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Focus on the Family
Letter number One from Focus on the Family
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A POSITION STATEMENT OF THE PHYSICIANS RESOURCE COUNCIL (PDF file)
Focus on the Family, Vaccine Safety, POSITION STATEMENT OF THE PHYSICIANS RESOURCE COUNCIL, is unfortunately a sales propaganda piece without scientific merit.
This page is not in opposition to the good work done by Focus on the Family. Some of us at VacLib have enjoyed listening to Dr. Dobson's insightful advice on many family matters.
Unfortunately, regarding vaccines, Dr. Dobson and others at Focus on the Family have consulted with secular leaders who themselves have not taken the time to discern the truth about vaccines.
Ancient precursors to vaccination resulted from a combination of superstition, mistakes and a genuine attempt to solve the problem of disease causes and prevention.
Modern vaccination not only arose in the pre-scientific age but had its true beginning in 1802 when Dr. Jenner sold to Parliament the concept that waste material from a cow (blood, lymph and pus) inoculated into human arms prevented smallpox. Jenner already knew that the procedure would not work, but the sale of inoculations as a preventive for smallpox was prosperous for Dr. Jenner and those who have followed in his footsteps. The procedure causes untold misery for those who expect to improve their health by putting poison in their bloodstreams.
Dear Mrs. xxx:
Greetings from Focus on the Family, and thanks for seeking our input regarding the safety of vaccinations for children. It's my privilege to write to you on behalf of our ministry. Your concern about the possible dangers of vaccinations is understandable -- this issue *is* a controversial one with individuals holding a variety of opinions. From your e-mail, it's obvious that you care deeply about your children, and you want to provide them with the safest healthcare available. Although our mission is largely directed towards meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of families, we do -- as you've noticed -- strive to offer some information that is helpful with health-related matters, as well. So we're honored that you've come to us, and we hope we can be of some help to you.
When we see the need to offer our perspective on a more sensitive subject (like vaccines), we look to our Physicians Resource Council (PRC) for guidance. The Physicians Resource Council was established in order to provide assistance to Dr. Dobson and the Focus staff in the area of family-related medical issues. The PRC is made up of twenty-five U.S. and fifteen Canadian medical doctors who serve on a volunteer basis. Members often supply the ministry with research and background material for magazine articles, books, radio programs, and various other resources on medical topics.
In response to the vaccine issue, our PRC has developed a position statement that answers a variety of questions related to vaccines. We are attaching this resource to our e-mail, and we hope it will be of service to you in your quest for further information. In the meantime, the articles posted on our Web site reflect the PRC's most current evaluation of this issue. Thanks again for writing. If we can ever be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to let us know. In the meantime, the Lord's richest blessings to you and your family.
Dear Mrs. xxx:
Thanks for your e-mail to Focus on the Family. It was good to hear from you again, and we appreciate the time you have taken to express your concern over the use of fetal cells in the production of various vaccines. We have developed a statement of response to this important issue which we hope will be helpful in answering your questions.
As you may be aware, a human cell line known as WI-38 was created from the tissue of an aborted fetus and is used for the rubella portion of the MMR-II vaccine. To provide some background, WI-38 was developed in 1962 from the lung of a female fetus aborted in a Swedish hospital. After growing the cells through eight to ten divisions, they were frozen, and cells from these original lines are still being used. Focus on the Family has corresponded with Merck & Co. (the company which produces MMR-II) on several occasions, and the exact circumstances of the abortion of the female fetus remain unclear. In one letter, Merck indicates that the event was a "spontaneous abortion" (i.e., not medically induced), and in a separate piece of correspondence, they suggest that it was a "surgical abortion," but that the reasons for the procedure are unknown. It is important to note here that a medically induced surgical abortion can follow an incomplete spontaneous abortion, due to the retention of fetal tissue that is non-viable and could cause a serious medical threat to the mother. In other words, it is quite possible that the event in 1962, while tragic, was actually the result of natural causes rather than an intentional abortion.
A second cell line, MRC-5, has been used to develop the vaccines for smallpox, rabies and hepatitis A, and the vaccine for the chicken pox virus has been produced from both the MRC-5 and the WI-38 lines. As for the origins of MRC-5, our Physicians Resource Council has found that this particular cell line was developed from the cells of a preborn infant which was aborted for "psychiatric reasons," although specific details have not been made available.
