Abortive vaccines?

vaccine There is controversy in Australia and elsewhere about the ethics of using so-called “immortalized cell lines” in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, principally because those cell-lines may be derived from cells from foetuses that were electively aborted decades ago.

It’s not simple. This article does a good job of sorting the bull from the wool. (Bethany Brookshire, “How making a COVID-19 vaccine confronts thorny ethical issues,” Science News, 7 July 2020.) It would be disastrous if public acceptance of a vaccine waned simply because people perceived it to be controversial without understanding the admittedly complex issues.

My hope is that scientists, public officials, church leaders and ethicists would come together to discuss (not debate) the questions in the search for an answer that advances the common good. Reasoning together will better serve the common good than beating one another over the head with science on the one hand and religion on the other.

Of course, there are some who would say that the common good simply cannot exist in defiance of what they understand to be the moral will of God. Others dismiss such concerns as irrelevant.