Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Freeper Alert! Petition to Georgetown University: Stop Aborted Fetal Cell Line Research
Children of God for Life ^ | 1-30-04 | Debi Vinnedge

Posted on 01/31/2004 11:41:35 AM PST by cpforlife.org

Please spread this message far and wide.

We now have a petition on line to stop Georgetown University's use of aborted fetal cell lines.

If GU gets away with this, kiss the ethical vaccine deal we are on the verge of negotiating with Chiron goodbye...why bother with it if the Catholic scholars are saying the immoral research is okay? If the research at GU is acceptable then surely tainted vaccines are too, so why bother getting untainted ones?

And why bother with the new Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Legislation: See www.cogforlife.org/flica.htm proposed to Congress Jan 20th? If it is morally okay to use murdered babies in products, why should the public be made aware of this when purchasing medial products? In fact, why bother with any ethical research at all?

Here is the link for the petition: www.cogforlife.org/georgetownpetition.htm

Please pass this on in its entirety!

God bless,

Debi Vinnedge, Director
Children of God for Life

_________________________________________________

Text of Petition:

Office of the Archbishop: His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
5001 Eastern Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782-3447
301-853-4500

Your Eminence,

We the undersigned respectfully request that you immediately put an end to the research using aborted fetal cell lines at Georgetown University or take action to remove its Catholic identity. It is an outrage and a scandal that any Catholic facility could condone the use of aborted fetal cell lines, regardless of how long ago the abortions occurred. Are we to believe that the passage of time diminishes the sin? By allowing this research to continue at GU, you are in effect:

1) Condoning an action that is clearly contrary to Catholic Church Teaching
2) Encouraging further fetal tissue research, since the use of the cell lines is acceptable to a Catholic institution
3) Encouraging further development of life-saving medical procedures through illicit research
4) Discouraging the use of alternative, morally acceptable avenues of research
5) Ignoring the impact of such a decision on countless other Catholic institutions that adhere to higher moral standards

Your acceptance of this activity at a Catholic university also serves to thwart efforts to stop radical legislation such as the NJ cloning bill allowing destruction of embryos and abortion of implanted cloned human beings. What will you say when the NIH asks you to use these cell lines in a federally funded research program? Will you likewise concede that you were not directly involved with the murder of innocent human life and therefore such research would be acceptable? Do you not realize that the very cell lines you are working with at GU were produced specifically for research purposes and carry the same moral repugnancy of any aborted fetal cell line produced today?

The Magisterium is quite clear on the duties of Catholic Universities as Pope John Paul II stated, “It is clear that university centres that do not observe the law of the Church and the teaching of the Magisterium, especially in the matter of bioethics, cannot be considered as having the character of a Catholic university.” (Address to the International Congress, Globalization and the Catholic University , December 5, 2002 )

Futher, you have the duty to uphold the sanctity and dignity of these aborted children in accord with the Vatican teaching in Donum Vitae: "The corpses of human embryos or fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided” (I.4).(Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day)

Do not bring further shame upon the Catholic Church and Georgetown University. If you allow this to continue you are no less guilty of immoral behavior than those conducting the research themselves, for you have the power to stop it. Thank you for your immediate attention to this most important matter.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortedbabies; atgeorgetownu; catholiclist; catholicschools; fetalcells; georgetownu; guineapigs; murderedand; usedas
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-56 next last
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke 1770
1 posted on 01/31/2004 11:41:39 AM PST by cpforlife.org
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org; NYer; Salvation; ninenot; Dajjal; Maximilian
Good point.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1068813/posts Georgetown U Frankenstein Research

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1068614/posts Georgetown Weird Research Continues

2 posted on 01/31/2004 11:46:32 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

The person who is deliberately aborted is robbed of their human dignity and of their God given right to Life. To use the remains of the victim of such a heinous crime PERPETUATES THAT CRIME, and further dishonors the victim.