As you may already know, Focus on the Family abhors the practice of abortion. One of our foundational principles is the sanctity of all human life, including preborn children. Dr. Dobson has stated on numerous occasions that this is an issue over which he is willing to die, and he will never compromise his position merely for the sake of "medical research" or "science." Further, we reject the philosophy of utilitarianism which contends that the end justifies the means. Therefore, it can't be overstressed that using a vaccine from an aborted baby poses a troubling and perplexing dilemma for us. Some would hold that killing a preborn child is an ethically distinct act from that of producing a vaccine after the abortion has already been performed. Others would emphatically say that the utilitarian use of cells from an aborted baby is unethical -- even an embryonic or single-celled human life. While recognizing our own fallibility in such a weighty matter, we rely on our own Physicians Resource Council to clarify the moral and medical implications of these issues. They have concluded that it is prudent to lean toward the first argument, since the decision to abstain from vaccinations can compromise a child's or adult's health, and places his or her life in jeopardy. Ultimately, of course, each of us must look prayerfully to God for ongoing guidance and direction.
Another key point in this debate is that ongoing abortions are not necessary to the continued production of these vaccines. Because the cell lines derived from fetal tissue can be duplicated and grown in culture for up to 20 years, the abortions that initially provided MRC-5 and WI-38 were one-time events and further abortions are not required to maintain the cell lines and replenish the supply for vaccines. Realizing that these cell lines will eventually become depleted, our Physicians Resource Council, along with other pro-life organizations, continues to call upon vaccine manufacturers to develop immunizations that do not rely on fetal tissue from aborted babies. Escaping this necessity would be, in our opinion, the ideal method by which to produce immunizations for our children.
One final thought on this particular matter: Due to the complex and highly controversial nature of this topic, it's understandable that Christians will, in good conscience, come down on both sides of this issue. Given the lives that may hang in the balance, we can understand how a person would choose to use the vaccine in question. At the same time, we respect the views of those who see doing so as complicity in the travesty of abortion. Regardless, we do hope that our explanation has served to shed new light on this issue.
In addition, you had previously e-mailed asking us if our views on vaccinations constituted an admission that the human immune system is somehow flawed in design. On the contrary, we feel that vaccination is a testament to the effectiveness of the immune system God has created. Allow me to explain.
The immune system is designed to respond to invading organisms (like bacteria or viruses), which it does not only by fighting off an initial infection but by developing a "memory" of the invading organism. This "memory" allows the immune system to rally a quicker and more powerful defense if that particular bacteria shows up again at a later date. Chicken pox is an example of this natural process. When a child contracts chicken pox, his immune system becomes primed by the initial exposure to the virus. Although the child will most likely contract the disease, this exposure and subsequent immune response to the virus make it unlikely that he will have chicken pox again.
From this perspective, vaccination is hardly an indictment of God's design. Rather, it simply allows the immune system to experience potential invading viruses or bacteria in a controlled way, allowing the immune system to mount an effective defense if the virus is encountered at a later point in time. In our view, vaccination is not a claim that God's design of the human immune system is flawed, but rather it recognizes and utilizes the wonderful ways in which His design works.
Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to communicate our perspective, Ms. xxx. God bless you!
Bradley G. Beck, M.D., M.S.
From a VacLib contributor:
They do not rely on God or his teachings to keep us healthy. When you inject your children with vaccines you are essentially saying," God, I know you made our immune system but I don't think You really knew what You are doing. I will help You out with your creation the immune system, even though I have little or no idea how it works. I will inject it with some of the most toxic substances on the planet along with a dead or live virus and think in my little mind I am actually doing a better job than You can do.
You see God, we have modern medicine down here and we know better". FOF relies on pharmaceutical companies to look out for our children. FOF has never stopped to think that listening to God might be a better idea then listening to big PHARMA. Next time you want to send support to this organization, instead, make the check payable to Merck or any other pharmaceutical company. After all, this is who FOF relies on to keep us healthy not God.
The time is coming when religious leaders of all faiths must take a stand for Informed Choice and against blood pollution.
For leaders of any true religion to side on the side of Superstition, reminds one that leaders in one area of life may be completely deceived about another area of life.
"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible." Matthew 24:24
Vaccines have been observed to cause many adverse effects on the health of children.