R.E - religion and medical ethics- hinduism


Fertility Treatment


Animals in medical research

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  • Created by: HENAL
  • Created on: 07-06-09 19:45


In India 80% of population is Hindu. Abortions are legal in India as long as they are caried out in a government clinic.About 5000000 abortions take place in India each year.

Abortions are supported by some Hindu's because:

  • They end unwanted pregnancies
  • Are a method of birth control

Most Hindu's oppose abortions because:

  • Marrying and having a baby is part of the duty for a Hindu
  • It goes against the teachings about Ahimsa (Non-Violence)
  • Hindu's believe that all life is holy
  • Hindu's believe that all life comes from God
  • Hindu's believe that we are all part of God
  • It goes against the teachings from the holy books
  • It stops the atman(soul) from being reborn into another body
  • Terminating a pregnancy brings bad karma
  • Humans should not interfere with natural processes
  • All life comes from God, so all life is special.
  • The bad karma received from an abortion to save a mothers life is low when compared to the greater karma gained if there is no good reasons for an abortion.
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Fertility treatment

Family life is important so some Hindu's favour fertility treatment. They are anxious to have a son who will carry out the right ceremonies when they die so their atman leaves the body and finds a new body and doesn't return to trouble the family.

If a couple can't conceive a baby, under Hindu laws they can divorce. A barren woman is pitied in a Hindu society. It is part of life for a man to have many children before he reaches old age and then once they have grown up and left he is free to die.

Some Hindu couples are happy to use IVF or AIH (or other fertility treatments) to conceive a baby.AID (insemination by donor) is a problem as the child would not know who the father was. Especially as the father may not have been from the same caste, even if the caste system has been made illegal for about 50 years it is important in rural places in India.

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Ahimsa (non-violence) is believe by some Hindus. Therefore, Euthanasia, violence against one would not be accepted.

As some believe that the soul survives death they accept euthanasia as it could speed up the soul's entry into another body.

Willed death where someone refuses to eat and drink is also somethings admired, if at old age.

However, others argue that it is wrong to take life. Suffering is because of past karma. By dying at the right time is the way to wipe away sins. If death hastened bad karma would follow the soul.

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Animals in medical research

Law of Manu, holy book, expresses that all life is sacred. Therefore, all form of life should be treated equally.

Most Hindu's are vegetarian.

Some hindu's oppose using animals in medical research for use such as cosmetic testing and anything that may place the animal under undue pain.

Others argue that it could be acceptable if there is no other alternative.

Some believe that human life is more important than animal life.

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