How Aborted Children Are Used in Medical Research in 2020
#1
I debated with myself, over where the proper place to post this article would be. It is a quite well done article, inclusive in many of the all too diverse facets of the subject, a subject that bring memories of Dr.[sic] Mengele and how he tortured often live humans in his experiments. This seems a lot like what he did, but in a more 'PC' way, perhaps.

There has been quite a few who are stressing over the issues of 'fetal tissues', especially with the new vaccines in recent times. It is a scientific, an health, and a faith and moral sort of subject. I decided that for the most part, it is, overall, a most sensitive an issue for Catholics, so, here it is:


Article Wrote:ncregister.com

How Aborted Children Are Used in Medical Research in 2020
Stacy Trasancos


At a fundamental level, life-saving research ought to preserve human dignity.

You don’t need to go undercover and follow around employees from Planned Parenthood like David Daleiden at the Center for Medical Progress to find out how the remains of aborted children are used in research. All it takes is a look at scientific reports. The methods are detailed in the words of the scientists themselves, who depend on abortion to design experiments.

With the focus lately on the use of aborted fetal cell lines in vaccines, I thought it would be helpful to walk through what is really going on, to show why some pro-life Catholics are so concerned about the passive acceptance of aborted children in research. We are not denying that vaccines serve a common good. We are, however, encouraging Catholics to unite a protest against the evil of abortion, to demand that university, government and industrial scientists stop using the remains of electively-aborted children in the research of anything, vaccines or otherwise. Actually, vaccines are only the beginning.

In the last few decades, scientific literature has reported new technologies such as single-cell transcriptomics, humanized mice and organoids, to name a few. What follows is a summary of three new research reports published in just the last half of 2020. There are many more.


Fetal Scalps and Back Flesh Grafted Onto Rats and Mice

In September, researchers at University of Pittsburgh published their work on the development of humanized mice and rats with “full-thickness human skin.” Human skin protects an individual from infection, but there is no way to study the effects of pathogens on individuals without subjecting them to disease. Full-thickness human skin from fetuses was grafted onto rodents while simultaneously co-engrafting the same fetus’s lymphoid tissues and hematopoietic stem cells from the liver, so that the rodent models were humanized with organs and skin from the same child. These “human Skin and Immune System (hSIS)-humanized” mouse and rat models are meant to aid the study of the immune system when the skin is infected.

To make the hSIS-humanized rodent models, full-thickness fetal skin was taken from humans aborted at the gestational age of 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy at the Magee-Women’s Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Tissue Bank. The mothers provided written consent for the fetuses to be used in research.
 
From the aborted fetuses, thymus, liver, spleen and full-thickness skin were transplanted and grafted onto the rodents and allowed to grow. Then the rodent models were given a staph infection on the skin to study how the internal organs responded.

The human skin was taken from the scalp and the back of the fetuses so that grafts with and without hair could be compared in the rodent model. Excess fat tissues attached to the subcutaneous layer of the skin was cut away, and then the fetal skin was grafted over the rib cage of the rodent, where its own skin had been removed. The grafts lasted up to 10 weeks post-transplantation. Multiple layers of human keratinocytes and fibroblasts were observed in the grafts, and the human skin grew blood vessels and immune cells. 
Human hair was evident by 12 weeks but only in the grafts taken from the fetal scalps. In the scalp grafts, fine human hair can be seen growing long and dark surrounded by the short white hairs of the mouse. The images literally show a patch of baby hair growing on a mouse’s back.

The work was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the same branch that Moderna collaborates with for the COVID-19 vaccine.


Fetuses Used to Study Racial Differences in PBDE Exposure

In July, also in the journal Scientific Reports, a team in the United States published their findings on racial differences in fetal exposure to flame retardants. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardants, and they are a public health concern because they interfere with hormone activity, immune function and fetal brain development during pregnancy.

In North America, high flammability standards correlate to high PBDE exposure — especially in California, where safety regulations are highest. The fetus becomes exposed to PBDEs as the chemicals transfer through the placenta from the mother, but since their liver cannot metabolize the chemicals as readily, PBDEs collect in the developing child and continue to build in infancy and childhood, all critical times for the development of the endocrine, immune and neural systems.

To assess exposure in unborn children, researchers at the University of California and the California Environmental Protection Agency conducted a study from 2008 to 2016. In four study waves, they recruited a total of 249 women scheduled for a second-trimester abortion.

