Religion and Medical Ethics, OCR GCSE Short Course Notes

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Religion and Medical Ethics.
Abortion
"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. You are of more value than many
sparrows." - Luke 12:17
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." ­ Jeremiah 1:5
Phrase Definition
Moment of conception When the sperm meets the egg
Foetus The name given to the embryo after
about 10/11 weeks of pregnancy
Embryo Name for a newly conceived potential
baby in the first few weeks of its life
Quickening When the foetus begins to kick (about
3-4 months into pregnancy)
Ensoulment A religious view of when the soul enters
the person ­ for Catholics, this is the
moment of conception
Time when the embryo's heart starts 18 days
beating
Inviolable Cannot be violated
Viability 24 weeks according to the law ­ the
age the foetus could potentially
survive independently outside the
womb.
Roman Catholic View
Abortion is never right ­ apart from the law of double-effect; acceptable if the
mother had cancer of the ovaries, and termination was an effect of radiotherapy.
= A LIFE TAKEN TO SAVE ANOTHER.
C of E & Methodist View
Abortion if raped, mother's life/health is threatened or when the child could be
seriously handicapped is seen as acceptable.
The Bible teaches...
Abortion = never directly referred to in the Bible.
`Do Not Murder' ­ commandment = assumption the foetus is considered a person.

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Religion and Medical Ethics.
Fertility Treatment
"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." ­ Job 1:21
"The Lord had closed her womb." ­ 1 Samuel 1:5
Is it right?...
Yes No
"Go forth and multiply" - Genesis God's will: "Children are a gift, not a
right."
Sex ­ for procreation Adultery? - "Do not commit adultery."
Exodus 20:14
Purpose of marriage = children Playing God?
Is science a gift from God? "The Lord had closed her womb.…read more

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Religion and Medical Ethics.
May be better than growing up in a Not natural
separated family
Euthanasia
Definition = literally `a good death'
"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away." - Job 1:21
Active Euthanasia = a person directly and deliberately causes the patient's
death.
Passive Euthanasia = life is not directly took; they are just allowed to die.
- Withdrawing Treatment = e.g. switching off a machine which is keeping a
person alive.
- Withholding Treatment = e.g.…read more

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Religion and Medical Ethics.
Suicide
"Suicide is not chosen ­ it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with
pain."
"Even as he who kills another's slave, sins against that slave's master." ­ St
Thomas Aquinas
"No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself." ­ John 10:18
Philosophers' Views ­ Aquinas & Augustine
Against For
Bible: suicide = murder.…read more

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Religion and Medical Ethics.
- Christians take a more compassionate view of suicide today.
Animal Testing
"So God created man in his own image." ­ Genesis 1:27
"You are of more value than many sparrows." ­ Luke 12:17
Intrinsic Value = it has value just because it exists.
Ahisma = the belief that animals should never suffer.
Instrumental Value = what gives it value is what we can get from it.…read more

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