Medical Ethics- Christianity

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  • Created by: natv
  • Created on: 14-05-16 10:26

Attitudes to Abortion

Roman Catholic View:

  • Catholics believe in pro-life and therefore are strongly against abortion.
  • They believe it is equivalent to murder as they think that life begins at conception so they would treat the embryo as a human. Therefore, as it states in the Ten Commandments that 'You shall not murder', they believe abortion is a grave sin.
  • They also believe in the Sanctity of Life and Imago Dei principles, considering that all human life is sacred and should not be destroyed and we are created in the image of god and part of His plan.
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Attitudes to Abortion (Continued)

Church of England View:

  • The Church of England also thinks that abortion is wrong as they believe in the Sanctity of Life principle and live by the Ten Commandment's rule- 'You shall not murder'.
  • In spite of this, they think that it is sometimes acceptable as Jesus taught us to be loving and compassionate so if giving birth to the child will risk the mothers physical or mental health, abortion is though to be the 'lesser of two evils'.
  • They believe in pro-choice and therefore would accept and respect the mother's decision.
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Views on Fertility Treatment

Roman Catholic Approach:

  • They believe that all forms of fertitility treatment are wrong because they contradict the idea that life is seen as a gift from God (Imago Dei principle). Only God has the right to decide when a human life begins and ends so by using fertility treatment we are playing the part of
  • They also think that AID (Artificial Insemination by Donor) is wrong because it violates the Sanctity of Marriage principle, which states that the relationship is exclusive, because a donor is involved.
  • Furthermore, the fact that 'spare' embryos are destroyed when no longer needed is wrong because it completely goes against the Sanctity of Life principle and the Ten Commandments ('You shall not murder').
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Views on Fertility Treatment (Continued)

Church of England approach:

  • They permit fertility treatment because they believe that children are a blessing from God and that fertility methods are the most loving action for married couples who cannot conceive naturally. 
  • God gave us the scientific resources to achieve it so we must use them. If he didnt want us to use fertility treatment, he wouldnt have given us the knowledge to do it.
  • God told us to 'Go forth and multiply' and fertility methods help us to fulfill this.
  • God gave us free will, we have a choice whether to use fertility treatment or not. 
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Types of Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia

  • The person's death is brought by an act- someone else will directly and deliberately cause the patients death (e.g. they will be given an overdose of drugs so they die).

Passive Euthanasia

  • The death is brought by omission- someone allows the person to die (e.g. withdrawing or withholding treatment).

Voluntary, Non-Voluntary and Involuntary

  • Voluntary is when someone asks to be allowed to die (e.g. they decide to refuse treatment). Non-Voluntary is when the patient is unable to be consulted (e.g. an intensive care patient has their medical support withdrawn). Involuntary is when the person chooses life but is killed anyway (e.g. Medical decision to not give the person treatment).
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Attitudes to Euthanasia

Roman Catholic View:

  • They are against all forms of euthanasia as they believe that God should be the one to decide when we die. 
  • 'Ordinary' treatments, such as feeding the patient, must always continue. However, 'extraordinary' treatments, such as a risky operation, should not be given.
  • In spite of this, they do believe in the 'Law of Double-Effect' so pain-relieving drugs with may have a side-effect of shortening the persons life, are acceptable as the main aim is to relieve the pain and not deliberately kill the person.
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Attitudes to Euthanasia (Continued)

Church of England View:

  • They believe in the Sanctity of Life principle and the fact that God decides when we are born and when we die, therefore disagreeing with Euthanasia. 
  • They think that instead of allowing the person to die, they should make them feel important in society and respect them, giving them support so they do not feel like they must turn to Euthanasia. 
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