Medical Ethics: Right to a Child ~ Ethics ~ AS/A2

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Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy by artificial means.

Foetus: an organism in the womb from nine weeks until birth.

Hippocratic oath: written in the fifth century BCE, it became the basis for doctors’ ethics. Other promises now replace it, but it is specifically against abortion.

Sanctity of life: the belief that human life is valuable in itself.

Ensoulment: the moment when the soul enters the body – in traditional Christian thought this was at forty days for boys and ninety days for girls. The Church now believes that life begins at conception.

Doctrine of double effect: an action where the


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