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WJEC Religion and Medicine

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V Dunne

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of WJEC Religion and Medicine

photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr Religion and Medicine Key words You need to know Religious teachings about: sanctity of life and medical ethics.
Attitudes in society to these issues, and the influence of religious views. Think about...
Advances in science
Creating a life
Saving a life
Free will
Life or death decisions faced
Organ removal
Organ transplants (human and animal)
Use and withdrawal of life-support technology. Conscience: An inner moral 'voice' that helps us make the right decisions. Hippocratic Oath: An oath (promise) originating from ancient Greece that doctors will observe medical ethics when treating patients.
Medical ethics: Decisions made in medicine based on ideas of right and wrong. Sanctity of life: Life is sacred (holy), precious and priceless. Quality of life: The extent to which life is enjoyable and without pain. Free will: Humans have free choices in life. We are all responsible for our actions. Who chooses the right of an unborn child? Should people have free will to make life and death decisions? How far should we go in defending and promoting the right to life Religion, morality & life;
We all make moral decisions. Believers base their morality upon the teachings of the faith they follow.
Christians & Muslims believe that life is sacred as it is a gift from God.
Fertility treatment;
Fertility treatment can be given to those couples who can’t conceive naturally.
Usually the surrogate mothers egg and fathers sperm are used, with pregnancy being achieved by AI.
The father automatically has equal rights over the child with the surrogate mother.
After 6 weeks both parents can apply for a Parental Order, removing any claim the surrogate mother had. OR;
If the genetic mother has working ovaries then a surrogate can carry the baby conceived through IVF from the parents eggs and sperm.
Here the surrogate MUST hand over the baby at birth.
UK Law;
The surrogate can be paid expenses, but must receive no fee.
Involves the collection of sperm, which Roman Catholics see as ‘spilling the seed of life’, so are against.
AID is often most objected to because;
Donor is a stranger
Could be seen as adultery
Allows unmarried women to have children
Allows gay couples to have children
Problems from the child later in life when they find out
Donor may not want identity to be revealed For IVF;
Everyone has the right to be a parent
Child maybe loved more
God has given the intelligence to develop technique
Against IVF;
Not natural – so against God.
Wrong people parents
Expensive – no guarantee of pregnancy
Transplants & transfusions;
Organs can not be sold for transplants in the UK. Patients will be required to take medication for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection.
Human transplants;
Organs can be given by live donors – kidneys, part of liver, small bowel, pancreas & bone marrow
Can be taken from patients who are brain dead, a machine keeps then ‘alive’ until the organs can be harvested
Have to carry donor card
Link to sanctity, quality & value of life
Animal organ transplants;
Mainly pig organs or products used (insulin was first harvested from pigs)
Acceptable for Muslims as a last resort
When does life begin?;

Before conception
(Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus)

(Roman Catholic)

After 14 days
attachment to the womb

3 weeks
Heart beat

Quickening - 9 weeks
First movements

Ensoulment - 19 weeks
(Muslims )

Viability - 24 weeks
(abortion is not legal after this point unless extreme cases)

Designer babies;
In theory this is possible, scientists in USA have developed a genetically modified embryo
Human genetic engineering;
The ability to change the genes in a cell to allow cures to be found for genetic disorders. Scientist have now ‘mapped’ the entire length of human DNA.
UK Law;
Human Fertilisation & Embryology Bill May 2008
Aims to define what UK scientists can and can’t do
Muslims agree with the points that refer to the sanctity of life and disposal of unwanted embryos, but when the soul arrives is key. They believe that Allah gave humans skills to be used to help others.
Prevent disease
Allow healthy babies to be born
Good quality of life for baby
Encourages scientist to ‘play’ God
Creates many unused embryos that are destroyed – murder (Roman Catholics)
Maybe used to cure deafness or blindness
Removes sanctity of life
No further genetic experimentation is allowed after this point
The creation of a genetically identical organism. There are 2 types;
Also known as stem-cell cloning. Allows biological material to be cloned from cells that have not been determined – fewer organ shortages in the future Reproductive;
An identical copy of an animal, plant or even human, however it is ILLEGAL to clone humans. Most famous clone – Dolly the sheep
UK Law;
UK labs are strictly licensed, embryos are destroyed at 14 days.
Medical concepts:
IVF), test-tube baby, artificial insemination, surrogacy
(AIH) artificial insemination by husband
(AID), artificial insemination by donor
transplant surgery, blood transfusion,
Human genetic engineering, embryology, embryo, designer baby, stem cell, cloning, conception, ensoulment, viable, human-animal hybrid , experimentation
Key religious quotes;
Christian; ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God lives in you?’
1 Corinthians 3:16, ‘Hannah had none… and the Lord had closed her womb.’
1 Samuel 1:2,5, ‘Love your neighbour as (you love) yourself.’ Luke 10:27-28
"Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you." Matthews Gospel
"Heal the sick…freely ye have received, freely give."
Matthew chapter 10:8