To justify what is happening at GU negates the Churches credibility and authority to speak on related matters. It also sets a very dangerous precedent for yet another step away from the truth.

USING THE RESULTS OF AN EVIL ACT to bring about a greater good is but one degree removed from DOING EVIL AN EVIL ACT to bring about a greater good.

What is being done at GU is reminiscent of 1930’s Nazi Germany.

Signed and added to Petition:
Kevin Jeanfreau, Founder
CHRISTIAN PATRIOTS FOR LIFE
Deputy Director, Knights for Life

Edmond Jeanfreau
Louisiana Pro-Life Chairman, Knights of Columbus
Director, Knights for Life

3 posted on 01/31/2004 11:48:07 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
I signed the petition.
4 posted on 01/31/2004 11:51:53 AM PST by NeoCaveman (New and improved is typically neither!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaismypresident
In the article about stem cell research at Georgetown, it says that these cell lines are 15-40 years old. I do not see the harm in using cell lines that have already been generated and would otherwise go to waste. I think we could debate the derivation of future cell lines, but I would let the scientists work with the ones that already exist.
5 posted on 01/31/2004 11:57:00 AM PST by ScotchBible
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN; Coleus; nickcarraway; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...
Everyone:

I ask you, PLEASE take just two minutes to sign this Petition. www.cogforlife.org/georgetownpetition.htm

Sign even if you are not Catholic, as this transcends Religious affiliation. It is a matter of human dignity and human rights.

Ping all your freeper & lurker friends; forward via e-mail to everyone. This is monumental.

If you would, a simple post to this thread such as "Signed"
would do our hearts some good. Thank You.

6 posted on 01/31/2004 11:59:51 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaismypresident
Thanks!
7 posted on 01/31/2004 12:00:45 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Coleus; nickcarraway; Mr. Silverback; CAtholic Family Association; narses; Brad's Gramma; ...
Please PING your lists.
8 posted on 01/31/2004 12:03:46 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaismypresident; cpforlife.org
The problem with this whole grotesque, sordid business is that is corrupts medicine, it corrupts the whole culture, and it corrupts the Church. I was deeply saddened and horrified to read references to loss of grant funding as one of the reasons cited by a "Catholic" ethicist for continuing the research. Someone is profiting from abortions.

The suggestion that the amount of time which has elapsed since the abortions legitimates use of these cells for experiments is totally asinine and moronic. It is hard to believe Catholics speaking in such a jaded and casual manner. The primary issue of importance is reverence for the life that was ended with cruelty. No one has a right to profit from human remains (from a murder)taken without the consent of the victim (obviously impossible). This is junk thought and totally immoral, unethical, evil, wrong. No utilitarian argument can make it otherwise. We still understood that when I attended Jesuit Catholic institutions This is a terrible and grotesque tragedy which advances the tentacles of the culture of death.

9 posted on 01/31/2004 12:06:30 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Signed. God bless you for your hard work.
10 posted on 01/31/2004 12:25:40 PM PST by Krodg (...when you no-show for a decade, you ain't the base anymore!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
We must remain true to the teachings of the Church on life!
11 posted on 01/31/2004 12:41:15 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
It is difficult to comprehend how this could be happening at a Catholic University.
12 posted on 01/31/2004 12:42:46 PM PST by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
I signed the petition. Bump so that others might see this.
13 posted on 01/31/2004 1:09:47 PM PST by shhrubbery!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
Please sign above petition

Adult stem cells work without resorting to cannibalism and barbaric practices.

Cardinal McCarrick may be contacted at

Office of the Archbishop
Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
5001 Eastern Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782-3447
301-853-4500
chancery@adw.org; ktf3@georgetown.edu

See the Washington Post coverage:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61643-2004Jan29.html

Contact Bio-ethicist Fr. Kevin T. Fitzgerald who advised McCarrick poorly.

