Religious Attitudes to Matters of Life

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 25-03-13 15:35


In vitro fertilisation- IVF 
A scientific method of making a woman pregnant, which does not involve sex. Conception occurs via sperm and egg being placed in a test tube.  

Artificial Insemination; 
Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH)- when a woman is made pregnant by her husband's sperm, but not by having sexuall relations with  him.

Artificial Insemination by Donor (AID)- when a woman is made pregnant by the sperm of a man other than her partner, but not by having sexual relations with him. 

Surrocacy; a woman who bears a child on behalf of a couple unable to have a child, either by artificial insemination from the man or implantation of an embryo from the woman

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Should we use Artificial Insemination?

Roman Catholics: AGAINST. 

  • No third parties.
  • Masturbation is a sin (spilling God's seed.)
  • Conception should take place in the womb; 'You knit me together in my mother's womb'.
  • Sex is a gift to a married couple. 


  • Conception should take place in the mother's womb.
  • It's a loving act; 'love thy neighbour.' 


  • AIH is allowed, as medical science is given as a gift from Allah- this may be how Allah blesses the couple. 
  • Children are certainly wanted, so it's good. 
  • If they believe that life begins after ensoulment (120 days) then IVF is acceptable as wasted embroys aren't alive.
  • AID is seen as adultery, and therefore wrong.
  • Believe that these processes could be seen as playing God. 
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The Issue with Surrogacy


The befenfits of Surrogacy inclued a wanted child. 
Brings happiness and is a loving act.
It's LEGAL in the UK.


Roman Catholics believe social problems arise;
Who is the parent? Will the child want to seek their genetic mother?
Emotional attatment can cause complications.
Potential damage of the surrogates health.
Parent's unsure about the lifestyle of the surrogate.
If the surrogate's egg is used, they may chose to keep the child.

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Transplant Surgery

When someone elses organs are put into another patient. 
Taken from a donor, shortly after they are announced brain dead. 
Kidney and bone marrow donations can be taken from a live donor. 


  • Many Muslims believe it is acceptable, because it is a act of love and kindess and potentially saves a humans life. 'Whoever saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all men.' 
  • It is against Muslim laww to mulitate a human body, forbidding any after death donations.


  • Only God can choose when someone dies, interferring can be seen as a sin. 'I and I alone am God, I give and take life.'
  • 'Love thy neighbour'. Loving act.

    FOR; prevent suffering, saves lifes, healthy organs aren't wasted.
    AGAINST; donor may change mind, disrespect to mutilate a dead body 


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Blood Transfusions


  • Some Christians may agree with this statement as giving blood is seen as a helpful acty of kindness- inkeeping with 'love thy neighbour'. 
  • Prevents suffering!


  •  Many Jehovah Witnesses would disagree with this statment because they believe it is a gross sin to accept blood transfusions because their bible states 'abstain from blood.' 
  • Other people may dislike the idea of not being whole and feel incomplete in the after life. 


  • Understand the medical advancments available if all humans gave blood. 
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Human Genetic Engineering

HGE: The modfication of gene make to change the features of a human being. 
Embryology:The sudy of human embryos. 


  • Improve quality of life by avoiding diseases and disability. 
  • Improve medical science. 
  • Wipe of diseases. 
  • Reduce medical costs. 


  • Can be seen as playing God. 
  • Going against God's plan.
  • Everyone would be the same, subract uniqueness. 
  • Talents would be unimpressive as they are incorperated into their genes. 
  • Disadvantages the poor, only the rich would be able to afford disease free super babies. 
  • Certain unpopular characteristics would become extinct. 
  • Increase social heirachy- create two seperate social classes. 
  • Increase the risk of designer babies, which is ILLEGAL. 


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Religious Views of Genetic Engineering

Many CHRISTIANS oppose genetic engineering as it devalues life.
It is against the teachings of God for scientists to take on the role of creator 'I and I alone am God, I give and I take life'.
Many Roman Catholics believe that experimenting on and disposing of living embryos is murder. 'Thou shall not kill'.

However, other CHRISTIANS are in favour of genetic engineering because the positive aspects of helping each other and eradicating disease are truly loving. 'Love thy neighbour'. They believe God-given 
intelligence and creativity should be developed and used postively.  

The Muslims that believe that life begins are conception would also be concerned with the disposal of unwanted embryos. However there is some debate as to when life begins; some believe it begins after 120 days, when ensoloment takes place. Allah has given us skills to help others, and the development of genetic and embryo technology is an extention of this. 

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Cloning is the exact copy of DNA to make a replica plant or animal. 
REPRODUCTIVE CLONING(legal in plants and humans, however illegal in humans); is the cloning of a whole organism.
THERAPUTIC CLONING(currently legal, however concerns it may lead to more serious cloning); clones only the stem cells. These stem cells can reproduce biolocally accurate material to produce embryos.

CHRISTIAN VIEWS- no single view, but most consider it unacceptable. 

  • Roman catholics think that cloning is a threat to the individuality which God has given us.
  • Ambiguous treatment- how would they be treated by society? Do they have a soul? Would they be considered a lower class human being? 
  • It is seen as playing God. 'I and I alone am God, I give and take life'. 
  • Anglicans believe that to make a genetic copy of an existing human violates the dignity and uniqueness of a person made in God's image.
    'So God made man in his image.' 
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Cloning continued.

  • Theraputic cloning might be necessary if it leads to cures for life threatening illesses. 
  • Although, most are against, because they would worry about the individuality and identity of a cloned person. 
    'It is Allah who gives and takes life'.  (
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Humans or Hybrids?

Human-animal-hybrid-embryo: an embryo made from human DNA and animal eggs for purposes of experimentation. 
Human experimentation: testing productsm usually medicines, on paid human volenteers. 

For devloping Human-animal-hybrid-embryos;
-Curing illnesses.
-Advancments in medical knowledge.
-More ethical (not testing on humans or animals.)
-Strictly limited proceedure-creatures capable of indepndant life will not be created.
-Since the embryo was not produced by human fertilisation, it can't be regarded as a human embryo.
-Neither human or animal rights are violoated 

Against developing Human-animal-hybrid-embryos;
-Tampering with God's design.
-Encourages contriversal science.
-Only survive 3 days.
-Blurs distinction between animal and human status.  

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