Volume 10, Issue 2, Summer 2010
Responses to Dignitas personae - Part II of II
Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco
Using Morally Controversial Human Cell Lines after Dignitas personae
Human cell lines are well-characterized laboratory cultures of human cells derived from a single source. In recent years, much moral controversy has surrounded human cell lines and biological materials obtained from aborted fetuses and destructive human embryo research. Dignitas personae instructs scientists of good conscience to avoid using biological materials of illicit origin, to distance themselves from evil, and to avoid scandal. The author suggests that the Instruction allows a scientist to delay discontinuing the use of a morally controversial cell line for a reasonable amount of time and allows a citizen of conscience to financially support—in a limited and restricted manner governed by prudence—philanthropic organizations that fund controversial biomedical research programs. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10.2 (Summer 2010): 265–272.