The David Lauler Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics
Center for Clinical Bioethics
Georgetown University
Box 571409
Washington, DC 20057-1409
Tel: 202/687-5473
FAX: 202/687-8955
ktf3@georgetown.edu

Vatican Mailing Addresses

John_Paul_II@vatican.va

His Holiness, John Paul II PP.
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano, Italy

His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Apostolic Palace
VATICAN CITY

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio 11
00193 Rome, Italy

Bernardin Cardinal Gantin
Sacred Congregation for Bishops
Piazza Pio XII 10
00193 Rome, Italy

Antonio Maria Cardinal Javierre Ortas
Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship
Piazza Pio XII 10
00193 Rome, Italy

E-mail address for the Vatican Newspaper: L'Osservatore Romano ornet@ossrom.va
14 posted on 01/31/2004 2:16:19 PM PST by Coleus (STOPP Planned Parenthood http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/892053/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; ...
Please take a minue and sign this petition! Abortion is bad enough but 'selling' an aborted child for other purposes has become big business. A fully developed, intact fetus, goes for $1500 on the open market, a fetal brain retails for $999.

If that is not motive enough for you, read this story!

Missing or Sold? Dead Baby Disappearance has Some People Wondering

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


15 posted on 01/31/2004 4:09:29 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Duly signed by this conservative, pro-life Protestant.
16 posted on 01/31/2004 4:38:09 PM PST by DallasMike
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DallasMike
God bless you Mike!

Please be sure to email your lists. It will take Thousands to have a chance at getting the desired outcome.
17 posted on 01/31/2004 4:49:07 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ScotchBible
Is that like Scottish law?
18 posted on 01/31/2004 5:01:42 PM PST by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Signed, baby. Thanks for all your good work.
19 posted on 01/31/2004 5:06:30 PM PST by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: firebrand
no, just sounds like common sense to me.
20 posted on 01/31/2004 5:27:59 PM PST by ScotchBible
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ScotchBible
To me, that's like saying, "Since she got divorced a long time ago, she might as well get married again." You have to think of the implications of everything that you do and how it feeds or does not feed the culture of selfishness and death.
21 posted on 01/31/2004 5:48:37 PM PST by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: firebrand
it totally is not like that. but thanks for the laughs.
22 posted on 01/31/2004 6:20:49 PM PST by ScotchBible
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Signed! Thanks for the ping.
23 posted on 01/31/2004 7:52:02 PM PST by lara
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo Apostolic Pro Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20008-3687
Tel. 1-202-333-7121
FAX: 1-202-338-4036

24 posted on 01/31/2004 9:27:25 PM PST by Coleus (STOPP Planned Parenthood http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/892053/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Coleus
I was thinking about him.
25 posted on 01/31/2004 11:33:37 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: CAtholic Family Association
Dr. Kopp,

PING - You are greatly needed here.
26 posted on 02/01/2004 12:03:43 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Askel5
PING
27 posted on 02/01/2004 12:05:55 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: NYer
I have signed the petition.....
28 posted on 02/01/2004 2:05:59 AM PST by .45MAN ("I am what I am because of what I am")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
So, McCarrick's a cardinal now. I knew him way back when he was a mere bishop and quite the publicity hound. You couldn't open the daily paper and not find his elfin face therein. We all knew he'd be a cardinal one day.
I signed the petition, but believe me you need to bring a crew of reporters to get his attention. Or a very large mirror.
29 posted on 02/01/2004 3:56:09 AM PST by Graymatter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN; Coleus; nickcarraway; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...
Debi needs programming help that I don't have, see below:
Her e-mail is Cogforlife@aol.com

BTW--Here is the link for the petition in case someone forgot to sign: www.cogforlife.org/georgetownpetition.htm Please forward via email as well.

There has got to be a computer whiz freeper out there who can help walk me through setting up a database to capture the info from the petition. Right now whenever someone signs the petition, the results go to my email which is blown out of the water. I know in the options it can be set up to go to a file or a database, but I cannot figure out exactly how to set that up. Since I don't dare risk losing any data, I just keep letting those signatures come in as emails. And it can only get worse (or better! :-) in the coming days as more people learn about the petition. If anyone out there can help, please let me know how to reach them. I am using Front Page 2000 software on the website.
Thanks God bless,
Debi
30 posted on 02/01/2004 9:43:47 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

http://www.lifenews.com/nat314.html

Georgetown University Will Continue Using Aborted Fetal Cells

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 30, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In a move that is drawing significant criticism, Georgetown University officials have confirmed that scientists at the Catholic university will continue using cells from fetal issue obtained from aborted babies, despite pressure from pro-life advocates to stop.

Debra Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, a group established to stop the use of fetal tissue from aborted babies in research and products such as cosmetics, has been attempting to get the university to stop using the cells. Vinnedge wrote to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the Washington, D.C. archdiocese asking him to put additional pressure on university officials.

McCarrick replied to the letter last month saying the issue had been resolved, which led Vinnedge to believe the use of cells from abortions would be discontinued.

However, 14 researchers said that stopping the use of the cells from abortions would "jeopardize years of work and funding" into treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and cancer. Four other researchers decided on their own volition to stop using the cell lines and switch to using cells that did not come from abortions.

Georgetown officials decided to allow ethicists to determine whether or not their use should continue.

Georgetown bioethicist Rev. Kevin FitzGerald said that researchers should be able to continue using the cells from abortions because researchers did not know they came from abortions in the first place. He said the potential benefits of the research far outweigh the use of tissue from unborn children whose lives were destroyed by abortion and that the abortions were not performed so the scientists could obtain cells for research.

"The ideal would be not to be involved with [aborted fetal cells] at all," said FitzGerald, but that was not possible he said.

The cell lines containing the tissue from abortions have been removed from the university's central repository, but cells from abortions will continue to be used in the current project and may be used again in the future if no alternatives can be found.

Vinnedge was "dismayed" by the decision and said Georgetown University had made compromises on endorsing the sanctity of human life.

She said she hoped the university stops using tissue from abortions once the current research project has concluded.

FitzGerald said Catholic institutions 10 years ago continued using vaccinations for chicken pox and measles-mumps-rubella that contained cells from aborted babies after the information came to light.

"The connection to the abortion was distant and remote enough to say that this in no way encouraged or facilitated further abortions," FitzGerald said.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Gibbs told the Associated Press that McCarrick believes Georgetown is not out of step with Catholic teaching.

"Georgetown reviewed the concerns the Cardinal raised, and we're comfortable, and the cardinal's, comfortable with their response,'' Gibbs said. "A number of ethicists have reviewed it to ensure it's consistent with Catholic teaching.''

The cells in question in the current Georgetown research project are anywhere from 25 to 40 years old.

The four cell lines from aborted babies in Europe that were used were HEK-293, IMR-90, MRC-5 and WI-38. The first is derived from the kidney of a fetus, while the other three came from human fetal lung tissue.

IMR-90, MRC-5 and WI-38 are used to create vaccines for diseases such as chicken pox, rubella, hepatitis-A, rabies and polio. Of them, chicken pox is the only vaccine that has no alternative to the use of fetal cell lines.

According to the Washington Post, cells from abortions must be used in research in order to qualify for some NIH funding.

Vinnedge discovered the use of the cells at Georgetown after discovering on the Internet that the cells in question had come from abortions.

John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center said Georgetown University is the first educational facility to publicly confront the issue. He too justified the use of the cells from abortions.

"I don't see the moral difficulty in using these cell lines, because you're not contributing in any way to the abortions, which took place decades ago" Haas told the Post.

"However, there is the risk of leading people to think that (some Catholic institutions do not) consider abortion to be a great evil and are indifferent to it and willing to work with tissue that result from that kind of action."

The Georgetown University Right to Life group also became concerned about the use of cells from aborted babies.

