GCSE Religious Studies - Ethics 1

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 11-05-13 11:58

ETHICS 1 – Medical Ethics



·      Abortion can legally take place in the UK up to the 24th week of pregnancy as long as two doctors agree that it’s necessary.

·      They must consider: quality of life of the woman, the health of the unborn child, any other children the mother may have.

For abortion

Against abortion

A woman has the right to choose what happens to her body (since the fetus isn’t independent of the woman this argument says it is a part of the woman.)

It isn’t right to consider the fetus a part of the woman when it is genetically different.

Abortion is morally right if the mother/child’s health is at risk, the mother has become pregnant through **** or if the mother is too young to cope with a child.

Abortion is taking a life/murder.

Life begins at birth the fetus is only a

potential person.

Life begins at conception the fetus is an actual person.


·      Christianity teaches that abortion is undesirable however the Roman Catholic Church goes as far as to say that abortion is murder.

·      Church of England view is that abortion is permissible under certain circumstances, while the Society of Friends (the Quakers) argues that the life of the unborn baby can’t be valued above the life of the mother.

·      Many Christians believe that allowing a woman to choose is a way of showing Christian compassion – whether they agree with the choice made or not.

“      Abortion has been 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 Catholic Church, 1970)


1)    Because the bible says that we were created in God’s image and given the gift of life, many Christians believe that we don’t have the right to interfere with when life ends or to prevent the beginning of a new life.

2)    Although the Bible never specifically mentions abortion, other Christian writings are quite specifically against it.

Probably the most important biblical passage regarding the sanctity of life: “You shall not murder” – Exodus 20:13 (the sixth of the ten commandments)


Treatments include:

·      Artificial insemination by the husband (AIH)  - where sperm from the husband is injected into the wife’s womb.

·      Artificial insemination by donor (AID) – where sperm from a sperm bank (anonymous donor) is injected into the woman’s womb.

·      In Vitro fertilization (IVF)  - where eggs are


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