Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Morality and Medication: You May be Aiding an Evil Cause!



Another week and another question to tackle; this time on the topic of medication.


A friend of mine was asked to be part of a clinical trial for a particular drug to treat a condition stemming from childhood. The question was originally posed with foreknowledge that a chemical component of the drug is used to medically induce a miscarriage (similar to what the RU-486 drug does; the "abortion pill"), i.e. would it be moral to use a drug that has a component that is also used for devious/immoral means? It would not be sinful to use a drug that has a chemical component that's used for other [devious] means. For example: makers of illicit substances use ingredients found in common cold and flu medication; does that make the use of cold and flu medication sinful if one is trying to better themself of that particular ailment?


What I would do, however (and this is very important), is inquire into how that particular chemical component itself is created. There are some medications with chemical components in them that have been concocted using embryonic stem cells. If this is the case for any drug or chemical component, then one should stop using it and then ask for an alternative that conforms to moral standards.


Think of it this way: A person purchases a product where the profits go towards funding a terrorist organisation. The person discovers where their money is going and immediately ceases purchasing this particular product knowing that he/she could not in good conscience support this cause. If you knew you were using/consuming a product that harvests the unborn for their stem cells, could you in good conscience continue use of the product?


And consider this from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


"It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God." - CCC, par. 2294, 'Respect for the person and scientific research'


Further reading: 


http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/quickquestions/keyword/Evangelium%20Vitae


http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/quickquestions/keyword/health


Thank you for reading this week.


God bless. :-)

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