Physician Coalition Urges Development of Ethical Vaccines
2 December 2020
Quentin Van Meter, MD, FCP, President
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.
About the American College of Pediatricians
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. It was founded by a group of concerned physicians who saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day. The mission of the ACPeds is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. The ACPeds is committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing.