Monday, January 12, 2009

"What Ever Happened to Baby WI-38?"

The following is not my work. It is by a blogger who went by the tag of Scrivener. Sadly, Scrivener has left the blogosphere, and his blog is no more.

In the interests of preserving a post of seminal importance to the Orthodox (or other conservative Christian) parent, I have taken the liberty of reproducing this text in full. Should Scrivener object, he is welcome to let me know.
What Ever Happened to Baby WI-38?

My wife and I have opted our children out of certain portions of the recommended vaccination schedule. This has made for some difficult conversations in the doctor’s office, and will likely complicate matters when it comes time to send them to school. But we have our reasons.

Here’s one: several of the most popular vaccines contain human tissue cultures originally obtained from aborted babies.

Unless you’re in the habit of reading vaccine inserts and researching this kind of thing, this will be news to you. It sounds a little too gruesome to be true. You may be inclined to disbelieve me. I wanted to disbelieve it. But though it’s not an article of common knowledge (even among health professionals), it’s quite true, and it’s never been a secret. This is public information and easily verifiable.

In order to produce a live-virus vaccine, one must first cultivate the disease one hopes to immunize against. Some viruses are more easily propogated in a laboratory setting than others. Easier ones are often produced in a cellular culture derived from chicken egg whites. Other viruses more difficult to propogate are only reliably cultivated in actual human tissue cultures.

Vaccines developed by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline for Rubella, Hepatitis-A and Varicella (Chicken Pox) are developed in a culture of human diploid cells taken from the lungs of two babies aborted in the 1960s. In both cases, the abortions were legally performed (in Europe) and the babies were healthy.

One of these was Baby WI-38. What is commonly referred to as the “WI-38 cell culture” was derived from a female fetus aborted at 3 months gestation in 1961. Diploid cells harvested from her lungs have been cultured and reproduced in American laboratories for the past 35 years as a efficacious, human medium for cultivating the infectious agents needed in the manufacture of live-virus vaccines.

In the UK, the MRC-5 cell culture was developed along similar lines, from human diploid cells harvested from the lungs of a male fetus aborted in 1966, also at about three months of development.

As I’ve mentioned, this is public information, available to anyone who cares to know. Here, for instance, is the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control page discussing the issue. And here is another pro-vaccine resource that discusses it in greater depth. On the other side of the aisle, here is a page produced by an anti-abortion group providing information on the vaccination question. And here is a website produced by an anti-vaccination group that describes the questionable ingredients (including human diploid cells) contained in a whole host of common vaccines.

We navigate perilous intersections when our principles cross paths with concern for the health and safety of our children. I know what it’s like to fret over your child's well being. We all want our children to be protected. And certainly there are real health benefits to vaccination. I don’t pretend to judge parents who choose to use these vaccines in hopes of protecting their children from disease. But I wonder if there isn’t a price to pay.

Isn't it curious anti-abortion groups don’t make more noise over this issue? Is it ignorance? Hypocrisy? Resignation? Sure, WI-38 and MRC-5 were only two unborn babies (out of millions aborted every year), and they were not aborted explicitly for the purpose of creating cell lines for use in vaccines. But can we enjoy the “benefits” of abortion without weakening our condemnation of its legal practice? Abortion, in Christian circles, is often referred to as a “holocaust” on a par with the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe. But would you feel comfortable condemning Hitler’s crimes against humanity while at the same time employing the body parts of the first few gas-chamber victims as talismans to ward off danger, no matter how effective?

This isn’t going to change unless we start making an issue of it. Drug companies and vaccine manufacturers will not spend money on research to find better ways of producing these vaccines until they decide it has become financially or politically expedient for them to do so. So research this for yourself. Talk to your doctors and pediatricians about it. Contact your elected representatives. Call or write the vaccine manufacturers to complain (contact information is found on the last link above).

The horrifying truth is that, in our desire to live healthier lives, tens of millions of Americans (and tens of millions of others worldwide) have been injected with leftover bits of medically murdered, unborn babies.

That’s what happened to Baby WI-38.

- V.


Simply Victoria said...

oi vey.
yes, we too opted out of vaccinations after the first child went through them. long story. suffice it to say, it was not the easiest decision. especially as they are enrolled in public school. but, Lord have mercy, they are not yet able to coerce parents into this yet.

