Environmental and Medical Issues

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  • Environmental + Medical Issues
    • KEYWORDS:
      • Global Warming
        • The increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere
      • Natural Resources
        • Naturally occurring materials which can be utilised by humans
      • Creation
        • The act of creating the universe, or the universe which has been created
      • Environment
        • The surroundings on which plants and animals live and on which they depend to continue living.
      • Stewardship
        • Looking after something on behalf of another so that it can be passed back or on to the next generation of stewards.
      • Conservation
        • Protecting and preserving natural resources and the environment.
      • Artificial Insemination
        • Injecting semen into the uterus by artificial methods.
      • Embryo
        • A fertilised egg in the first eight weeks after conception.
      • Infertility
        • Not being able to have children.
      • In-Vitro Fertilisation
        • The method of fertilising an egg in a test tude
      • Surrogacy
        • An arrangement where a woman bears a child for another woman
      • Organ Donation
        • Giving organs to be used in transplant surgery
    • The Creation Story
      • CHRISTIAN
        • Christianity teaches that God created the universe in such a way that it has produced an environment perfectly suited for human life.
        • Genesis 1 & 2 state that God appointed humanity as stewards of his creation.
        • Because God created the earth, the earth belongs to God.
      • MUSLIM
        • Islam teaches that the universe and everything in it was created by God as a place perfectly suited to human life.
        • The Qur'an states: "The sun and moon follow courses exactly computed; and the herbs and the trees - both alike bow in adoration... He has set up the balance in order that you may not break the balance" SURAH 55:5-8
        • The universe was created by one god and as such the whole of creation has a unity, a common bond within it.
        • Everything is created by God so humans must respect God's creation and treat it with care.
        • There is a balance in creation so humans must work to maintain the ecological stability put in place by God since the creation.
    • Global warming
      • Possible causes of global warming
        • The Greenhouse Effect
          • The burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide. This produces a barrier in the atmosphere rather like glass in a greenhouse so that the heat form the sun can get through, but cannot get back out again, Many scientist believe that this is causing the earth to warm up.
        • Natural Climate Change
          • Some scientist say the climate is simply part of the natural cycle of the planet. They say the hottest periods over the past 10,000 years were before humans started producing carbon emissions.
          • They say if global warming was due to human activity the troposphere would be warming quicker then ground level, and it's not.
          • They also state that nature naturally produces more CO2 emissions that humans ever will.
        • Solar Activity
          • Some scientists claim that natural radiation from the sun is the cause. They say solar flares cause there to be less clouds and so more of the sun's heat warms the earth.
          • They also doubt humans are the cause as temperatures dropped after WW2 whilst carbon dioxide levels rose rapidly/
      • Twenty of the last thirty years have been recorded as the warmest years since records began. And it looks like the Earth is continuing to get warmer.
      • The expected average temperature rise of just 2C by 2050 will lead to an increased rainfall pf around 20% in Britain.
      • In addition to this, sea levels will rise due to the polar ice caps melting.
      • This could lead to coastal regions being lost, whilst Mediterranean countries such as Spain could become deserts.
    • Pollution
      • THREATS
        • Radioactive Pollution
          • Nuclear power stations do not produce carbon dioxide, but no produce nuclear waste which takes thousands of years to become safe.
          • Waste is buried without knowing if the storage boxes will be able to contain it safely for this length of time.
          • When living things come into contact with excess radiation, they can be killed, get cancer or have seriously ill offspring.
        • Eutrophication
          • An excess of nitrates, nitrites and phosphates in fivers is leading to a lack of oxygen and an increase in aquatic plants, which is causing fish to fie and poisons to enter water supplies.
          • This is caused by fertilisers being washed into streams, sewage pollution, and the lack of trees to soak up the nitrogen. This could lead to major health problems for humans such a septicemia.
        • Acid Rain
          • The burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil releases sulphuric and nitric acid. These pollutants go into the atmosphere and change the rain water in clouds.
