August 11, 2020

CMA Members Federally Appointed to The Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board of National Institutes of Health

Philadelphia, PA- August 10, 2020- The Catholic Medical Association is proud to announce that members of our organization have been federally appointed to The Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Doctors Greg Burke (Co-Chair of CMA’s Ethics Committee), Ashely Fernandes, Kevin Donovan and Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. will work with other appointed members to advise the administration on the ethics of federally funded research which includes tissues from the bodies of babies who were aborted.

“We know that Dr. Burke and Dr. Fernandes will contribute life-affirming perspective, critical in making ethical decisions for the future,” said CMA President, Dr. Michael Parker. 

“It is an honor to serve on a board comprised of so many recognized experts in the fields of science and ethics and add a voice consistent with the values of the Catholic Medical Association,” said Dr. Burke. 

“The use of human fetal tissue for scientific research remains deeply divisive and controversial, and a reminder that however noble the aim is of eliminating disease and improving quality of life, science must always be conducted with a deep, profound, and unwavering respect for the dignity of persons,” said Dr. Fernandes.

 “The NIH Ethics Advisory Board’s goal is to take rigorous science, and subject it to serious, interdisciplinary, ethical scrutiny, looking at issues such as the sources and procurement of fetal tissue, informed consent, and the effect research will have on future demand for human fetal tissue. It was refreshing to see Catholic physicians and ethicists from the CMA engaged on a national level with scientists, theologians, and clinicians to discuss the moral limits of research; our deliberations will, hopefully, set an example, nationally and internationally, that excellent science must serve the human person, not the other way around,” added Dr. Fernandes. 

CMA echos the perspectives of Dr. Burke and Dr. Fernandes and believes ethical research aims to advance the cause of human life and reduce suffering; thus should not be contaminated with acts that are in contrast to its purpose. 

“For the CMA to have a seat at the table and a voice in this national discussion of ethics is an incredible honor,” added Dr. Parker.

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