Religious Studies

Enviromental and Medial Issues Topic.

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  • Created by: Henry
  • Created on: 16-03-12 17:17

Key Words

Conservation: Protecting ad preserving natural resources and the enviroment.
Creation: The act of creating the universe.
Embryo: A fertilized egg in the first eight weeks after conception.
Enviroment: The surroundings in which plants and animals live and on which they depend to live.
Global Warming: The increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere.
Infertility: Not being able to have children.
IVF: The method of fertilizing a human egg in a test tube.
Khalifa: Responsibility that Allah has given Muslims to care for the world; the person who acts as Allah's steward on earth.
Natural Rescources: Naturally occurring materials, such as oil and fertile land, which can be used by humans.
Organ Donation: Giving organs to be used in transplant surgery.
Stewardship: Looking after something so it can be passed on to the next generation.
Sustainable Living: This is where people make use of the earth's natural resources in a way that doesn't harm the planet; what is used is replaced.

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Topic Details

Global Warming and Pollution: The issues of global warming and what the problems are. Different types of pollution and solutions to overcome them.
Stewardship and Khalifha: How do christians and muslims repsond to looking after the planet.
Infertility Treatment: Wbat is infertility and what treatments are avaliable. Looking at how Christians and Muslims respond to the treatments.
Transplant Surgery: The different varieties of transplant surgery and how Christians and Muslims respond to the issues surrounding it.

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Global Warming

Global Warming: is the fact that the Earth is warmer than it has been for over a thousend years. Some people also call it the 'greenhouse effect' because the gases created from burning coal, oil and gas form a covering over the earth - like a green house!
Factors that cause Global Warming:
- Burning fossil fuels
- Transport pumping out green house gases (carbon emissions)
- UK Power Stations - two thirds of all energy generated in these is lost as waste heat through chimneys and cooling towers.
Impact of Global Warming:
- Glaciers are disapearing
- Sea levels are rising
- Seasons changing
- Extreme weather e.g flooding and drought
- Animals/ Plants becoming extinct

Greenpeace Say: "We know that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels. For all of the technological gloss of the 21st century, the UK is still living in an industrial era."

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Christian: Enviroment

Key Ideas:
Sanctity of Life: All life is sacred and deserves respect. Life should not be destroyed through to the enviroment.
Creation: The world was created by God and deserves respect.
Worship: The natural world is God's work and is to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Interdependence: Human beings are part of God's creation. All parts of creation are interdependent and are linked to all other parts. Any damage to a part of creation is damaging to us.
Stewardship: Humans do not own the planet or what it contains. Humans are 'Stewards' of the earth - they should look after and care for it.

What do Christians do?
- Some Christians are more enviromentally aware than others and believe that they should do their best to protect the enviroment. Some recycle and try to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Other Christians approach things differently by focusing their responsibility to SHARE the earth's resources evenly amongst its inhabitants. Charities like the Christian Aid work to put this into practice.

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Islam: Enviroment

Key Ideas:
Akhra: This means 'accountability'. At the Day of Judgement, humans will be answerable to Allah for their use/ mususe of the Earth and its' resources.
Tawid: God knows everything, sees everything and hears everything. Therefore, humans are responsible for making sure that the world, it's wildlife, flowers and natural enviroment are well looked after.
Khalifa: Allag has given Muslims to responsibility to care for the world (Stewardship).

Stewardship in Islam:
- The Qur'an says that Allah created the world and everything in it for a purpose. It is a part of Allah's plan. Nothing in it is a waste of time or space and everything is interlinked so we are part of 'one'. If one life form is damaged, it upsets a link the chain and that harms the planet.
- Muslims believe that Allah has provided all the resources that humans need to live on earth and they can use them, but people should not damage or waste these resources. Muslims use the Arabic work 'Khalifah' for this idea of stewardship.
- Everyone has a duty to be a Khalifah by following the way of life set out in the Qur'an. On the Day of Judgment Allah will judge everyone on the way they have treated creation.

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Medical Treatments: Infertility

There comes a point in many people's lives when they want to have children. It often seems a natural stage in a couple's relationship and, added to that, the survival of the human race depends on it. Many women feel an emotional need to have a baby and can suffer deep unhappiness if there are problems.

