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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another NCBC Response On Jackson Labs

Pat Archbold at the National Catholic Register blog has an interesting follow-up on the Jackson Labs story. He contacted Dr. Haas at the NCBC with additional questions and Dr. Haas responded:
I asked Dr. Haas of the NCBC why such research [into better contraception methods] poses no moral impediment and he responded that as far as the NCBC could ascertain, all such research has been conducted only on mice and not on human beings. And while he admitted that the fruits of this research could be used for immoral ends, the research itself is not immoral and might even provide positive results.
I don't find this answer persuasive. Is Dr. Haas saying that research into better contraception methods is moral because it is conducted on animals and not human beings? This isn't a situation where Jackson Labs is researching for the sake of scientific truth and its discoveries are later used by someone else for immoral purposes; Jackson Labs is conducting its research with the specific intention to further immoral purposes. Would research into faster-acting nerve gas specifically for the purpose of killing humans (with corresponding production and marketing of the product to those who want to kill humans) be moral as long as the research is conducted only on animals and not humans?

Also, Dr. Haas still hasn't given a good explanation for why it is moral for Jackson Labs to (1) organize and host HESC conferences and training, and (2) develop and market products and services like their mouse cell lines specifically for HESC research.