I used to read the scrivener too and am sad he has vacated the blogosphere.

V and E said...

Thanks for commenting, Simply.

Might I ask what factors prompted you to withdraw from the vaccine schedule?

- V.

Buckeye Doc said...

These vaccines (e.g., MMR) do NOT contain any cells of ANY kind, only viruses. The information that you had on your blog is factually inaccurate. You could check with the National Catholic Bioethics Center to obtain the true teaching of the Catholic Church on this issue.

V and E said...

Glad to see you dropped by the blog, Doc.

To rebut:

1) Nowhere in this post or blog do I (or Scrivener, whom I quote) claim that these vaccines (such as MMR) contain fetal tissue or cells thereof. What I do claim (accurately) is that viruses have to be propagated in a cell-line, and all too often that cell-line is a fetal tissue cell-line. The ethical dilemma for me and for Scrivener is that fetal tissue has been used in the propagation of vaccines, thereby creating a situation where we profit by the murder of an innocent.

2) That said, your statement that no cells of any kind are found in [antiviral] vaccines to be naively optimistic.

The fact is that the companies which sell these vaccines cannot and will not make that kind of claim.

Instead, in the case of vaccines that use viruses propagated in chicken embryo cell-lines, the companies notify doctors that the vaccine is contraindicated in the case of a patient with egg allergies. Why? Because they cannot guarantee that no egg matter (read: cells) will ever show up in their final product.

3) I am not Catholic, and do not accept their reasoning.

My faith (Orthodoxy) has no formal stance on this issue, and is not centralized enough for any such stance to be binding. Orthodox theology, however, takes a position that is firmly for Life, and from that position we work out what we believe in consultation with our spiritual fathers (priests or monks) and our bishops.

What I state here is not out of line with that authority.

- V.

V and E said...


My apologies to Doc. A careful reread of the original post reveals that, yes, Scrivener does in fact say that these vaccines contain fetal cells.

"The horrifying truth is that [...] tens of millions of Americans [...] have been injected with leftover bits of medically murdered, unborn babies."

This exaggeration is good rhetoric, but bad science. Generally, I try to avoid the hyperbolic in anything scientific. Exaggeration serves to discredit the thrust of an argument.

However, with reference to my second point (above), the supposition that "leftover bits of ... babies" are found in these vaccines is reasonable, even if it is not fair to so conclude.

So to qualify Scrivener's conclusion, I personally react to these vaccines 1) with the knowledge that they are produced using baby tissue and 2) with the supposition that they contain "bits of baby"; however, I do not wish to go so far as to claim that all vaccines do in fact contain "bits of baby."


Anonymous said...

Please don't vaccinate your children so they can die from treatable diseases. Then we can have natural selection work as it so splendidly does.

capricorn said...

Buckeye Doc said...

"These vaccines (e.g., MMR) do NOT contain any cells of ANY kind"

You are right in that they do not contain any cells, Doc, but they can and do contain minute particles of cells from the tissue cultures derived from aborted foetus body parts or animals used to propagate vaccine viruses on. This is freely admitted by various health authorities including the CDC.

capricorn said...

Contrary to medical and popular belief, vaccines have never prevented anything, apart from health, sanity and common sense.

Based on my research, I have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science.

The entire vaccine industry should in my opinion be shut down to protect us and our children from this medical abuse.

Epinephrine said...

@capricorn, your "research" abilities must be rather lacking. Vaccination works very well, and is possibly the greatest public health innovation other than sanitation.

@V&E - I can understand making it a moral issue, and I appreciate your return to examine the claims and correcting the fact that the original piece does refer to "bits of ... babies." I disagree with your contention that they are produced using baby tissue.

You probably feel that a fetus or embryo is a baby, while I don't - any more than I feel that an apple is equivalent to one or several trees. However, even on the premise that the fetus is a baby, the cells used are not "bits of baby" any longer. They have been passaged many times, and are the product of cell culture, not gestation. Yes, they are cells of human origin, but the original cells are long gone. Are my skin cells "bits of baby"? After all, I guarantee that they are descended from cells that were part of a human baby. In my opinion, my cells are not baby cells, they are adult human cells, as they are from an adult human - they grew in and were nourished by one. If I scraped some off and grew them in culture the resulting tissue wouldn't be me - it is not an adult human. It would be a tissue culture with human origins.