The women gave written or verbal consent for their blood, the placenta and the child’s liver to be dissected from the dead body so scientists could make mother-child comparisons of PBDE levels. The authors note, that until this study, sample collection had been “largely constrained to labor and delivery rather than earlier in gestation” when the chemicals transfer and begin to build up during “critical prenatal windows of vulnerability.”

The work was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services. All study protocols were approved by the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) institutional review board prior to recruitment of women scheduled for abortions. The aborted children were collected by the clinical staff at the San Francisco General Hospital Women’s Option Center. This is the largest study of its kind to date.
 
As expected, fetal levels of PBDE were higher than that of the mothers. The evidence also suggested that Black women may be disproportionately exposed to the chemicals in flame retardants. The paper emphasized the need for further study of fetuses in this gestational range. These second-trimester fetuses essentially lived their short lives in utero as analytical machines and then were used to provide information to keep children living in society safe.


Fetal B-Lymphocytes Used to Study Autoimmunity

In July, a team at Yale University’s Department of Immunology reported in the journal Science on the development of immunities in newborns. When bacteria and viruses attack the body, it fights back by producing three types of white blood cells — macrophages, B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. It has been assumed, due to competing biochemical mechanisms among lymphocytes, that antibody production is limited in early fetal development, leaving newborns vulnerable to infection. However, newborn blood samples show abundant auto-antibodies.

To investigate this unexpected immunity, the team at Yale dissected the bodies of aborted children to remove their liver, bone marrow and spleen. Then they collected B-lymphocyte cells and produced hundreds of antibodies. The 15 fetuses, all of whom were aborted in the second trimester of pregnancy, were obtained from the Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the University of Washington. Blood, bone marrow and stool samples from healthy adults were compared to assess antibody production and gut microbiota.
 
The study found that incomplete B-lymphocyte tolerance mechanisms in fetuses favor the accumulation of similar cells that also have the properties to bind bacteria and promote colonization in the gut, thereby encouraging an alternative development path for antibodies in newborns. This work was funded, again, by the NIH, a fellowship at Yale and Pew Charitable Trusts.


Biomedical Research Ought to Preserve Human Dignity

In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II declared that “the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person” (63).

At a fundamental level, life-saving research ought to preserve human dignity. The fetal specimens described in these scientific papers — the children who were killed and dissected like the best kind of lab rats — all deserved to be named and counted in the human family.

They were more than a statistic in a table of chemical exposure levels, or a chart of PBDE levels across maternal-placental-fetal biological matrices, or a chunk of scalp grafted grotesquely onto a rodent. They were unwanted children who were killed by an industry that exploited them to make the lives of the wanted humans better. Catholics have a duty to demand better from scientists.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#2
There's something wrong on the next level by using "humanized" rodents. 

My brother and I have been arguing this issue, civilly of course.  He is an emergency room doctor in San Antonio and just received his Pfizer vaccine.  He's agnostic at best but tries to objectively listen to my points of view, which I appreciate. 

His bottom line is that a cell line from an abortion 50+ years ago is not the hill to die on if the vaccine prevents deaths.  He tells me he's lost patients from Covid and there was nothing he could do.  He urges me to reconsider my position.

Another argument he makes is that these abortions were not conducted for the purpose of medical research, these women were going to have abortions regardless.  He argues that using their tissue to save others could be considered a moral good.  I suppose this makes sense if you look at the baby as an organ donor.  I'm pretty sure the Church says it's morally OK to donate organs and even your body to science.  Decent argument, but I think there's now a high demand for fetal tissue which likely encourages further promotion of abortions.
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#3
(12-19-2020, 02:48 PM)jack89 Wrote: There's something wrong on the next level by using "humanized" rodents. 

My brother and I have been arguing this issue, civilly of course.  He is an emergency room doctor in San Antonio and just received his Pfizer vaccine.  He's agnostic at best but tries to objectively listen to my points of view, which I appreciate. 

His bottom line is that a cell line from an abortion 50+ years ago is not the hill to die on if the vaccine prevents deaths.  He tells me he's lost patients from Covid and there was nothing he could do.  He urges me to reconsider my position.