"I was shocked when I found out that this could happen at Georgetown, a Catholic university," Laura Peirson, the pro-life group's president said. "We support medical research and want progress as much as anyone, but in this case, the ends don't justify the means, no matter how noble the ends."

Related web sites:
Georgetown University Medical Center - http://gumc.georgetown.edu
31 posted on 02/01/2004 9:45:14 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org; .45MAN; AAABEST; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; ...
Please take a minue and sign this petition!

(A quick bump & ping as I'm passing through town. Please act on this, it only takes a moment!)

32 posted on 02/01/2004 10:17:30 AM PST by Polycarp IV (PRO-LIFE orthodox Catholic--without exception, without compromise, without apology. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CAtholic Family Association
Wilco
33 posted on 02/01/2004 11:14:39 AM PST by Barnacle ("It is as it was." JPII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
signed.
34 posted on 02/01/2004 11:32:42 AM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Signed and passing petition on.
35 posted on 02/01/2004 12:12:45 PM PST by appleton14
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: appleton14; Canticle_of_Deborah; CAtholic Family Association; All
Thanks y'all! I am smiling at the moment.

Just heard that the numbers are growing. Pro-Life goups, priests, ministers, large associations from around the country just to name a few! Most are adding comments that would break your heart.

Please pray that this will help change their hearts and minds at GU. We must keep in mind that they are under tremendous pressure from all sides and that they are human. I believe many want to do the right thing but don't get the much needed encouragement from the faithful that they need in such difficult positions.
36 posted on 02/01/2004 12:57:05 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
What haunts my soul on this issue is the fact that the fetal tissue harvesting industry (now accounting for more than a billion dollars per year, for 'research') is driving the abortion holocaust to some extent. How much, I couldn't guess, but if it is influencing abortion policy the Church must stand to speak out against this evil exploitation!

I have signed the petition, and jotted a note to the Archbishop in which I challenged him to prove he's an Archbishop of Christ's Church, not a 'follow along to get along.'

37 posted on 02/01/2004 1:25:50 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN
Thank you.
38 posted on 02/01/2004 2:01:27 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Signed and e mailed petition to about 250 pro lifers and Knights.
39 posted on 02/01/2004 2:12:10 PM PST by Coleus (STOPP Planned Parenthood http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/892053/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: cpforlife.org
Signed it.

God help us.
41 posted on 02/01/2004 4:10:42 PM PST by Flora McDonald (Stand the Storm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

YOU BROTHER ARE A TRUE KNIGHT FOR LIFE!


42 posted on 02/01/2004 4:40:33 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

A little more background:

From http://www.cogforlife.org/gupost.htm

In July 2003 Children of God for Life discovered that aborted fetal cell lines were being used in research at Georgetown University.  We wrote to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick asking him to use his authority and put an end to the research.  When our letters went unanswered, we followed up with phone calls and subsequent letters in September.  In December, we received a response from His Eminence stating, "Most of the problems in your letter have been resolved and I am peaceful that the concerns expressed in your letter are no longer valid."  

Was it a veiled attempt to placate the unsuspecting?  How would we know if the University had in fact complied? The best way seemed to let the matter become public among small Catholic groups by thanking the Cardinal for his help. News broke quickly.  The GU campus newspaper the Hoya called to investigate further.  In a January 23rd article, Executive Director of GUMC Communications Amy DeMaria stated, “Although we were already in compliance with the directives, we felt it was prudent to remove from our tissue bank the four cell lines to make it absolutely clear that GUMC is committed to conducting research in a way that is in full compliance with the ERDs and Catholic moral teaching. No research was disrupted in the removal of the cell lines.” (Read the entire article in the Hoya)

Two days later, the Washington Post picked up the story and pushed further still.  In a telephone interview with Amy Argetsinger, Children of God for Life would finally learn the truth. (see article below) 

Our fight does not end here.  For if it is okay for a Catholic institution to use these aborted fetal cell lines in research, then certainly the vaccines and medical procedures derived from them are okay too, so why bother getting ethical alternatives?   And why bother with the new Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Legislation (see www.cogforlife.org/flica.htm ) proposed to Congress Jan 20th?  If it is morally okay to use murdered babies in research why should the public be made aware of this when purchasing medical products?  In fact, why bother with any ethical research at all? 

