Medical Ethics

The Sanctity of Life

- Life is precious and a gift from God 

- Can be used to argue the point of christians 

- Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide 


- The intentional ending of a pregnancy 

- has to take place before 24 weeks 

- the two doctors have to agree it would prevent harm to womens health, life or existing family

-the man has no rights 

- Quotes like the sanctity of life and "thou shalt not murder" 

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Medical Ethics 2

Fertility Treatment 

- The medical treatment given to help people who want babies but cannot have them.

- Christians cannot agree about fertility treatment 

Roman Catholics

- Playing God 

- Infertile for a reason 

Church of England

- Ok, if they want babies allow them to have them 

- "Go forth and multiply" 

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Medical Ethics 3

Fertility Treatment 

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

- Put a healthy sperm and egg in a test tube 

- The embryos are then placed in the women 

- Christians are concerned what happens to spare embryos 

Donor sperm or eggs 

Christians believe this is being un faithful towards partner 

"Thou shalt not commit adultry" 

Also playing god 

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Medical Ethics 4

Euthanasia and suicide

-Christians believe that Euthanasia and Suicide are immoral 

- Quotes used to back this up: 

                      - Thou shalt not murder 

                      - Sanctity of Life 

                      - Body is a temple 

                      - made in gods image 

- The samaritans is an organisation set up in 1953 by Rev. Chad Varah a christian vicar to provide 24 hour telephone counciling for people who feel suicidal 

-Suicide- When someone ends their own life.

-Euthanasia- Good and easy death 

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Medical Ethics 5

Animal testing 

Roman catholics 

- Catholics believe that Animal testing is ok 

- would argue that we have "dominion" over all animals

- Not as important as humans so is ok to test if it improves human quality of life 

- Animals dont have a soul 

Church of England

- Ok if benefits humans medically 

- not ok if does not benefit humans medically eg make up testing 

- "Dominion" means looking after animals not testing 

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Peace & Justice

Attitudes to WAR

- Some christians believe that war is often the result of teh sin, the evil choices people made   in direct contradiction to the will of god 

- However some think that on occasion, it may still be necessary to fight in order to deal with   the greater evil rather than not 

-Many Christians believe that the rejection of war and violence is what Jesus spoke of in the  gospels, They believe in PACIFISM 

Just war theory

1) The war must be fought for a just cause eg defending a nation under attack 

2) There must be controlled violence. Every effort must be made to make sure as little               violence is used as possible 

3) A war can be fought if it is believed that a greater evil would exist if the war was avoided 

4) In order for a war to be just, it must be controlled by the politicians and not just                dominated by the military

5) The force used in the war should be proportional

6) Only the military must be involved in the fighting and should seek to avoid damage to      locals 

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Peace & Justice 2

Attitudes to violence

- "the lord is a warrior" 

-Some christians believe that violence can be justified at the national level if it is just

-Many believe that violence is wrong and should never take place 

- "Blessed are the peacemakers"

-"Whoever draws the sword, shall die by the sword" 

Attidudes to Pacifism

-Pacifism is the belief that peace should be the central value that people persue 

- Some christians only believe in NUCLEAR PACIFISM

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Peace & Justice 3

Quaker Approach to war

- Committed to PACIFISM 

- Conscientious objectors- They refuse to be involved in war 

Crime And Punishment

- Justice- Defined as "just behaviour or treatment" 

- Christians believe that all people are created in the "image" of god and so should be treated   with dignity and respect

- Some christians relate the idea of justice to the idea of love in action, making sure that all     are cared for and protected 

Aims of Punishment

- Revenge, Vindication and Reformation 

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Peace & Justice 4

Beliefs to the treatment of criminals 

- Elizibeth Fry was activally involved in improving prisions so that prisoners had access to good food, education and good treatment 

- Some christians have been involved in running religous servises in jail 

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Peace & Justice 5

Christians believe the parable of the sheep and the goats relate to prisoners

Attitudes towards capital punishment

  • some places believe that murder is a crime and should be punished by execution
  • although banned in the European Union it is still practised in many countries and
    some states such as Texas in the USA
  • Christians are divided over whether it should be used
  • some believe that the taking of a life is against the will of god and needs the ultimate
    Others say that it is impossible to have a completely foolproof conviction but execution
    cannot guarantee justice
  • some Christians are actively involved in the campaigning to stop capital punishment
    the use of capital punishment means someone is the executioner a job which is unacceptable in the eyes of Christians
  • the use of capital punishment can also mean the innocent are killed
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Peace & Justice 6

Social Justice and Injustice
-Social justice is the belief that people should be treated fairly and with respect in a society, that they all should have equal rights to housing, education and have the same human rights

  • injustice is where they may be denied those rights as a consequence of poverty or discrimination

Christians beliefs about justice in the world

  • many ways people can discriminate eg race,sex,religion,sexuality,wealth or class
    "god created man in his own image"
    "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ"
    Christian's point to sin
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Peace & Justice 7

  • great reforms in the UK such as the abolition of slavery
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Human relationships

Roles of men and women in a Christian family


  • man is dominant as was made first
    "lord god said, It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him" Genesis 2:18
  • Duties of men come first
  • in genesis eve was first to sin this shows women are weaker
  • in some versions of the Christian marriage the women says "to love, honour and obey"

-men and women are treated equally

  • Both made "in the image of God"
  • share child care and both go to work
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Human relationships 2

Role of women within the church family
-following the Old Testament about the superiority of men, St. Paul taught women
should be silent in church
-Roman Catholics believe that men are meant to be leaders as a result all popes are
-Catholics also don't permit women to become priests

  • however some Christians believe that Jesus wanted women to have equal rights due
    to him showing them respect and revieling himself to women first after the resurrection
  • with this in mind more modern Christians believe that men and women have equal rights
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Human relationships 3

Christian Marriage Ceremonies

  • vicar explains marriage was created by god and symbolises the relationship between Christ and the Church
  • Bride and Groom agree they are free to marry and choose each other
  • make vows (promises)
    exchange rings to symbolise marriage is never ending and for life
  • the marriage is blessed
    prayers for the couple and hymns
  • sign register. A legal document with 2 witnesses
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Human relationships 4

-couples may live apart but not divorce
-Marriage is a Sacrament and cannot be undone

  • cannot remarry unless widowed
    in very serious circumstances the marriage can be annulled

Church of England:

  • if it is a last resort the divorce is allowed
  • remarriage is allowed but it's up to the vicar to decide

Free churches eg Methodists:

  • divorce is acceptable. Love can die in a life time
    remarriage in the church is fine. Everyone deserves a second chance
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Human relationships 5

-Sex outside of marriage is considered adultery
-breaks 10 commandments: " thou shalt not commit adultery"
-many Christians believe sex is only appropriate between a Married couple
-homosexual relationships are also considered wrong
-many Christians believe god created sex for the purpose of having children
-" go forth and multiply"

  • others believe this is old fashioned and sex in a relationship is ok
  • no one night stands


  • most agree with contraception so long as both agree to it's use
  • however methods like the morning after pill are considered abortion
  • C of E say yes to abortion but Catholics say NO
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