Matters of life- Definitions, Issues and Beliefs

Matters of life- Definitions, Issues and Beliefs

HideShow resource information

Infertility solutions- KEY WORDS

Conception- when a baby is conceived i.e. made. This is once the egg and sperm have met and implanted into the woman's womb.

 

 

 

Fertilitity treatment- a scientific method of making  woman pregnant, that does not involve sex

1 of 14

IVF- Definition and issues

Invitro Fertilisation- a laboratory proceedure in which sperm are placed in a petri dish or test tube with an unfertilized egg to achieve fertilisation. The embryo can then be transferred to the woman's uterus to begin a pregnancy or cyro preserved (i.e. frozen) for future use.

Issues:

  • There could be a perception that the child is 'odd' or unnatural because of it's artificial conception
  • It doesn't always result in pregnancy
  • It is very expensive
  • It has a low success rate
  • It can be both physically and emotionally challenging- many woman receive counselling throughout the pregnancy
  • If a surrogate mother is used, they may not want to give up the baby
  • Increased chance of multiple births
2 of 14

Potential Buddhist Beliefs towards IVF

  • They do not mind whether conception takes place naturally or artificially
  • They believe in individual choice- if you want it, you can have it
  • Some Buddhists are concerned about the possible harm to embryos
  • The teaching of Metta suggests that we should do all we can to helpa childless couple have children as it would be the most loving thing to do
  • The Sanctity of life suggests that because life is a special gift, you should not try and create it yourself, otherwise it won't be so special
  • It could be seen as a skilful action to help a 'suffering' couple have children
  • Karma suggests that you should live the fact that you can't have children- it's the result of your own actions in the past and it part of life that you should live with
3 of 14

Potential Christian views towards IVF

  • Most Roman Catholics believe that we should not mess with God's plans- if you can't have children, that's God plan for you and you should accept it
  • IVF is allowed by Protestants within the framework of family
  • God gives life and God takes it away suggests that if you can't have children, God has chosen that- you shouldn't take matters into your own hands, because that would be playing God
  • Love you neighbour as youself suggests that we should do everything we can to help the couple, as you'd hope that you would be helped if in their situation
4 of 14

AIH- Definitions and Issues

Artificial Insemination by Husband- here the husband's sperm is collected (through masturbation) and artificially placed inside the woman's body to give her the opportunity to conceive.

Issues:

  • The child may be perceived as 'odd' or unnatural due to their artificial conception
  • There is a higher chance of multiple births- what if the couple don't want this?
  • Some people question how we decide who can or can't have children. What happens if the couple don't have much money or live a dangerous lifestyle?
5 of 14

AID- Definition and Issues

Artificial Insemination by Husband- sperm is collected by a donor (usually anonymously) by masturbation and then artificially placed inside the woman's body to give her the opportunity to conceive.

Issues:

  • The child may become upset to learn that their parent is not their biological father
  • Some people may feel concerned about introducing a third party into the relationship, and some may even see this as cheating on their partner
  • The father may feel a failure if he has been unable to conceive successfully without help
  • Some people question "Who should donate?"- what happens if the child is super intelligent, and the parents aren't so- would they cope?
  • Some people wonder if it is right for gay people to have children. If it was, surely nature would have made htis possible?
  • There's a higher chance of multiple births- what happens if the couple don't want this?
6 of 14

Potential Buddhist attitudes towards AID and AIH

  • The teaching of Metta suggests that we should do all we can to helpa childless couple have children as it would be the most loving thing to do
  • They do not mind whether conception takes place naturally or artificially
  • They believe in individual choice- if you want it, you can have it
  • Karma suggests that you should live the fact that you can't have children- it's the result of your own actions in the past and it part of life that you should live with
  • One of the 5th Precepts says that you should not engage in sexual activity that harms others. This suggests that people should not commit adultery. However, some people perceive AID as adultery, and so a Buddhist could be against it
7 of 14

Potential Christian attitudes towards AID and AIH

  • Roman Catholics are mainly opposed it them because conception is down to the choice of God and they also involve unnatural sexual acts such as masturbation which they believe is wrong
  • There are concerns for AID that two children from the same donor could meet and end up marrying. If they were to have children, they could be disabled- if this fair on the couple or the new baby?
  • Many Christians may be against the use of them for gay couples as it is not a natural process
  • Some Christians are less happy with AID as it can be interpreted as adultery
  • Most Protestants allow AIH within the framework of family
8 of 14

Surrogacy- Definition and issues

Surrogacy- when a woman becomes pregnant (usually by Artificial iinsemination by the recipient's husband) and carries the child for someone else for whom the baby is given once born. This is traditional surrogacy, although there are also two types of host surrogacy. It is not a form of fertility treatment.