We stand poised to bring ethical alternatives to the American people that are not derived from aborted fetal cell lines - yet this decision by GU may bring that effort to a screeching halt.  If you are concerned with not only the immoral, non-Catholic activity conducted at one of this country's oldest Catholic institutions, but with what the long term implications mean to you and your families, please join our efforts to stop this.


Click Here for The GU Petition


GU to Continue Controversial Research
Use of Aborted Fetal Cells Prompts Probe at Catholic Institution

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61643-2004Jan29.html

By Amy Argetsinger and Avram Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 30, 2004 ; Page B01

The letter last fall from an antiabortion group posed an unexpected quandary for Georgetown University Medical Center .

A Florida-based group wrote to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington that some scientists at Georgetown , a Catholic university, were doing research using cells derived from aborted fetuses.

An in-house investigation verified the claim. But when 14 of the researchers involved said that ending the use of the cells in question would jeopardize years of work and funding, the matter was turned over to ethicists. In a recommendation that scholars said could mark a first in Catholic medical research in the United States , Georgetown has decided to let those researchers continue their work.

The Rev. Kevin T. FitzGerald, a university bioethicist, said he reasoned that the scientists did not know the cells had come from aborted fetuses when they began their work and should not be forced to abandon potentially lifesaving studies or risk forfeiting grants. The benefits to society, he said, far outweigh the harm done by using the cells, because the abortions were not performed for the purpose of providing the cells to scientists.

"The ideal would be not to be involved with [aborted fetal cells] at all," said FitzGerald, a Jesuit priest who holds a doctorate in molecular genetics. "Obviously, we don't live in an ideal world. We do the best we can."

Four other Georgetown researchers agreed to switch to other cell lines after determining they could do so without compromising their work. The medical center has removed the controversial frozen cell lines from its central repository on campus.

But those moves do not preclude a Georgetown researcher from using aborted fetal cells in the future if there are no alternatives. FitzGerald said each instance would have to be judged.

"We have to pull in the administrators at the university to say what sorts of things can we put in place as far as a screening process," he said. "We have to figure out who does it, where does the screening take place, how is it structured, who decides. I don't know what we're going to be able to do or not do. This is new ground."

John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Boston, said the ethical issues surrounding the use of fetal cells, embryonic stem cells and cloning are the most controversial facing the church. "I don't see the moral difficulty in using these cell lines, because you're not contributing in any way to the abortions, which took place decades ago," Haas said. "However, there is the risk of leading people to think that [some Catholic institutions do not] consider abortion to be a great evil and are indifferent to it and willing to work with tissue that result from that kind of action."

Haas said Georgetown is the first Catholic research institution that has addressed the issue publicly and said it is possible that others have made internal decisions that have not been disclosed.

Debra Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, who initiated the complaint, said she was dismayed to learn that Georgetown has made compromises in coping with a complex problem. She said McCarrick wrote to her last month to say her concerns "had been resolved," which she took to mean that the cell lines were no longer in use.

Vinnedge said she could understand Georgetown 's position. "Once you start your research, you can't start introducing variables," she said, adding that she hopes the institution will retire the cell lines once the particular research projects are completed. Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said McCarrick had asked Georgetown to look into the letter from Vinnedge and was satisfied with its response.

Some of the involved cell lines, which are widely used in medical research nationwide, were derived from cells that were harvested from aborted fetuses in Europe nearly 40 years ago, while others are more recent. Scientists say they prefer working with cells from fetuses because they can grow rapidly and adapt to new environments better than those from mature humans. Cell lines can be maintained indefinitely in the laboratory, leaving little need to extract new ones.