Another argument he makes is that these abortions were not conducted for the purpose of medical research, these women were going to have abortions regardless.  He argues that using their tissue to save others could be considered a moral good.  I suppose this makes sense if you look at the baby as an organ donor.  I'm pretty sure the Church says it's morally OK to donate organs and even your body to science.  Decent argument, but I think there's now a high demand for fetal tissue which likely encourages further promotion of abortions.

I’m not arguing with you, but firstly it isn’t the mother’s tissue to donate. It was never the baby’s decision to be killed, let alone consent to what is being euphemistically called organ donation.  I’m hoping that if this tissue were from a born baby, which, given, is an arbitrary line at best, most people would be repulsed by the idea of a mother donating her baby’s organs “for science.”  This ironically boils down to “my body, my choice” that the babies themselves aren’t allowed to make.

If I’m not mistaken, organs which can be “harvested” after death are fine, but killing someone by, for instance excising the heart, is not.  Again, I may be misinformed, but donating one’s body for research usually amounts to dissection by medical students, which is also permitted so long as the remains are treated with dignity and eventually put to rest.

I’m sure there are smarter people here who can add or refute.
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#4
(12-19-2020, 03:05 PM)Pandora Wrote: If I’m not mistaken, organs which can be “harvested” after death are fine, but killing someone by, for instance excising the heart, is not.  Again, I may be misinformed, but donating one’s body for research usually amounts to dissection by medical students, which is also permitted so long as the remains are treated with dignity and eventually put to rest.

I’m sure there are smarter people here who can add or refute.
Actually, organ donation, with the exception of corneal transplants, are mostly taken from the donor before death. Often the donor is kept alive and organs functional, until harvesting, for the best resultant organ condition. In the case of babies (fetuses), they must be 'delivered', as in C-Section like, where the amniotic sac is intact and organs taken while the baby is still alive, as in heart is still beating. This can be for organs or other tissues. There is a very rapid degradation of tissue integrity is the harvest takes place after death, in babies and adult donors.

I think there are so many numbers associated with certain cell lines, because the number goes up with each attempt, until a viable cell line is acquired. The letters indicate the type of tissue, BTW.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#5
(12-19-2020, 03:05 PM)Pandora Wrote: I’m hoping that if this tissue were from a born baby, which, given, is an arbitrary line at best, most people would be repulsed by the idea of a mother donating her baby’s organs “for science.”  This ironically boils down to “my body, my choice” that the babies themselves aren’t allowed to make.

No, I think it's acceptable by most.  For example, if a baby dies in a car accident and can save another baby's life by donating a kidney, I think most people would think that's a good thing. 
And parents have the legal right to make this decision.

The decision to have an abortion and to go through with it is evil.  No argument there.  But if the reason for having the abortion had nothing to do with organ donation would it be morally wrong to save another baby's life with his/her organs?  I think that's a tough question.
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#6
(12-19-2020, 03:35 PM)Zedta Wrote: Actually, organ donation, with the exception of corneal transplants, are mostly taken from the donor before death. Often the donor is kept alive and organs functional, until harvesting, for the best resultant organ condition. In the case of babies (fetuses), they must be 'delivered', as in C-Section like, where the amniotic sac is intact and organs taken while the baby is still alive, as in heart is still beating. This can be for organs or other tissues. There is a very rapid degradation of tissue integrity is the harvest takes place after death, in babies and adult donors.

I think there are so many numbers associated with certain cell lines, because the number goes up with each attempt, until a viable cell line is acquired. The letters indicate the type of tissue, BTW.

Good point from a practical standpoint, but morally speaking?  I suppose it would be better to compare it to donating your body to science.
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#7
(12-19-2020, 03:43 PM)jack89 Wrote: For example, if a baby dies in a car accident and can save another baby's life by donating a kidney, I think most people would think that's a good thing.

Not if the baby isn't dead yet, and if we're sure the child is dead, the kidney's unusable.
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#8
(12-20-2020, 11:07 PM)Paul Wrote: Not if the baby isn't dead yet, and if we're sure the child is dead, the kidney's unusable.

You would certainly have to get the timing right, but I was looking at it from more of a moral standpoint.  You could also look at it as donating your body to science, which the Church allows in certain circumstances. 

I'm trying to look at this from different angles to get a better understanding.  I'm not trying to condone it.  I think it's helpful to have a good understanding of an issue if you're trying to argue for or against it.

After reading the 2005 Vatican Document "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses", I'm gaining a better understanding, even though it's not entirely clear cult.  Bottom line is to avoid their use, but it was making room for exceptions even back then.  If this issue is bothering you like it does me, I recommend reading the document. It's not very long.
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#9
(12-21-2020, 02:40 AM)jack89 Wrote: You would certainly have to get the timing right, but I was looking at it from more of a moral standpoint.  You could also look at it as donating your body to science, which the Church allows in certain circumstances. 

I'm trying to look at this from different angles to get a better understanding.  I'm not trying to condone it.  I think it's helpful to have a good understanding of an issue if you're trying to argue for or against it.

Donating one's body to science is acceptable because the person's dead. Organ donation is morally problematic because, morally, death is the separation of soul and body, and the traditional way to know that has happened is that the body starts to decay. Once that happens, it's too late to use the organs. Someone who is 'brain dead' is not necessarily actually dead, and removing essential organs from such a person is murder.

But you're right, that's not exactly the same as a mother donating the body of her certainly-dead child. And the moral issue is cooperating in an abortion - the cells used nowadays are often from abortions decades ago, and any cooperation is much more remote.

The Vatican published this in 2008: Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions.


Quote:The use of human “biological material” of illicit origin
34. For scientific research and for the production of vaccines or other products, cell lines are at times used which are the result of an illicit intervention against the life or physical integrity of a human being. The connection to the unjust act may be either mediate or immediate, since it is generally a question of cells which reproduce easily and abundantly. This “material” is sometimes made available commercially or distributed freely to research centers by governmental agencies having this function under the law. All of this gives rise to various ethical problems with regard to cooperation in evil and with regard to scandal. It is fitting therefore to formulate general principles on the basis of which people of good conscience can evaluate and resolve situations in which they may possibly be involved on account of their professional activity.

It needs to be remembered above all that the category of abortion “is to be applied also to the recent forms of intervention on human embryos which, although carried out for purposes legitimate in themselves, inevitably involve the killing of those embryos. This is the case with experimentation on embryos, which is becoming increasingly widespread in the field of biomedical research and is legally permitted in some countries…  [T]he use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person”.[54]  These forms of experimentation always constitute a grave moral disorder.[55]

35. A different situation is created when researchers use “biological material” of illicit origin which has been produced apart from their research center or which has been obtained commercially. The Instruction Donum vitae formulated the general principle which must be observed in these cases: “The corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings. In particular, they cannot be subjected to mutilation or to autopsies if their death has not yet been verified and without the consent of the parents or of the mother. Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided”.[56]

In this regard, the criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient. According to this criterion, the use of “biological material” of illicit origin would be ethically permissible provided there is a clear separation between those who, on the one hand, produce, freeze and cause the death of embryos and, on the other, the researchers involved in scientific experimentation. The criterion of independence is not sufficient to avoid a contradiction in the attitude of the person who says that he does not approve of the injustice perpetrated by others, but at the same time accepts for his own work the “biological material” which the others have obtained by means of that injustice. When the illicit action is endorsed by the laws which regulate healthcare and scientific research, it is necessary to distance oneself from the evil aspects of that system in order not to give the impression of a certain toleration or tacit acceptance of actions which are gravely unjust.[57]  Any appearance of acceptance would in fact contribute to the growing indifference to, if not the approval of, such actions in certain medical and political circles.

At times, the objection is raised that the above-mentioned considerations would mean that people of good conscience involved in research would have the duty to oppose actively all the illicit actions that take place in the field of medicine, thus excessively broadening their ethical responsibility. In reality, the duty to avoid cooperation in evil and scandal relates to their ordinary professional activities, which they must pursue in a just manner and by means of which they must give witness to the value of life by their opposition to gravely unjust laws. 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. Therefore, the above-mentioned criterion of independence is necessary, but may be ethically insufficient.

Of course, within this general picture there exist differing degrees of responsibility. 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. Moreover, in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision.

In the context of the urgent need to mobilize consciences in favour of life, people in the field of healthcare need to be reminded that “their responsibility today is greatly increased. Its deepest inspiration and strongest support lie in the intrinsic and undeniable ethical dimension of the health-care profession, something already recognized by the ancient and still relevant Hippocratic Oath, which requires every doctor to commit himself to absolute respect for human life and its sacredness”.[58]
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