Medical Ethics


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Christian attitudes towards abortion...

Christians believe life is sacred 

Some Christians believe that abortion is wrong as they say life begins at conception

Every human has the right to life

Jesus died for every human being even the unborn child

Some types of Christians believe that abortion is wrong but can be the lesser of two evils in some circumstances

They might not believe that life begins at conception

They may want to act on the basis of agapae ("love your neighbour") and abortion could be the most loving option

They would use the powers of reason and weight up the circumstances to make a decision.

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Fertility treatment...

Various types include; use of drgs, artifical insemination of sperm by either the partner/donor, use of a donated egg, IVF (takes place outside the womb and then planted into the mother)

There could be problems legitimising a child born by IVF of surrogacy

Most Christians feel compassion for childless couples when thinking about issues of fertility and in theory Roman Catholics think it is acceptable to help a couple have a child However they do not accept fertility if a third partney (donor) is involved.

Church of England accepts a wider range of fertility treatment

They may agree with the law which says it is acceptable to keep "spare" embryos created, to be tsted on for 12 days.

Many Christians would worry fertility treatment is playing God

Also they may worry the emphasis on perfection leads to discrimination.

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Euthanasia and Suicide...

Roman Catholics used to say suicide was wrong. It was a mortal sin (the person would go to hell). More recently they have stated they only God knows what state they are in so it is up to God what happens to them.

Christians tend to think suicide is wrong as God created peopl and Jesus' death saved people. BUT many christians try to understand why some people may want to do it and feel love for them.

Euthanasia- gentle death, ending the life of a terminally ill person. This can be done at their wish (voluntary) or switching of a life support machine (non-voluntary)

Active euthanasia- giving treatment such as an injection (illegal in this country)                             Passive- taking away a feeding tube- (legal)

Christians believe Active euthanasia is wrong as life is sacrd, God has power over our lives and it is wrong to kill.

The Church of England accept it depending on the circumstances it may be cruel to keep someone alie if they will soon die naturally.

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Use of animals in medical research...

According to Genesis people are given power over animals

This means they can use them for a purpose which may include food

However, it also means we have responsibility to care for and respect animals

Most Christians believe that animals do not have souls

Humans are created in Gods image and have God like qualities that animals do not have

Most Christians accept animals to be used for medical research but not accpet cosmetic testing.

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