Some of Georgetown 's cells have been at the medical center for years, stored in a liquid nitrogen freezer. They are being used by scientists in studies on treatments for illnesses that include Alzheimer's disease, cancer, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and heart disease, said Georgetown spokeswoman Amy DeMaria.

Fetal cells are not subject to federal restrictions, such as a ban on federal funding of research using embryonic stem cells created after August 2001. The Catholic church objects to research on cells from aborted fetuses, but it allows the use of cells from miscarried fetuses, including those from spontaneous abortions, because they were unplanned.

Vinnedge's organization, based in Clearwater , Fla. , was established to protest the use of aborted fetal cell lines in developing vaccines. From reading scientific journals, Vinnedge said, she had identified several cell lines said to have come from aborted fetuses. When she searched for them by code number on the Internet, she found them on a Georgetown Web site listing cell lines in use at the medical center.

"I've never seen anything like this at a Catholic university," she said in a telephone interview this week.

Vinnedge's letter to McCarrick triggered an unprecedented internal review by Georgetown bioethicists, university officials said.

In weighing how to handle the issue, Georgetown looked to the debate of a decade ago, when many Catholics became aware that cells from an aborted fetus were used to originate cultures used to manufacture chicken pox vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Since then, a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been developed without cells from an aborted fetus, but the chicken pox vaccine is still made with the same cell line.

Church officials concluded that the benefits of widespread immunization significantly outweighed the drawbacks of using aborted fetal cells, said FitzGerald.

"The connection to the abortion was distant and remote enough to say that this in no way encouraged or facilitated further abortions," he said. "The good was a proportionately strong enough argument to say, 'Do this.' "

Georgetown applied the same rationale to the new dilemma, reasoning that the work its scientists had been doing was too important "to throw all this good stuff out," FitzGerald said.

But FitzGerald acknowledged the practical challenge of avoiding the cell lines in future research projects. Investigators often must use a particular line of aborted fetal cells to qualify for a grant because the National Institutes of Health or other research funding agencies want to compare the results with other studies performed using the same source material. Using cells with different traits would make comparisons invalid, he said.

Fitzgerald said Georgetown scientists should not feel threatened by the university's actions. "We're not trying to roll back anybody's freedoms or disrupt anybody's research," he said.

Staff writer Rick Weiss contributed to this report.

 

43 posted on 02/01/2004 5:30:49 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
See 43 for a few more details.
44 posted on 02/01/2004 7:16:13 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Catholic University Continuing to Use Cell Lines from Aborted Babies - Cardinal Approves

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jan/04013001.html

WASHINGTON, DC, January 30, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When LifeSiteNews.com first broke the story "Washington Cardinal Ends Catholic University's Use of Aborted Fetal Cell Lines" last month (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jan/040
10601.html ), it was based on factual evidence. Children of God for Life, a pro-life group specializing in fighting the use of aborted fetal cell lines in vaccines, contacted the Cardinal McCarrick about Georgetown University - a Catholic University - using aborted fetal cell lines in research. The Cardinal responded with a letter to Children of God for Life Director Debra Vinnedge saying the "problem" had "been resolved".

However, it turns out that Georgetown has decided to allow its researchers to continue to use aborted fetal cell lines and that the Cardinal, at least according to his spokesman, is just fine with that. Of the eighteen researchers at Georgetown involved in the unethical research, fourteen will continue with it while four have switched over to stem cell lines which did not originate from aborted babies. Vinnedge told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview today, "I'm appalled that they would continue to do this research."

It seems that the Cardinal is relying on the opinions of certain Catholic ethicists who believe that the use of cell lines from aborted babies for research is acceptable at a Catholic institution, which is supposed to regard abortion as murder. Rev. Kevin T. FitzGerald, a university bioethicist told the Washington Post that the scientists at the university did not know they were using cells from aborted babies at first and that were they to stop now they would endanger their grants, and perhaps their potentially beneficial research. He also excused the research saying the abortions committed were not performed for the purpose of providing the cells.

