Sanctity of Life


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  • Created by: Louise
  • Created on: 01-04-11 14:16

Sanctity of Life

Christians believe that human life is sacred because in the Bible (Genesis) it says that people are made "in the image of God". Therefore people have similiar features to God and that he is a part of us, due to this people may christen their baby and not murder which is the 6th commandment. Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder" Christians believe human life should be treated with respect because life is a gift; it is valuable.

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Abortion is when the foetus is deliberately killed and removed from the womb.1967 Abortion act: Allows termination at any stage of pregnancy before the 24th week of pregnancy. The law was introduced to prevent back-street abortions which were abortions done in secret using dirty utensils.

Roman Catholic and Orthodox forbid abortion. "abortion and infanticide are the most abominable of crimes". They only accept if it has a double effect where the baby and the mother will die. They believe in the "natural law" ie. God has set up the world in a certain way and it is wrong for humans to interfere: Sex naturally leads to birth.

Church of England and Protestant mostly forbid abortion unless there is a serious risk to the mother's life, if conception is the result of **** and if there is a grave risk that the baby will be handicapped.

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Fertility Treatment

Fertility treatment is used when people cannot conceive naturally. But there are drugs that produce sperm or cause ovulation.
IVF treatment is when an egg is fertilised by the sperm in a test tube then the embryo is placed in the womb.
Artificial insemination: AIH-husband sperm or AID- donor sperm. Christians might disapprove of AID because the donor is not going to be part of the family.The only form of fertility treatment that Roman Catholics find acceptable is drugs. They regard IVF as unacepptable as spare embryos are killed and some christians may feel that it is destroying life.
Cloning may help patients who need an organ transplant as they can make new oragans that the body wont reject.  
Saviour siblings- Embryos and screened and the right one selected will be able to produce a child which can donate tissue to treat a sibling.
Designer babies- to create babies with specific genetic traits
Genetic engeneering- deliberate modification of characteristics of an organism
Cloning- an individual organism or cell produced asexually from an ancestor to which it is identical
Embryo screening- checking embryos for genetic diseases.

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Euthanasia and Suicide

Euthanasia is a good death where a persons life is ended on compassionate grounds. It is only legal in Switzerland.
Voluntary euthanasia- when someone chooses to ask for the end of his or her life.
Involuntary euthanasia- others make the decision that it would be best to end that persons life.

Active euthanasia is illegel (action taken to bring life to end eg. lethal dose of drugs) Passive euthanasia is legal (stopping further treatment)
Corinthians 3:16:17 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? God's temple is sacred and you are that temple"

Christians may see suicide as morally wrong because God should have the power to end life. Catholices believe Euthanasia is as bad as murder. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" highlights this.

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Animals in medical research

The UK law states that any new medical treating must be tested on 2 animals. It wouldn't be safe to release drugs without testing.

"Are not 2 sparrows sold for 2 pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God" Luke 12:6-7

Christians think we have to look after and help animals as it is the principle of stewardship. Overall they think it is acceptable to use animals for medical research if it is essential but not if unneccesary suffering it not accepted.

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