It is an arrangement where by a woman gives birth to a baby for another woman who is unable to have a child.

Issues:

  • Law states that the surrogate is legally the mother until the intended parents formally adopt the baby for parental rights. Until then, the surrogate may refuse to give up the baby
  • It could give couples false hope as it is only around 20% effective
  • The relationship between the couple may be affected as the intended father may grow close to the surrogate while he grows his baby, causing the wife to feel jealous etc
  • The surrogate has to put her body through a lot
  • The child may be upset to find that her parent is not her biological mother
9 of 14

Potential Buddhist attitudes towards surrogacy

  • Karuna suggests that we should help the intended parents and prevent their suffering. Surrogacy could be seen as an opportunity to do this, and so it may be supported by Buddhists
  • Buddhists may believe that surrogacy is a skilful action because the intention to help someone is good
  • On the other hand, it could be seen as an unskilful action. A buddhist may believe that the motive is selfish, especially as the surrogate has to go through so much stress, and pain, continuously for 9 months. It's not fair for them to be under so much pressure for the pregnancy to be a success
  • Buddhists may also support it as it could be seen as a good opporunity to gain good karma by helping others, which will positively affect you in not only this life, but the next too
10 of 14

Potential Christian attitudes towards surrogacy

  • The belief that God is loving and compassionate suggests that God wants the best for us, and so would support the use of surrogacy to help the couple, otherwise He wouldn't have made it possible for us to use this method to help a couple have a child
  • Some Christians believe that we should not mess with God's plan- God has a plan and obviously he has choosen for you not have have children, and so you should accept it and get on with your lives. You could argue that this teaching suggests that we should not do anything, as it might not be God's plan e.g. was it God's plan for me to drink a cup of tea?
11 of 14

Embryology- Benefits, issues and definition

This is a form of human genetic engineering.

Embryology- when embryos are used to test new medical advances. Following the research, embryos must be disposed of after 14 days by law.

Benefits of embryology:

  • Could improve treatments for disease
  • Huge advances have already been made and now cancers are being treated, whereas before, people were dying

Issueds with embryology:

  • It is against the sanctity of life- you can't be treating a life that well if you're tesing on it
  • Embryos have the right to be treated respectively
  • We do not have the right to destroy the life of an embryo
  • Embryos should not specifically be produced for research
  • The destruction of the embryos after 14 days can be seen as murder
12 of 14

Potential Buddhist views towards embryology

  • The majority of Buddhists believe that life starts are conception i.e. when the egg and sperm meet. Buddhism teaches that an individual life starts here with the karmic energy of a deceased individual. Many believe that they are therefore entitled to the same moral respect as an adult human life.
  • One of the 5 Precepts states that you should not harm living things, and another says that you should not take what isn't given. Embryology could go against both of these Precepts. By destroying the embryos, you could be harming a living thing. Also, the lives of embryos are being taken away by scientists after 14 days.
  • Many Buddhists believe that life is a special gift that should be valued at all costs. However, embryology could be going against this teaching, as the life of the embryos are not be preserved and valued because they are being destroyed after a certain amount of days. They could therefore be against it.
  • Skilful and unskilful actions- this could be seen as a skilful action as the intention is good because the motive is to find out how to save millions of lives, and the use of embryos during embryology is helping with this.
13 of 14

Potential Christian views towards Embryology

  • One of the 10 Commandments teaches that we should not murder. However the belief that life begins at conception suggests that individuals are being murdered due to the destruction of embryos after 14 days. They could therefore oppose embryology.
  • Some Christians may feel that scientists have no right to end the embryos' lives, as God take life and God takes it away.
  • God has a plan- there are two ways in which this could be argued. A Christian could be against embryology because the life that is created has a plan made by God. However, by destroying the embryos after 14 days, you are cutting their lives very short, and not allowing them to follow the plan made by God. On the other hand, a Christian could argue that it's God's plan for these embryos to be destroyed- He has given us the ability to use embryology, and if He didn't want us to use it, He wouldn't give us the power to do so.
14 of 14

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Life and death resources »