What medical treatments are available for those who are infertile?
1. Surrogacy: A woman agrees to become pregnant with someone else's child and then hand that child over when it's born.
2. Embryo Donation: A fertilized egg is created in the lab using an egg donated by another woman but using the partner's sperm. The fertilized egg in placed in the womb.
3. Embryo Donation: a donated egg and donated sperm are fertilized in the lab to form an embryo before being placed in a woman's womb.
4. Artificial Insemination Donor (AID): Sperm donated to a clinic by a man is placed in a woman's uterus this can help couples where the man is infertile.
5. Artificial Insemination Husband (AIH): Sperm is taken from the husband and placed in the woman's uterus. This can help couples who have difficulty conceving for no obvious reasons.
6. IVF: Egg and sperm are taken from a couple, fertilized in a lab and then placed in the womb. This helps women with medical problems, such as blocked fallopian tube, to conceive.

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Christian: Infertility

Roman Catholic Christians - Infertility:

Believe: Life is given by God and a child should be conceived as a result of a loving sexual relationship between husband and wife. Although they feel great sympathy for infertile couples who want children, it only allows methods which do not threaten the sacredness of life in which sex acts are natural.
- IVF involves fertilizing several eggs, some of which are thrown away or used for experimentation. This is similar to abortion and therefore wrong.
- All form of artificial isemination or surrogacy involve masturbation by the male, which is a sin for Catholics.
- All forms of embryo technology involve fertilization taking place outside of natural sexual intercourse. God intended precreation to be the result of the act of sex.

Other Christian Churches - Infertility:

Believe: Some share the came views as Catholics. However, others allow IVF and AIH but argue that using donated egg or sperm may be regarded as a form of adultery. They do have major concerns about embryo technology though.

- It is good to use technology to provide couples with the joy of children is the christian purpose of marriage.
- God gave humans the knowledge and ability to help infertile couples.
- The egg and sperm are from the husband and wife and so the baby will be the biological offspring of its mother and father.
- The Bible contains stories of God bringing happiness to an infertile woman by giving her a child.

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Muslims: Infertility

Muslim reasons FOR Infertility:
- IVF and AIH are accepted because the egg and sperm are from the husband and wife and so the baby will be the biological offspring of its Mother and Father.
- Every woman has the right to be a mother.
- Infertility is an illness and should be treated.
- It is simply the use of medicine to bring about the family life which all Muslims are expected to have.
- In IVF the discarded embryos are not foetuses and their destruction can be justified because a foetus only becomes fully human at 120 days.

Muslim reasons AGAINST Infertility:
- Any form of infertility treatment that does not involve both husband and wife is considered adultery.
- Children are a gift from Allah; humans should not interfere in God's plans.
- The Qur'an makes it clear that everyone has a right to be a lineage and family identity. This cannot be provided through sperm and egg donation or surrogacy.

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Christian: Transplant Surgery

Christians who REJECT Transplant Surgery:
- Humans are made in God's 'image'. People have no right to interfere with God's creation.
- They may believe that God will resurrect people in their bodies at the end of the world. Therefore, your body should remain intact after death.
- The sanctity of Life shows that humans should not harm the body that God has created, by removing organs.

Some christians that are against organs being taken from the dead for transplant surgery, however do not have a problem with using organs that have been donated by living relative.
- Organs are given freely out of love.
- When we have two organs (Kidneys) donating one is permissable because it is following Jesus's teachings of 'Love your neighbour'

Christians who ACCEPT Transplant Surgery:
- The gift of life is precious and it is right to make every effort to preserve life.
- Christianity teaches the importance of sacrifice and of helping others.
- Some Christians believe that we will be resurrected in spirit after we die.
- The Golden Rule teaches 'treat others as you would like to be treated'

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Muslim: Transplant Surgery

Muslims who REJECT Transplant Surgery:
- The Qur'an teaches that Allah will resurrect everybody bodily on the Last Day - nothing should be removed from a person's body after death.
- The Sanctity of Life can be used to argue that humans should not harm the body that Allah has created by removing organs.
- Allah is the creator of life and he has a plan for everyone. Humans have no right to alter God's plan about life and death.
- No Muslim is permitted to sell their organs because it degrades the human body.

Muslims who ACCEPT Transplant Surgery:
- Islam teaches that it is every Muslim's duty to alleviate suffering and save life. Organ donation/ transplants can do this.
- Organ donation from a living donor is permitted, as long as the donor's life is not put at risk.
- 1995 - Muslim Council of Britian permotted Muslims to carry a donor card and have transplants.
- If a person agrees to donate their organs it is an act of charity. Helping others is important in Islam.
- Muslim transplant surgeons and lawyers believe that transplant surgery helps to save lives. Organ donation is the gift of life - There is no greater gift'

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