Abortion is when a foetus is removed prematurely from the womb before it is able to survive.
- Legally take place before the 24th week
- Consider the quality of life of mother & unborn child & any pre-existing children
There are complicated arguments for and against abortion.
- 'Pro choice'- Woman has right to decide (foetus considered part of woman)
- Is foetus part of mother?- genetically different
- Against but certain circumstances it is permitted- eithers health is at risk, **** or mother is too young to cope
- When does life begin? Conception? (Roman Catholic Church) Or at birth?
- Is the foetus an actual person or a potential person?
Abortion and Christianity
Many Christians see abortion as undesirable.
- Roman Catholic Church say its murder
"Abortion is considered to be murder since the first centuries of the Church, and nothing permits it to be considered otherwise."- Pope Paul VI (Leader of the Roman Catholic Church, 1970)
- The Church of England say its permissable in certain circumstances
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)- say the life of the unborn child cannot be valued above the womans
- Allowing a woman to chose- Christian compassion
The 'Sancity of Life' argument
- Created in image of God & given life
- Do not have the right to interfer
"You shall not murder."- Exodus 20:13
Infertility means an inability to conceive a child.
- Artificial insemination by the husband (AIH)- sperm from the husband is injected into the wife's womb
- Artifical insemination by Donor (AID)- sperm from a sperm bank is used
- In Vitro fertilisation (IVF)- eggs are fertilised in a test tube and 1 or 2 are implanted in the mother's womb
- Egg donation- where an egg from a diferent woman is used
- Cloning- a possible future technique for creating children genetically identical to one parent
Fertility Treatment and Christianity
Christianity sees Children as a blessing from God.
- Most Churches- its okay for science to help childless couples- as long as no one else is involved in the process
- So AIH is permissable- blessed with a child, sancity of marriage isn't interfered with.- Roman Catholics aren't keen- unnatural sex act
- If AIH fails- adoption
- Some Christians- IVF is appropriate
- AID & egg donation- less favourable- third party
- Roman Catholic church opposes IVF in all forms- created spare embryos that are destroyed. Catholics- life begins at fertilisation- embryos have rights
- Many Christians opose cloning- attempt to play God, many foetuses will die & meant to be unique
Euthanasia & Suicide
Euthanasia means killing someone painlessly to relieve suffering, especially from an incurable illness. It is often called mercy killing.
- Voluntary euthanasia- actively requests assistance to die or refuses treatment
- Involuntary euthanasia- person is unable to make request & decision is made by others
Suicide is when someone takes their own life- usually because of depression or illness.
- Used to be a crime- but now seen as a sign they need help
- Assisted suicide- when a doctor provides someone the means to end their own life
Euthanasia & Suicide
Euthanasia & assisted suicide is illegal in the UK.
- Double effect- doctors prescribe an excess of pain killers- ease suffering but lead to death- legal as long as the intention was to relieve pain
- Concern- elderly people may feel under pressure to end their lfie
- Charity 'Dignity in Dying' wants it legalised- survey said 80% were in favour of letting terminally ill patients die with doctors assistance
Euthanasia & Suicide and Chrisianity
"Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit."
- God lives within us
- Sacred gift- seen as wrong by many christians
- However sime argue- Jesus resurrection proves death is not the end- earthly life isn't always the most important thing
- Roman Catholics- strongly oppose- grave violation of the law of God
- Roman Catholics- suicide is a grave sin- aren't given a Christian burial
- However some Christians point out passages in the bible describe suicide & don't call it a sin
- Many Christians- euthanisia is a demonstration of Christian compassion
- Anglican denominations- distress should not be suffered at all costs & death may be a blessing- quality of life should be considered
- Local Churches often have links with hospices
Using Animals in Medical Research
Christianity says animals come below people.
- Major issues for Christians- do animals have souls?
- Many believe they don't- God created us as superior to them- here for our use
"Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moved on the ground."- Genesis 1:28
- Teaches- treat animals with kindness but they can be used to benefit mankind
- Excessive money shouldn't be wasted on animals when humans are suffering
- Roman Catholic Church says animal experimentation is allowable
"remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives."
- Some campaign for great compassion- 'Catholic Concern for Animals'
- Some argue- our treatment of animals reflects on us
- Church of England teaches- medical & technological use of animals should be monitored in 'light of the ethical principles'.