our organizations stand by those patients who would refuse the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as a matter of conscience.”
That stated, the medical coalition also concluded that if COVID-19 vaccines are approved as safe and effective, then use of the least ethically problematic vaccine available with full informed consent – especially by our most vulnerable patients – may be justified by the intended good achieved in the prevention of disease and death. The current pandemic is an opportunity for all involved in healthcare delivery to raise their expectations and demand clear information that confirms morally correct care and prevention of disease.