FitzGerald, a Jesuit priest who holds a doctorate in molecular genetics, also said future research using aborted fetal cells at the Catholic university would be possible but such research would be screened. "We have to pull in the administrators at the university to say what sorts of things we can put in place as far as a screening process," he said. "We have to figure out who does it, where does the screening take place, how is it structured, who decides. I don't know what we're going to be able to do or not do. This is new ground."

Another Catholic ethicist, John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Boston, agreed with Georgetown's stand. "I don't see the moral difficulty in using these cell lines, because you're not contributing in any way to the abortions, which took place decades ago," Haas said.

Vinnedge wondered whether the Catholic university would similarly agree to using a cache of body parts of Nazi holocaust victims for research. "Just as with the aborted fetal stem cell lines, the body parts would have come from victims of murders that happened decades ago," she said. "I don't think Fr. Fitzgerald or Dr. Haas would so easily allow for research on body parts of Nazi holocaust victims despite the possible loss of grant money, and they'd likely insist on switching to other sources even if researchers didn't realize at first where the body parts came from."

LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Susan Gibbs, Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of Washington, who confirmed that "the cardinal is comfortable with the university's response to the situation." Gibbs noted the arguments of the ethicists about the cell lines coming from abortions that were committed in Europe and in some cases up to 40 years ago. When LifeSiteNews.com asked Gibbs about the apt comparison to the use of body parts from Nazi holocaust victims she responded, " I'm not going to be pulled into a hypothetical." She referred to the ethicists who reviewed the research as having "very fine reputations" and repeatedly said "I'm not an ethicist."

Vinnedge told LifeSiteNews.com she intends to continue to ask Cardinal McCarrick to demand that the Catholic university stop the unethical research.

Cardinal McCarrick may be contacted at

Office of the Archbishop
Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
5001 Eastern Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782-3447
301-853-4500
chancery@adw.org

See the Washington Post coverage:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/art
icles/A61643-2004Jan29.html
45 posted on 02/01/2004 8:18:53 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
I disagree with you, and I would appreciate it if you would tell me where I am wrong.

I am pro-life. However, in my opinion it is worse for these babies to have died in vain than to think that they are able to benefit mankind in some way.

Similarly, I always believed that the medical research conducted by the Nazis on Jewish holocaust victims should be used as much as possible, although all of the major Jewish organizations seemed to believe otherwise and wanted that data to never see the light of day again. They believed that it would desecrate the memory of the victims to gain a positive benefit from their torture.

Thank you in advance for you thoughtful reply.
46 posted on 02/01/2004 8:45:53 PM PST by Piranha (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Investigators often must use a particular line of aborted fetal cells to qualify for a grant because the National Institutes of Health or other research funding agencies want to compare the results with other studies performed using the same source material. Using cells with different traits would make comparisons invalid, he said.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh....Funding, Funding, Funding...
$$$$$$$$

I have no intention of letting this drop. This has to stop and the Catholic officials involved in this must be exposed and held accountable.

47 posted on 02/01/2004 9:18:05 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Printer version now on-line at http://cpforlife.org/id127

It will be linked from the main petition page shortly.

Please have at it and place wherever you think it will help!

God bless you for your efforts!

Kevin
48 posted on 02/01/2004 9:30:08 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: cpforlife.org
Jesus wins in the end.
49 posted on 02/01/2004 9:33:47 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
"Investigators often must use a particular line of aborted fetal cells to qualify for a grant because the National Institutes of Health or other research funding agencies want to compare the results with other studies performed using the same source material. Using cells with different traits would make comparisons invalid, he said."

Didn't they say that they didn't know the source of the tissue? Doesn't this clearly expose them in a lie?
I thought researchers always have even the tiniest details down. How could they possibly NOT know the source!
50 posted on 02/01/2004 9:35:37 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The defense and promotion of LIFE is not the ministry of a few but the responsibility of ALL.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-56 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson