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Feedback archive Feedback 2002

Vaccines cultured on aborted fetal tissue?

Photo Wikimedia Commons

Flu vaccine

Flu vaccine

This letter comes from DK of the USA, taking issue with Dr Wieland’s article/response Vaccines and Genesis. As shown, the anti-vaccination claim relies on a very dubious assertion, and also an argument that would not follow even if the claim were true.

But we urge people to always check what they read, especially on the Internet where anyone can publish anything. The vast majority of websites do not have the checks and balances by highly qualified referees as the CMI site tries to apply.

We also remind Christians that CMI is primarily pro-Bible, especially on its teaching that death is the result of sin. Our anti-evolution/millions of years stance is the corollary of this, not the end in itself. By extension, we are not anti-establishment for its own sake. We oppose the ‘establishment’ only where they conflict with the Bible. So we urge Christians to ensure that their stance comes from being pro-Bible, not a knee-jerk anti-establishmentism.

The principles about handling issues such as vaccination are outlined in the articles Hot Potatoes, The Human Genome Project: how should we view it? and Fouling the Nest: Christianity and the environment. Also the article Global warming: What is ‘the creationist view’? Although they are not specifically about vaccines, the general principles of the Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28) and identifying ‘wisdom issues’ apply. See the Q&A: pages on Environmentalism and Genetics.

The letter is first printed, then reprinted with point-by-point responses by Dr Carl Wieland.

With all due respect, I have to disagree with Dr Carl Wieland’s response to inquiry regarding Vaccines and Genesis. You may not be aware of the FACT that several vaccines mandated for use in children today are cultured on aborted fetal tissue. I have a hard time believing that God would allow the use of this; thus providing benefit for our use?

There is such a slippery slope operating here that some would see it as a purpose to allow abortion. Furthermore, my Lord and Savior does not cause evil to do good and does not condone behaviors that seek to.

Considering the ethical issue alone, that some children must be sacrificed for others, and it does happen much more frequently than the medical profession wants to admit, is problematic. The deceit involved in sustaining mandated vaccination programs could never be conceded as a necessary component of public health.

Vaccination is a poorly understood biological phenomenon, and if one does historical research on this topic, one discovers that it borders more on the superstitious than scientific.

Vaccination in our current world has become big business and the current pandemic epidemics of autism, ADHD, asthma, and childhood diabetes and cancers is the result of greed, not compassionate health intervention and disease prevention.

I believe the biggest obstacle to man submitting to God is his misplaced reliance on man’s wisdom (science) and not God’s. Recall what happened in the Old Testament when man began to worship the serpent on the staff, and forgot that the healing power was God’s alone.

Just as science has misled the majority in man’s origins, so has it misled many in matters of health and healing.


With all due respect, I have to disagree with Dr Carl Wieland’s response to inquiry regarding Vaccines and Genesis.

That’s not a problem in and of itself.

You may not be aware of the FACT that several vaccines mandated for use in children today are cultured on aborted fetal tissue.

… it is not vaccination that one should oppose, but the use of the aborted tissue.

You’re right, I’m not aware of this. But since the piece was published, I have been made ‘aware’ of all sorts of things, so far about all of them have turned out to be untrue or totally undocumented apart from conspiracy Web sites, e.g. So I am naturally not saying that this is automatically a fact just because you may have read it somewhere. Nor am I saying dogmatically that it is wrong. But we should assume innocence until guilt is proven, as opposed to asserted on websites.

When I was a practising doctor, vaccines were cultivated on eggs. I can’t see why the extra expense of aborted human tissue would be required, quite apart from the moral issues, which are very significant.

Note also, vaccination has been around far longer than legalized abortion, which makes the claim incredible even on the face of it. In fact, one of the major pioneers of vaccination was the creationist scientist Louis Pasteur, who refuted spontaneous generation (life coming from non-life, now revived by materialists who sometimes call it ‘chemical evolution’).

I have a hard time believing that God would allow the use of this; thus providing benefit for our use?

Of course He would not condone abortion, as we point out on Q&A: Abortion. Nor is there any justification for the use of evil to do good—we have made this clear in the field of human embryonic stem cell research. (Note that ‘condone’ is different from allow; He ‘allowed’ concentration camps, for example. Some theologians call this the difference between God’s decretive will and permissive will.)

Let us assume that vaccines today are prepared from aborted fetal tissue. That would be wrong and we would oppose it. But since it is clearly not necessary to use such means, it is not vaccination that one should oppose, but the use of the aborted tissue.

There is such a slippery slope operating here that some would see it as a purpose to allow abortion. Furthermore, my Lord and Savior does not cause evil to do good and does not condone behaviors that seek to.

Considering the ethical issue alone, that some children must be sacrificed for others, …

If that were so, it would not be justified. I.e. if children were being sacrificed for others.

[Note from Carl Wieland inserted January 2003: a considerable time after writing the above, more information has come to hand from an Australian Government publication, namely pp. 22-23, Hall, R., Immunisation Myths & Realities: Responding to arguments against immunisation-A Guide for Providers, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, 3rd edition, 2001, <http://immunise.health.gov.au/myths_2.pdf>. It states:

The rubella and chicken pox vaccines are cultured on cell lines of aborted fetuses’

‘The anti-vaccination lobby appears to have recently revived this old story which gained prominence in the mid 1990s when the mass vaccination campaign against measles and rubella was planned and subsequently carried out in the United Kingdom.

‘The rubella component of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines used in Australia, is a live virus (Wistar RA 27/3 strain) which was adapted to and propagated in the WI-38 human diploid cell culture. This cell culture was derived originally from human fetal lung tissue obtained from a fetus aborted at approximately 3 months gestation of a Caucasian female in about 1966.

‘By a process of repeated cultivation it is possible to produce an “immortal” self-replicating group of cells known as a “cell line”. A cell line thus produced is not identical to the cells of the original species from which it is derived but has similar genetic characteristics. Cell lines are used widely in the culture of other organisms. No new tissue has been added since the original samples were taken over 30 years ago and the cells, although uniform, no longer resemble the originals. No other fetal tissue is used in any way in research or manufacture of rubella vaccine.

‘Press clippings from 1994 indicate that there appears to be no ethical problem to the use of rubella vaccine in the eyes of the Catholic church. Statements supporting the use of the vaccine are quoted from Mary Brogan, President, National Board of Catholic Women in the UK, who also indicates the support of the board’s Episcopal Liaison, Bishop Vincent Malone. Also quoted as supporting use of the vaccine is Father Norman Ford, a lecturer in medical ethics at the Catholic Theological College at Clayton in Victoria.

‘Chicken pox (varicella) vaccine is also grown on a human diploid cell line originally derived from a fetus many years ago and the varicella virus used in the vaccine strain came from a young boy infected with chicken pox.

Photo stock.xchng

Eggs

Conclusion: Clearly, some vaccines require human cell lines rather than chicken eggs, e.g. But the imagery of some sort of ongoing abortion factory ‘feeding the vaccination industry is clearly not appropriate, and no children are being ‘sacrificed to immunize people (FURTHER NOTE ADDED BY DR WIELAND IN APRIL 2004: A Scientific American article in March 2004, titled ‘Egg Beaters: Flu vaccine makers look beyond the chicken egg’ makes it clear that flu vaccines are currently prepared with eggs, and polio vaccines in monkey kidney cells. It argues for cultured human cells being used for flu (in theory, a handful of cells which are then propagated, as the classic HeLa cell line from a human cancer), as these can be removed from the freezer and can be grown in large volumes if a pandemic were to strike. Whereas such a pandemic threatening millions of lives would require billions of extra eggs very rapidly, which would not be realistic.)]

… and it does happen much more frequently than the medical profession wants to admit, is problematic. The deceit involved in sustaining mandated vaccination programs could never be conceded as a necessary component of public health.

As indicated, it is unlikely that it is necessary. There is no scientific reason I know of for not using chick embryos (eggs).

Vaccination is a poorly understood biological phenomenon, and if one does historical research on this topic, one discovers that it borders more on the superstitious than scientific.

Vaccination in our current world has become big business and the current pandemic epidemics of autism, ADHD, asthma, and childhood diabetes and cancers is the result of greed, not compassionate health intervention and disease prevention.

Photo Wikimedia Commons

Child receiving polio immunization

Child receiving polio immunization

This is a breathtaking series of conclusions. The evidence linking those things with vaccination is, for all practical purposes, not apparent. Such things have increased in the modern world, but the potential explanations are vast. If they turn out to be due to vaccinations, it is the painstaking efforts of epidemiologists which will likely reveal it, and they may even get the Nobel Prize for it. But so far, the evidence does not justify that conclusion, with respect. Conversely, there is a huge amount of evidence that vaccination has been the major reason that polio and smallpox are largely scourges of the past. This is because, as I pointed out, vaccination is merely giving the immune system some ‘target practice’ with some dead or weakened germs, so they are primed to demolish the live ones.

I believe the biggest obstacle to man submitting to God is his misplaced reliance on man’s wisdom (science) and not God’s. Recall what happened in the Old Testament when man began to worship the serpent on the staff, and forgot that the healing power was God’s alone.

Our Genesis dominion mandate was God-given (before the Fall, and has never been revoked—see Earth Day: Is Christianity to blame for environment problems?. The problem is not with ‘science’, it is with science done in the wrong framework and for the wrong motives and without ethical restraints. I hope you are not saying that you would not submit your child to ‘man’s wisdom’ were it dying of appendicitis, for example. If so, we would not see that as in line with the ‘big picture’ of a biblical Christian worldview, where alleviating the affects of the Curse is ‘blessed’.

Just as science has misled the majority in man’s origins, so has it misled many in matters of health and healing.

First, evolution has nothing to do with the operational science that put men on the moon, etc.—see Naturalism, Origins and Operation Science. So it is unreasonable to tar all science with that brush.

Second, my/our opinions reflect fallibility and fallenness, as do the conclusions of well meaning researchers. But so do the comments in the many conspiratorial crusades one reads which insist that the establishment has it all wrong. If ‘science’ is the problem, then why is it that we say that science actually confirms the Bible? Now, in any particular area, the establishment may well have it wrong, but this will be a ‘case-by-case’ assessment. The Bible exhorts us to pray for wisdom; wisdom demands that one does not write something off just because the majority believes it, nor does one accept it for that reason.

My main point is that there is no necessary link between the evolution and the vaccination issue. Again, I hasten to add that none of us has all knowledge on any given subject, I only give my own conclusions which I am happy to apply to my own children and grandchildren, with ‘fear and trembling’.

Kind regards,

Carl Wieland

Published: 11 November 2002; reposted and updated 25 August 2007 (GMT+10)

Addendum posted 27 August 07

Following the reposting of this 2002 article in August 07, Mrs J.S. wrote to say that her sister rang the Australian Immunisation Register in 2005 to clarify the issue. They confirmed that some of the vaccines, e.g. MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) are cultured on a single human cell line (i.e. the same cells from the same person multiplied over and over), while others such as the flu vaccine are cultured on eggs. The other information she passed on might help explain the confusion about this issue, and that was that the Register gave details as to the origin of the human cell line in use. It comes from a single female fetus of at least as far back as the early 1970’s (another source indicated it was 1966). Mrs J.S. seemed to remember them saying that this fetus died as the result of a ‘medical abortion’ (this can mean an abortion induced for the life of the mother, for example, but in medicalese, the word ‘abortion’ is also used to mean a pregnancy that ‘naturally’ ended, e.g. as the result of a medical condition). Whether so or not, Mrs J.S. said that her brother-in-law had also rung the register in 2006 before giving his children the chicken pox vaccine and was given the same information. Though uncomfortable at the notion that the cell lines were from a fetus which might have been the result of a deliberate abortion (the word ‘medical abortion’ may have been a ‘fudge factor’ though unlikely because that was before the 'abortion of convenience' medical industry became legitimized) her brother-in-law was comforted by the discovery that at least there was not some abortion factory turning out fresh raw material required to make vaccines. Mrs J.S. also pointed out that where vaccines are cultured on human cell lines, there is a theoretical risk of the brain condition Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD) though to date, she said, there has not been a single reported case of the vaccines causing the condition (Ed.)

Addendum posted 10 September 07

Nicholas P kindly wrote in to supply detailed documentation making it highly likely that for some vaccines, which could well include those mentioned above, the dead person from whom the original cell line was obtained and propagated thereafter had indeed had their life ended as the result of an 'abortion of convenience'. There is still some confusion as to whether we are talking about all countries, but the relevant points on which the moral decisions have to be made are not affected by this, the principle is the same. And the vaccine industry is not dependent on a supply of aborted fetuses, which would make the choice clearcut. (Ed.)

Addendum posted 28 May 2009

From Mark D of the UK:

Thank you for your valuable ministry.

In November 2007 I submitted feedback in relation to your article 'Vaccines cultured on aborted fetal tissue?' and was helped by the subsequent private reply from Carl Wieland. However, since many people may visit your website to check out such issues, and since there have been previous editor addendums to this article, please would you consider adding a further addendum based on the following?

The Christian Medical and Dental Associations, a US organisation with commendable mission and belief statements, has an article with a balanced and informative summary of the issues, under Healthcare—Immunization. Although being clearly in support of vaccination, the article does include the following statements:

“Continued use of a cell line developed from an intentionally aborted fetus poses moral questions and must be decided as a matter of conscience, weighing the clear moral obligation to protect the health of our families and society against the risk of complicity with evil.”

“CMDA encourages the use of and endorses the further development of medically effective and ethically permissible alternatives that do not raise the question of moral complicity.”

At present, without such a reference as the above, I feel that the article fails to adequately inform those who wish to look into this matter—particularly as the closing statements omit to mention that the existing cell lines will not last indefinitely and are highly likely to be replaced with cell lines derived from more recent abortions, and that it is certain that the vaccines in question are used worldwide.

I am sure that you would agree with both the CDMA beliefs and the article, and it think such an addition would better equip your readers to make a suitable decision for themselves on this moral issue.

May God bless you and encourage you in your good work!

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