OCR Specification B Religion And Medical Ethics Notes

revision notes on religion and medical ethics

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  • Created on: 12-05-12 14:34
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Religion and medical ethics
`Sanctity of life' ­ something holy about life
Humans are different because people share something of the nature of God
Genesis: God made Adam `breathed into his nostrils the breath of life'
`God created man in his own image' ­ Genesis 1:27
People are reflections of God
The soul doesn't die; the soul is judged by God to go to heaven
`You shall not murder' ­ Exodus 20:13
God makes everyone, so they all have value
Christians decide to become nurses because of their faith
God has given life to them, they have a responsibility to take care of themselves
Take care of other people as well
Smoking and overeating are wrong because they show ungratefulness for God's gift
Attitudes to abortion
When a foetus is expelled from its mother's uterus before the pregnancy reaches 40 weeks
Abortion is against the law once the foetus has been developing for 24 weeks
Abortions usually happen within the first 3-4 months
Roman Catholics are opposed to any abortion
Protestant Churches argue that it is acceptable under certain circumstances
Christians must support all who face hard choices
Roman Catholics believe that life begins from the moment of conception
Foetus only becomes a person when its capable of surviving
Humanity is made `in the image of God' ­ Genesis 1:26
`Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a
prophet to the nations' ­ Jeremiah 1:5
God knows and plans every person even before they are born ­ to prevent this it would be a doing against
Roman Catholics believe that the killing of an unborn baby is morally wrong in all circumstances
They believe an unborn baby has the same rights to life as its mother
This applies even if the baby would be born handicapped
They try to encourage women to have their babies adopted if they cannot cope with bringing them up
Catholic attitudes are shared by some Evangelic Protestants ­ absolute mortality
Pro-life Roman Catholics justify abortion using the doctrine of double effect.
If doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect, it is right to do it providing the bad side-effect
was not intended.
The Anglican Church opposes abortion, but recognises there can be certain conditions when it would be
morally acceptable
The Methodist Church declared that abortion was always an evil
If the pregnancy is a result of rape; if the embryo is severely handicapped or the mother's health is at risk ­
abortion is allowed by the church
Methodists stress that it is important that the abortion takes place early as possible
Baptist Church teaches the need to `preserve human relationships with God, each other and the world' ­
they accept abortion may be the lesser of two evils
Salvation army shares the same views as the Baptist Church
The United Reformed Church recognises that there is a difference between a foetus that is almost ready to
be born and the early stages of pregnancy
A non-religious view is that a women should have the right to choose an abortion herself
Christian attitudes to fertility treatment
Fertility treatment is used when people want to have children but are unable to conceive naturally
Pregnancy is sometimes created using IVF ­ this involves fertilisation in a test tube
Artificial insemination is when sperm is collected and placed in the women's uterus
Fertility treatment does not always work and can be very expensive
Some Christians believe that fertility treatments should be encouraged because they bring happiness to
Life comes from God and therefore anything that creates life has to be good
`Be fruitful and increase in number' (Genesis 1:28)
Some Christians believe that it is wrong as God chooses whether people have babies or not
`Because the Lord had closed her womb' (1 Samuel 1:5)
It is wrong to bring a child into the world through any means other than sexual intercourse
Christians believe the IVF treatment is wrong as several eggs are fertilised at the same time to maximise
the chances of successful pregnancy ­ this creates spare embryos
Christians believe it is wrong to use embryos as spare as life begins at the moment of conception
Some people think babies are supposed to be born to heterosexual couples who are under the age of 50
People think it's unfair to bring a child into the world without thinking about the kind of life it will have in
these circumstances.

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