Regeneron and the Well Formed Conscience

My family has significant autoimmune issues, so we’ve wrestled with vaccine decisions for many years. The doctor who helped us most when the kids were little had a simple formula. How prevalent, how dangerous, and how treatable is the disease vs. what is the vaccine’s track record with respect to effectiveness and safety. There is a new factor that we only recently become aware of which is what, if any, connection does a vaccine have to abortion.

We’ve applied these to the COVID-19 vaccines and believe that the vaccines are experimental and dangerous. So while, yes the disease is prevalent, it is also becoming increasing less dangerous as it mutates. Also, it is highly treatable and, while we both have age and health conditions on the con side, we also don’t smoke or drink, we live a largely chemical free life (e.g., organic food, air/water filters) and keep our zinc, and Vitamins C and D levels high.

This decision could potentially cost us access to medical care if mandates move to banning doctors/hospitals from allowing us in the door and/or Medicare refusing to pay for any care whatsoever. As far as that goes, well, I’m kinda hoping – with a nod to the fact that schadenfreude is a sin – that the problems the ‘rona vaccines are causing will soon become so obvious that the Left just drops the mandate thing and moves on to shrieking about something else … like climate change or racism.

Anyway, there still is an issue Dearest and I needed to talk through and pray about, which is, if we catch the China virus, our doctor is definitely going to want us to get Regeneron-COV immediately. And Regeneron-COV was tested on those aborted fetal cell lines from the 1960s.

As I’ve reported here before, the spoken guidance from my church’s leaders ranges from black to white. On one side are those who believe that using any product developed with and/or tested on the 1960 cell lines constitutes an unacceptable level of cooperation in the grave evil of abortion; on the other side are those who believe the two abortions from which the cell lines originated happened a long time ago, plus there are no non-abortion-tainted alternatives, plus anti-vaxxers are evil and want your grandma to die.

The Catholic Church’s written guidance on the use of such abortion-tainted products is more nuanced. A screenshot of the key paragraph is above. The full 8 page doc is available at the pdf link below. It is an interesting read that I highly recommend. Among other things, it lays out the levels of cooperation in abortion and their moral significance. As the screenshot above shows, the use of COVID-19 vaccines and Regeneron-COV falls into the “least of these” categories, which is “passive material cooperation.”

In short, the ethical burden for us is to weigh the cost vs. benefit carefully and prayerfully before making a decision. We will each stand alone before Almighty God at judgment, so freedom of conscience is paramount in Catholic teaching. But it must be a well-formed conscience. Just doing what is easiest won’t fly.

Dearest and I tossed the issues around last night. Regeneron-COV is reportedly safe and effective and we both have compelling co-morbidities to consider so, while we’re not going to love it, I think we’ve both decided it is the most ethical choice for us to get the shots should we contract COVID-19.

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