Islam: ‘If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.’ Qur’an 5:32,
‘He bestows (children) male or female according to his will.’ Qur’an 42:49
‘It is He (Allah) who created you from a single person.’ Qur’an 7:189

Sacrifice and helping others are important themes in the bible. which teaches the principle of seeking for others what you hope others would do for you.
It is not a rule for Christians that their organ’s have to be donated - however it is generally seen as a loving thing to do!
Jehovah’s witnesses – agree with organ transplantation, but all blood must be drained from the organ before it is transplanted!
Supports organ transplantation as a means of alleviating pain or saving life.
Muslims may carry donor cards
The next of kin of a dead person, in the absence of a card or an expressed wish to donate their organs, may give permission to obtain organs from the body to save other people’s lives.
Abortion Christianity:

There is no single Christian view on abortion & individual Christians differ in their response.

Generally, Christians do have concerns about abortion because of their beliefs in:
The sanctity of life
People being in the image of God
That all life – whatever form – is precious & purposeful & therefore sacred.

However, some Christians tend to be against abortion carried out for social reasons, but accept that in some instances, it may be a preferred choice (e.g. threat of life to mother/child).

Roman Catholics believe all forms of abortion are sinful & should not be allowed.
All life is sacred & belongs to God, therefore only God has the right to end a pregnancy.
Life begins at conception.
The unborn child is created in the image of God & is one for whom Jesus, the Son of God died.
Every human being has the right to life.

Islam does not allow abortion “after the foetus is completely formed & has been given a soul.” (after 120 days)

The majority of Muslims believe that abortion is a great sin because:
Teachings of Islam on the sanctity of life .
All life belongs to God alone.

Some Muslims accept abortion is permitted up to 120 days of the pregnancy, but there must be good reasons, such as the health of mother or child.

Some Muslims believe that abortion cannot be permitted at any time at all because they believe the soul is given at the moment of conception.
Euthanasia is the act of ending someone’s life painlessly, usually to relieve incurable suffering. It means gentle or easy death.
Voluntary Euthanasia:
Where someone dying in pain asks another person to end his/her life.

Non-Voluntary Euthanasia:
Ending someone’s life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but when there is good reason for thinking they would want death – e.g. switching off a life support machine.

Where a person knows they have a painful, terminal disease & commit suicide to give themselves a quiet & easy death.

Assisted Suicide:
Providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide.

The Doctrine Of Double Effect:
Giving patient’s painkillers to relieve their pain, knowing that they will shorten a dying person’s life.

Striving To Keep Alive:
Doctors must do everything possible to keep a patient alive – even though they are dying.

Christian views:

They believe in The Sanctity of Life

God is the giver of life
God’s creation should be protected
All life has a purpose
God decides when life begins or ends

Some Christians would support euthanasia in some strictly controlled situations. They see it as the lesser of two evils, the loving thing to do to stop suffering.
This would be applying the principle of ‘loving your neighbour.’

Muslim views

The Qur’an says…..Euthanasia is murder which is banned. In Islam suicide is a sin and so…..
Muslims are against euthanasia. They believe that all human life is sacred because it is given by Allah, and that Allah chooses how long each person will live. Human beings should not interfere in this.
Euthanasia is a sin because it is assisted suicide.
Muslims believe life is a test and so….By using euthanasia people are cheating the test by trying to speed it up

However switching off a life support machine is not euthanasia to some Muslims….Because they are already dead and God has taken their life.
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