          • This makes the rain water in clouds so acidic that it burns things when it comes to earth. Buildings and forests re being destroyed by acid rain produced by the UK burning fossil fuels.
        • Human Waste
          • Humans causes of pollution include things such as sewage, rubbish and litter. Sewage needs to be treated before it is safe to enter the water system again because it carries hundreds of diseases and can cause eutrophication.
          • Billions of tons of rubbish is dumped every day to rot in the ground giving off toxic gases, and litter has been identified as the main cause of the increase in the UK rat population to around 70 million.
      • SOLUTIONS
        • Government Action
          • Set carbon emission limits on cars, heavier tax for those who use the roads more and unnecessarily.
          • Signing up to the Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions unlike the USA who refused to as it would affect the american way of life.
            • China and India refused too because it would stand in the way of their own industrial progress.
        • Alternative Lifestyles
          • Some people only use natural products such as cotton or wool, eat organic food, and ride bikes instead of driving cars.
          • If we all lived this way, there would be little environmental problems.
        • Science and Technology
          • There are now several ways of making electricity which do not produce carbon dioxide or nuclear waste
          • Car manufacturers are looking at water, sugar cane and electric batteries as alternatives forms of power.
          • Scientist are using chemicals from plants rather than oil to produce things such as plastics.
    • Natural resources
      • RENEWABLE
        • Resources that can be used over and over again because they renew themselves naturally. Renewable resources usually produce little or no pollution
      • NON-RENWEABLE
        • Resources that can only be used once. Non-renewable resources disappear once they are used and often cause pollution in their use.
    • Stewardship
      • CHRISTIAN
        • Christians believe that with authority comes responsibility for God's creation.
        • They may feel like they must leave the earth in a better state than they received it by reducing pollution and preserving resources.
        • They should share the earth's resources helping less economically developed countries without causing more pollution.
        • God will judge them not only on their faith but how they lived. If their lifestyle is not healthy for the environment, he may punish them.
      • MUSLIM
        • The Qur'an states: "Behold thy Lord said to the angels, 'I will create a vicegerent on earth' And he taught Adam the nature of all things" SURAH 2:30
        • Islam teaches that God created Adam as his 'Khalifah' or steward of creation.
        • Islam teaches the God created humans as his stewards of the Earth. He showed people how to look after the Earth in the Qur'an.
        • The Shari'ah and Ummah teaches a respect for all of God's creations.
        • Life is a test and God will judge Muslims on their faith and actions, including how well they looked after the world.
    • Infertility Treatment
      • CHRISTIAN
        • FOR (IVF & AIH)
          • God has given humanity the technology to provide infertile marries couples with a child and create a family. This is one of the purposes of marriage.
          • The egg and sperm are both from the husband and wife so the baby will be the biological child of the parents.
          • "Be fruitful and multiply"
        • AGAINST (CATHOLICS)
          • God has given a natural way for a husband and wife to conceive and it is for god alone to decide if a couple should have a child or not.
          • IVF involves fertilising several eggs, some of which are destroyed or used for experimentation, this is like abortion.
          • God intended procreation through intercourse, fertility treatment bypasses this. It also involves masturbation which is classified as a sin in catholicism.
          • Anything that dissociates the husband and wife in creating a child, or introduces another person into the process is 'gravely immoral'
      • MUSLIM
        • FOR IVF & AIH
          • IVF & AIH is simply seen as the use of medical technology to bring about family life which is encouraged in Islamic life.
          • The discarded embryos are not yet foetuses and their destruction can be justified because it is not taking a life and the intention is to give childless couples children.
          • The egg and sperm are both from the husband and wife so the baby will be the biological child of the parents.
        • AGAINST EVERYTHING ELSE
          • These methods deny the child's right to know it's natural parents. This is essential within Islamic religion and culture.
          • Any for of egg or sperm donation is regarded as adultery, a grievous sin within Islam.
          • Egg and sperm donation is also seen as being like adoption - which would not be appropriate in this circumstance.
      • Importance
        • Infertility is an increasing issue in the UK with around 12 -14% of couples unable to conceive.
