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AMU_NCBCSummaryPosition

AMU_NCBCSummaryPosition

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Published by americanpapist

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: americanpapist on Jun 10, 2010
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09/12/2010

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The Nati
o
nal Cath
o
lic Bi
o
ethics Center 
6399 Drexel Road, Philadelphia, PA 19151 Tel. 215-877-2660 Fax. 215-877-2688 www.ncbcenter.org
 Defending the dignity of the human person in health care and the life sciences since 1972 
Brief Summary of the Position of The National Catholic Bioethics Center of the Sale of Land byThomas S. Monaghan to Barron Collier Co. Who Might Sell It to Jackson LaboratoryJune 9, 2010
 On behalf of Thomas S. Monaghan, the Ave Maria Foundation presented a moral question to The NationalCatholic Bioethics Center in July 2009. The issue was very narrowly framed and was related to land which Mr.Monaghan controlled 50% interest. The question dealt with whether Mr. Monaghan, who is a 50% partner in aland development company would be involved in immoral cooperation with evil if he sold his interest in aparcel of land to his land development partner. The partner might in turn sell (or give) it to a buyer who mightin the future perform immoral research activities. Against this background, is it permissible for Mr. Monaghanto sell his 50% interest in this land back to his partner?It is the opinion of The National Catholic Bioethics Center that there would be no moral obstacle to Mr.Monaghan selling his 50% interest in this land back to his partner.Accusations have been made that Jackson Laboratory performs human embryonic stem cell research. If thiswere true, and one had moral certainty that the land sold was going to be used to build a facility at which suchresearch would take place, then an argument might be made that there could be immoral cooperation with anevildoer because there would be a facilitating of gravely evil actions through providing the land for the buildingof a facility in which immoral activities would take place. However, we could not find any indication thathuman embryonic stem cell research was taking place at Jackson Laboratory, nor any strong or certainindications that such research might take place at the Florida site in the future under their auspices.Therefore, since human embryonic stem cell research is not being done by Jackson Laboratory, there is noimmoral cooperation with evil taking place through the sale of Monaghan’s interest in the land to his partner,who in turn may sell it to Jackson Laboratory. The point has been made that Jackson Laboratory had said it willnot rule out ever doing human embryonic stem cell research. However, here one lacks moral certaintyregarding the commission of an evil act at all, and it is impossible to cooperate with an evil that is not takingplace and which may never take place. If an evil does take place at all, it would be
after 
the transfer of ownership by Mr. Monoghan. As such, Mr. Monoghan
cannot 
cooperate in theoretical or hypothetical futureevil acts about which he has no moral certitude that they will ever occur.It has been pointed out that there are board members of Jackson Laboratory who are involved in humanembryonic stem cell research or who advocate it. That may be true, but it does not mean that JacksonLaboratory performs such research. The issue presented to The National Catholic Bioethics Center was notwhether Jackson Laboratory opposed human embryonic stem cell research but whether it performed it andwhether the land could licitly be sold. On the basis of our research we could not find that Jackson Laboratoryperformed human embryonic stem cell research. What often occurred was that individuals read of embryonicstem cell research taking place at Jackson Laboratory but the research involved mice embryos not human ones.We also found that Jackson Laboratory hosted NIH conferences in which techniques involved with human

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