Religion and Medical Ethics

HideShow resource information



  • don't accept it 
  • Although do if:
    • if it is a risk to the mothers life
    • contraception from ****
    • baby born severely disabled


  • against "abortion on demand"

Roman Catholic:

  • believe life is sacred and should be treated with respect
  • are againt it
  • seen as a sin as the foetus has rights 
1 of 9

Fertility Treatment Views

  • Roman Catholic:
  • surrogacy is NEVER acceptable
  • embryos are not disposable commodities 
  • AI and IVF is acceptable if no spare embryos are created 
  • Methodist:
  • it is right to research the causes of infertility and look for cures
  • okay to create spare embryos
  • against the concept of using a donor sperm or eggs 
  • Anglican:
  • surrogacy is NEVER acceptable 
  • IVF, AID and AIH are acceptable
  • fine to create spae embryos

All Christians would encourage adoption, "love thy neighbour" 

2 of 9

Types of Fertility Treatment

  • Surrogacy
  • womb leasing, can't carry the baby
  • AID (artificial insemination by donor)
  • donors sperm is chosen and inserted into females womb
  • AIH (artificial insemination by husband)
  • husbands sperm and inserted into females womb
  • IVF (in virto fertilisation)
  • test tube babies
  • ovum (egg) and sperm in lab
  • inserted into womb
  • Egg Donation
  • woman donates egg to another couple 
  • fertilised with semen and transferred to wife's womb
  • Embryo Donation
  • ovum is fertilised by semen from donor
  • everything is donated 
3 of 9


  • Roman Catholics:
    • unacceptable
    • all life is sacred
    • God is the giver of life and created human life
    • every life has a purpose
    • God decides when life begins and ends
    • individuality is given by God
  • Anglican:
    • unlawful by Human Fertilisation
    • theraputic cloning is ethical
  • genetic engineering
  • Concerns: unnatural, clone is not the same, freedom and individuality, rights
  • theraputic cloning (or embryo cloning) - tissues are created not babies
  • DNA cloning - multiple identical copies are made of a DNA sequence
  • reproductive cloning - produce an animal that has the same DNA as the other animal 
4 of 9


  • Roman Catholic:
    • don't bury people who have died as suicide is in the church grounds
    • life or death matters
    • not to murder
    • regarded as an act of disobedience
  • Anglican:
    • accept those that commit suicide and their families should not be condemned 
    • affected by pyschological factors
  • samaritans
  • sanctity of life
  • accept suicide is a dissatisfaction - agape
  • accounts for over 1/5 of all deaths of young people
  • Christians accept that suicide is not a deliberate rejection of life
5 of 9


  • Passive Euthanasia: - decision is made to give no more life, saving medical intervention to a patient - turn off life support, can't carry out resuscitation
  • Active Euthanasia: - medical staff take deliberate action to end the life of a patient 
  • The Doctrine of Double Effect: - if an action is good but the effect and outcome is gying, it is legal, you've had the right intention, to do good. 
  • Voluntary Euthanasia: - person wants to die and asks for help to do so, refuses medical treatment, refuses to eat, deciding to die
  • Involuntary Euthanasia: - the person wants to live but is killed anyway, usually murder but not always, put out of suffering with no equipment 
  • Non-voluntary Euthanasia: - person is incapable of making their wishes known, in a coma, too young, is senile, mentally retarded to a severe extent 
  • Stewardship = responsibilty to take care of all life
  • Ouantity of life = have an alloted number of days by God, how much time
  • Quality of life = how you live your life 
6 of 9

Euthanasia Views

  • Anglican:
  • it is important as a guiding principle that it upholds the sanctity of life
  • doctors aren't seen to have an over-riding obligation to prolong life by all available means
  • don't want to see others suffer 
  • "treat others as you would like them to treat you" - look at suffering person themselves 
  • Catholic:
  • individuals need to accept the reality of death and prepare for it
  • any action that intends to cause death as a relief of suffering is a "violation of the law of God"
  • Sanctity of life as all life is God given
  • don't believe in taking other peoples lives even if they don't want to die
  • God gave man "dominion over every living thing" - shouldnt kill/harm it even if it is suffering
  • The Hospice Movement = against, The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats teach Christians they have a responsibilty towards the sick. They believe that helping the sick is like helping Jesus.
  • Provides an alternative for people who are terminally ill 
7 of 9

Using Animals in Medical Research

  • Vivisection:the experimentation on animals for research and making sure the products are safe
  • Laboratoty Tools: animals have painful experiments in laboratories across the world, given electric shocks, injected with disease, experimented with drugs, toxic chemicals or radiation. no anaesthetic is used
  • Medical Research: experiments on animals for medical research are 71% unreliable - some products have passed animal tests but are unsafe on humans
  • Product Testing: nearly all household and cosmetic products are tested on animals
8 of 9

Using Animals in Medical Research Views

  • Christian Views:
    • animals are sacred - humans should show thoughts for all life, although, animals have no soul
    • humans have "dominion" over animals, animals should not be abused 
    • Christians believe that stewardship will be held to account for how they have acted 
    • Although, they believe that the use of animals for medical research is sometimes necessary 
  • Roman Catholics:
    • experiments are acceptable if they are reasonable to improve the quality of health or save lives
    • acceptable to use animals for clothins and food 
    • people shouldn't give lots of care and attention when humans are suffering from starvation in other countries
9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Abortion resources »