        • Male infertility is a particular problem with around 1.5 million men in the UK experiencing fertility problems.
        • In 2007, 12% of all births in the UK were a result of fertility treatment - this shows how important it is to many thousands of couples.
        • It is part of human nature to want to have a child, it is how humanity continues. Many people will suffer from depression and other mental health issues due to infertility.
      • Methods
        • IVF - when the egg from the woman is fertilised outside the womb using wither the husband's or a donor's sperm and then replaced in the womb.
        • Egg donation - When an egg is donated by another woman, fertilised using IVF by the husband's sperm anf then placed in the wife's womb.
        • AIH - When sperm from the husband is inserted into his wife by mechanical means.
        • AID - when sperm from a donor, other than the husband, is inserted into the woman by mechanical means.
        • Surrogacy - When the egg and sperm of a couple are fertilised by IVF then placed in another woman's womb. Or, the sperm of a husband is artificially inseminated into another woman to have the baby for them. The baby is handed over at birth.
        • Embryo Donation - When both egg and sperm from donors are fertilised using IVF and then inserted into the woman's womb
        • All methods of fertility treatment and cases of experimentation in the UK are monitored by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)
    • Transplant Surgery
      • CHRISTIAN
        • FOR
          • Christians who believe in the immortality of the soul believe the body is not needed after death and so organs can be used to help the living.
          • Christians who believe in the resurrection of the body believe they will have a transformed body not subject to physical needs.
          • Jesus' teaching of "love your neighbor as yourself" and the golden rule are both in keeping with the ideals of transplant surgery.
          • However, they would be against selling organs as this can lead to exploitation of the poor (e.g.  a father selling his kidney to feed his family)
        • AGAINST DECEASED DONORS
          • They would see the vital organs, particularly the heart, as part of god's creation of the individual person and so should not be used.
          • Humans do not have the right to act like god and using the organs of a dead person to give life to another is usurping the role of god for yourself.
          • Using organs from living people does not affect the belief in the sanctity of life and so can be used to fulfill the teachings of Jesus in the bible.
          • However, they would be against selling organs as this can lead to medical assistance only available for the rich not he poor.
        • AGAINST COMPLETELY
          • It raises a problem about when organs should be harvested e.g. a heart needs to be still beating when removed.
          • Using organs of one person to keep another alive sould be going agaisnt the will of god. He may see that person's time as being up/
          • In Leviticus (17:11) it says "the life of a being is in the blood". Some groups, like jehovah's witnesses, will not accept blood or organ transplants as it is seen as passing or mixing "life" from one body to another
      • MUSLIM
        • SOME FOR LIVING DONOR
          • In 1995 the Muslim Law Council of the United Kingdom, issued a fatwa (a legal ruling based on Islamic law made by senior Islamic figures). This stated that it was acceptable for living donations to be made and received in keeping with Islamic law
          • Islamic religious lawyers agree that slam aims to do good and not cause a burden. Therefore, if a close relative was dying and a transplant would save them, then it should be done.
        • MOST AGAINST
          • Muslims believe in the sanctity of life, meaning only god has the right to decide how and when a person should live or die.
          • Shari'ah law teaches that nothing should be removed from the body after death (even for a post-mortem) as Muslims believe they will need all their bodily organs if they are to be resurrected to face Allah on the last day.
          • The Qur'an states that god has created the body of a person so to take parts from one body and put them in another is to take on the role of god. This is considered as the greatest sin in Islam.
      • Deceased donors - this is where people who have died have either previously given permission for their organs to be used, or relatives of the deceased person give their permission.
      • Living donors - this is where living people donate parts of their body they can live without such as bone marrow and a single kidney.
      • Using healthy organs from a donor to replace a dying of defective organ in a patient with the result of extending their life or adding to their quality of life.
      • Proven method of saving lives (heart and liver) and improving lives (cornea and kidney)
      • Can bring life out of death and joy out of sorrow, rather than being buried or burnt.

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