FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Director of Education, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Philadelphia
March 19, 2021 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
On March 1, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told residents in the town of Mattapan that when it comes to the various COVID-19 vaccines, “These are all very effective. People don’t need to pick one from another. People should get vaccinated. If you have a chance to get a vaccine, you should take it, whatever it is.”
March 5, 2021 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
During “serious illness conversations,” some doctors will ply their patients with this question: “What is your minimally acceptable quality of life?”
Behind the question can be the implication that if patients are experiencing a low quality of life, their medical treatments can be discontinued because their life has become “no longer worth living.”
January 15, 2021 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
As the new COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, several people have told me, “I don’t want a vaccine with any connection to abortion.”
This is a valid sentiment that most of us would likely echo. At a minimum, it should serve as an important “call to action” for each of us during the course of this pandemic. Even if we decide to get inoculated with a vaccine that was produced using abortion-derived human cell lines — which for a serious reason and in the absence of alternatives would not be unethical — we still face a real duty to push back and make known our disagreement with the continued use of these cells by researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.
December 18, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
In the wake of announcements from multiple pharmaceutical companies about safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, many are expressing ethical doubts about whether it is OK to take these vaccines. Do Catholics have a moral duty to decline an inoculation if it was unethically produced using a cell line that came from an abortion?
November 20, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Recently, many people have been reaching out with questions about vaccines. So, I thought it would be helpful to mention some of the most common ones and try to provide some answers.
November 6, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver told a local news station in August 2020 that he planned to mandate COVID-19 immunizations for Virginians once a vaccine becomes available to the public. The following day, the Governor, Ralph Northam, pulled rank on the Commissioner and announced there would be no vaccine mandate after all. The Health Department walked back the Commissioner’s earlier comments while the Governor’s Office issued a statement focusing on vaccine accessibility and fair distribution, not a mandate.
September 18, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Several popular myths about COVID-19 vaccines have been gaining traction on social media in recent months, particularly in regard to messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines being developed by Moderna, Sanofi, Pfizer and a handful of other companies. I would like to consider five of these myths:
August 21, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Between 1932 and 1972, a series of highly unethical medical studies were performed on a group of 400 African-Americans by doctors from the U.S. Public Health Service.
August 7, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
To sanction or encourage certain wrongful actions, it is often necessary to manipulate language. The plain meaning of words can get in the way of convincing others they should tolerate or participate in wrongdoing, or otherwise embrace situations of evil or injustice. Verbal obfuscation becomes necessary to veil evident moral truths.
June 19, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
The Covid-19 pandemic has left many of us with a great deal of uncertainty: uncertainty about how contagious the virus is and about the best way to treat it; uncertainty about how long our personal immunity will last after we get infected and whether a vaccine will ever be developed; uncertainty about the future of the economy and whether jobs will still be there for the 40 million newly unemployed; uncertainty about how long the public quarantines should continue; uncertainty about what will happen to ourselves, our businesses, our families and our friends.
May 15, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Creating a new vaccine and bringing it to market typically requires more than a decade of research and clinical testing. Many companies and research groups are working overtime to shorten this timeline dramatically in the wake of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
March 6, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
In a recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Cutter chronicled the death of her father by suicide. As he struggled with rapidly progressing prostate cancer, he lost more than 30 pounds, becoming gaunt and emaciated. Back pain and nausea forced him to spend much of his time in bed.
February 21, 2020 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
When Mother Teresa visited New Bedford, Massachusetts in June 1995, she told those of us gathered at St. Lawrence Martyr Church: “Abortion is the greatest evil of today.” Never one to mince words, Mother Teresa’s courage, truthfulness and charity were palpable. Parents today need similar fortitude, honesty and love to be able to discuss the hard topic of unplanned pregnancies and abortion with their children.
November 1, 2019 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Because suffering almost always imposes itself on us during life, and especially at the end of life, it can be helpful to reflect on the need to accept some personal suffering as we die, even as we recognize the importance of palliative steps and other comfort measures.
August 2, 2019 | By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Those of us who have grown up within the womb of a democratic society may not always recognize how radical the idea behind such a society actually is, nor how fragile its structure can be in the face of strident claims regarding individual freedoms. Legalization of abortion, to focus on one of the most strident claims, corrodes the very pillars of our democratic society.
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