25 Oct 1994
For Immediate Release
Consenting to Vaccination for Rubella
Summary of briefing paper prepared at the request of Bishop Budd, Chairman
of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship and of the Committee for
Family Life, and Member of the Joint Bio-ethics Committee.
It is quite reasonable for Catholics to hold differing views about the
question of rubella vaccination for children.
Those who feel that they want to take a prophetic stand against accepting
any benefit which results from an abortion are entitled to do so, and to refuse consent
for their children to receive the rubella vaccination.
But Catholic parents who wish to consent to its use can be assured that
there is no general obligation to refuse permission for the vaccination to be given.
Consenting does not condone abortion, nor amount to encouraging further abortions
for this vaccine. The substantial benefits of this vaccine, for which there is no
substitute available, may be accepted.
The difference of opinion arises from whether or not people think that
refusing consent discourages demand for fetal tissue from aborted babies.
In any case the health service should be required to develop vaccines and
treatments which are in no way associated with abortion.