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Mike Humphrey wrote:

Hi guys,

Over the past few years several times Life Science companies have shown an interest in my skill set — at least three within the past year.

  • Is there any easy way to see if a specific Life Science company is faithful to what I believe as a Catholic?
  • Would it be wrong to paint all Life Science companies as ones that deal with abortion and promote similar pro-death practices from a Catholic view? and
  • How do you discern one from another?

The current company that is showing interest is [Name suppressed.]


  { How can I discern whether a Life Science company is faithful to what I believe as a Catholic? }

Bob replied:

Hi, Mike —

I think you have to look at each company individually.

The company you mentioned just manufactures equipment, therefore I wouldn't consider it likely to be unethical — since it is removed from the application of the device to material (cells obtained licitly or otherwise).

It is highly improbably that they obtain aborted stem cells in their research for the development of said equipment.

Bob Kirby

Mary Ann replied:


You are allowed to work for any company as long as you are not closely materially cooperating in an immoral activity. While one might prefer not to work at a company which has a division that does something immoral, you may, and indeed you morally should if that is your only option for work.

My husband worked for the federal government. some parts of the federal government do immoral things, like promote abortion abroad. As long as you are not directly facilitating the evil act, you are fine.

I think you should go to work and then if they ask you to do something immoral (like create an ad campaign for birth control, for instance) you can give witness!

  • How can we give witness if we avoid the public square?

Good luck. Nice to hear from you!

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Thanks Mary Ann!

That helped a bit. I guess what I’m hearing is there is no sure fire way to know.

Certainly the company is not going to publicize immoral stuff.


Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Mike —

Well, you can look at their product line, but even then, that would not be a deciding factor unless you were directly involved. This is not my opinion. This is old-line, traditional Catholic moral teaching.

One more thing: actually, a company would definitely publicize immoral stuff because companies are proud of everything. The only thing they might be vague about is stem cells, using a generic term without specifying if it is embryonic or other stem cells.

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

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