ethics

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  • Created by: mina_azo
  • Created on: 23-02-15 17:18
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  • 'It is old fashioned to insist that medical ethics should be guided by religious principles alone.' Examine and comment on the claim with reference to the topic you have studied   (Abortion).
    • Abortion, defined as the  deliberate artificial termination of  a human pregnancy
      • A taboo subject which has sparked much confrontation between the religious and liberal members of society.
        • The current laws of abortion in the uk have been updated from the 1967 act under the Human Embryology act of 1991
        • More women than ever before having abortions 193,700 in the uk 2006 compared to 1974 when 119,000 were carried out
          • this figure shows a relaxed view to the idea of abortion and could be argued it is viewed as a type of contraception, and supports the claim made in the question.
        • The George Tiller case accurately highlights the modern controversies surrounding abortion between the more religious anti abortion activists and the pro choice members of society.
          • Scott Roeder shot George Tiller who performed late-term abortions. Roeder defended his actions by saying he did it to 'protect the children'
          • But when does the fetus become a person? If the fetus is not found to be a person then surely human  rights are not extended to them.
    • The doctrine of the Sanctity of Life refers to the belief that all human life is intrinsically valued, and is a popular argument when counteracting arguments for abortion.
      • Teachings in the bible could support this e.g. genesis 1: 'Then God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air....and over all creatures that move along the ground'
        • Because it is stated god created us in his own image, this sets man apart from all other species. This for Christians, is the significance of our life, not the quality or ability.
          • Decalogue 'thou shalt not kill'- referring to not killing people. but does an unborn fetus count as a person?
            • Albert Schweitzer developed his own theory called 'reverence for life' arguing that all living things have a built in desire and instinct to go on living, therefore we should have reverence for all life.
              • Mary Anne Warren argues against this, saying certain organisms lack a clear will to live, as will is based on the capacity to think, which a fetus cannot.
                • she also argues that a,ll humans are genetically built to promote our own survival bt this is nothing to show reverence for. She defends abortion under the 'compulsion of necessity' and argues it is not possible to have a feeling of reverence for life with regards to abortion due to the fact that she considers a fetus to be just as alive as unfertilized ova and spermatozoa.
                  • Jonathan Glover argues the idea of 'mere consciousness and consciousness'.  consciousness being that of a human, aware and having experiences as opposed to mere consciousness which is compared to the consciousness of an animal, which is what the fetus supposedly identifies with.
                    • he also argues that we only value life as a necessary vehicle for consciousness by saying 'in destroying life of mere consciousness, we are not destroying anything intrinsically valuable, due to the fact that it only matters because it is only necessary for other things that matter in themselves'.
  • Jonathan Glover argues the idea of 'mere consciousness and consciousness'.  consciousness being that of a human, aware and having experiences as opposed to mere consciousness which is compared to the consciousness of an animal, which is what the fetus supposedly identifies with.
    • he also argues that we only value life as a necessary vehicle for consciousness by saying 'in destroying life of mere consciousness, we are not destroying anything intrinsically valuable, due to the fact that it only matters because it is only necessary for other things that matter in themselves'.

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