Religion and Matters of Life

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Religious Teachings


  • Muslims should donate and care for others as they may save lives
  • Saving one lfe may lead to saving hundreds of lives as the original person has children, granchildren etc

The Ten Commandments- Do Not Kill:

  • Wrong to kill embryos as they are alive
  • IVF is wrong as embryo is outside womb

Buddhist First Precept:

  • Embryos are alive- shouldnt be killed
  • IVF is wrong as embryos are binned

God's Plan:

  • Against IVF- Only God can create embryos
  • Using IVF is ruining God's plan for your life
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Religious Teachings & Views

Hannah's womb:

  • God decided that Hannah wouldnt have children, so closed her womb
  • Shouldnt try IVF as this is against God's will

Religious Beliefs:

  • Protestants: God gave humans the intelligence to develop IVF, so we should use it
  • Judaism: Their duty to have children- agree completely
  • Hinduism: Agree as it is not the parent's fault 
  • Buddhism: Agree completely
  • Islam & Sikhism: Agree only if the embryo is made from both the mother's egg and father's sperm, otherwise it is adultery
  • Catholics: IVF is wrong
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Fertility Treatments

Artifical Insemination:

  • Mans's sperm (from donor-AID or hudband-AIH) is injected into a woman's womb to create a child
  • Embryo is made inside the womb, not outside
  • Muslims & Sikhs agree with AIH but not AID as the donor is not married to the woman


  • Egg and sperm are mixed in a dish in a lab, then implanted into the woman's womb
  • Only free first time treatment with NHS up to age 42 as success rates drop after this
  • In Favour:
    • Help infertile couples have children
    • Can avoid birth defects and inherited dieseases & help scientists prevent future diseases
  • Against:
    • Taking extra hormones may be dangerous
    • Multiple embryos can lead to miscarriages & birth defects
    • Expensive & money could be spent elsewhere
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  • A woman's eggs are fertilised artificially by sperm, then the embryo is implanted into another womanas the original mother's womb doesnt work
  • Traditional: Eggs come from surrogate mother
  • Gestational: Surrogate mother has no biological tie to embryo
  • Some women may be infertile, too old or not want to change their body through pregnancy
  • The surrogate mother is the legal mother until parental rights are transferred
  • Risk of losing the child
  • Surrogate mother can become attatched to child- right of childcare decided in court
  • High percentage of birth defects
  • Muslims, Sikhs & Cathlics disagree as there is a third party involved
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Saviour Siblings & Blood Transfusions

Saviour Siblings:

  • Child concieved through IVF as a potential donor of ograns or cells for an existing sibling
  • Can save the life of the existing sibling as they are more likely to be a match
  • Usually no harm comes to donor unless donating organs
  • Original child can be saved or reduce their suffering
  • Saviour sibling may feel used & not be able to give consent
  • Christians disagree- God's Plan

Blood transfusions:

  • Taking blood from a healthy donor and giving to someone with the same blood type
  • Each donation can save up to 3 lives
  • Treats medical conditions (cancer, anaemia), replaces blood loss (surgery, childbirth) and improves quality of life 
  • Jehovah's witnesses disagree- believe that a person's soul is carried in their blood
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Designer Babies & Transplant Surgery

Designer Babies:

  • Embryo's characteristics and gender cna be chosen by the parents
  • Can avoid genetic diseases or faulty genes- improves quality of life
  • Choosing charactistics is playing God
  • Technogy could harm embryo/ mother and can affect the gene pool
  • Illegal in UK
  • Christians accept only if avoiding genetic diseases, not for superficial purposes

Transplant Surgery:

  • Organs removed from a donor and placed into the body of another to save or improve their life
  • Organs have to be transplanted on the same day or will deteriorate
  • Muslims & Jews forbid mutilating the body after death
  • Christians agree as can help people
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Human Experimentation & Cloning

Human Experimentation:

  • Experiments done to a single or group of poeple to learn how a substance will affect them
  • Done to check for dangerous side effects over many years
  • Test subjects can be seriously harmed- causing cancers, amputations etc, however cannot sue company
  • Hindus disagree 
  • Christians agree only if lives can be improved

Human Cloning:

  • Therapeutic:
    • Clones stem cells to treat disorders & increase life span
    • Can develop tumors and some believe that it is playing God
  • Reproductive:
    • Creating a genetic clone of a human or animal
    • Helps infertile parents have children
    • Enhances aging process, can create lack of diversity
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