Children of God for Life (2008): Holy See Clarifies Instruction in Dignitas Personae

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Source:  Children of God for Life, December 15, 2008

For Immediate Release: December 15, 2008
Children of God for Life

Holy See Document, Dignitas Personae, Sets Bioethics Standards for Research and Aborted Fetal Vaccines

In a statement written on September 8th and released December 12th, 2008, the Holy See clarified a number of issues in biomedical research and their application to family life that have been hotbeds of contention for decades.  The new official Church instruction, Dignitas Personae, (Dignity of the Person) expanded Catholic teaching from a number of previously published documents, including Donum Vitae, Veritatis Splendor and Evangelium Vitae to assist Catholics in the ever changing world of modern scientific technologies.

Children of God for Life’s Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge, was delighted with the latest development. “Dignitas Personae acknowledges that previous standards by some ethics committees have not been “sufficient” and the Holy See has taken steps to assist both parents who vaccinate their children and researchers who use aborted fetal or embryonic material.”

In the section titled, The use of human “biological material” of illicit origin , the Vatican noted:

“Therefore, it needs to be stated that there is a duty to refuse to use such “biological material” even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the artificial fertilization or the abortion, or when there was no prior agreement with the centers in which the artificial fertilization took place. This duty springs from the necessity to remove oneself, within the area of one’s own research, from a gravely unjust legal situation and to affirm with clarity the value of human life.”

The Vatican further clarified actions required by parents who may be faced with using vaccines that are produced using aborted fetal materials.

“Grave reasons may be morally proportionate to justify the use of such “biological material”.  Thus, for example, danger to the health of children could permit parents to use a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin, while keeping in mind that everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask that their healthcare system make other types of vaccines available. ”

“Once again, it is important that people read the entire statement carefully”, Vinnedge cautioned. “We have already seen some news stories opining that parents can use these vaccines without reporting on the further conditions laid down by the Holy See.”  Vinnedge is strongly encouraging concerned families to do as the Church is instructing and begin rallying behind AVM Biotechnology, ( ) the only company worldwide whose mission is to bring morally produced alternative vaccines to the United States.

Dr. Theresa Deisher, CEO of AVM Biotechnology, stated  “We are so thrilled to have the recent Vatican teaching,  Dignitas Personae.  Unfortunately, since so much research is conducted without disclosure or scrutiny, the scientific world has moved forward unabated using fresh aborted fetal material, aborted fetal cell lines and embryonic materials.”

“The use of morally illicit material in scientific research is so pervasive now that pro-life scientists really need to address these issues with a commitment to morally licit research and drug development.  To support that type of effort, our non-profit Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI), is dedicated to:

  1. education about the use of morally illicit material in drug discovery and development,
  2. developing a certification program so that patients can readily learn whether a drug that has been prescribed for them is morally licit or not, and
  3. encouraging the establishment of companies like AVM Biotechnology to develop morally licit alternative drugs and research reagents.

“AVM Biotech and SCPI have already risen to the challenge before this latest document emerged,” noted Debi Vinnedge.  “We pray that all Catholic healthcare facilities, our bishops, our families and pro-life benefactors will stand firmly behind their work and provide the resources and support they need to answer the Church’s calling.”

In a press conference with Vatican Information Service, the Holy See press office, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith  noted that  the instruction“encourages biomedical investigation that respects the dignity of all human beings and of procreation” and that they “will probably be accused of containing too many prohibitions. Nevertheless, faced with this possible accusation it is necessary to emphasize that the Church feels the duty of making those without voices heard”

For further information on AVM Biotechnology contact Dr Theresa Deisher (206) 906-9922 or Email:
Related articles:

Holy See Press release December 12, 2008

Dignitas Personae, Full Text

Biotech Firm to Provide Moral Vaccines