Medical Ethics Overview.pptx

calendargrumpyBiotechnology

Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 6 months ago)

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This module covers 5 main areas:


Abortion


Fertility Treatment


Euthanasia


Suicide


Vivisection

For each topic you
will need to know a
range of Christian
views as well as the
legal perspective and
your own viewpoint

Fist we need to know what Christian denominations we are
discussing

The Roman Catholic Church


This denomination is a
traditional group of
Christians who believe in
Natural Law: doing what
God intended in a natural
way. Up until the C16th
Catholics were the
dominant group of
Christians in Europe.
Catholics are controlled
by the Pope in Rome

Protestant Churches


These are the Christian
groups that developed
after Martin Luther’s
debate in 1517.


These are modern
Christians who have re
-
interpreted the Bible and
have a different view to
the Roman Catholics.


These Christians are NOT
controlled by the Pope.

Christian do NOT all believe the same thing and are divided into
different groups depending on faith and establishment

Abortion


Abortion has existed for a long time but has only been legal in
the UK since
1967
.


It was legalised to stop the use of backstreet abortions, where
women would use certain methods to induce a miscarriage that
could result in injury or even death.

Definition of Abortion
:

It is the deliberate termination of a foetus

The Law on Abortion:

You must have the consent of 2 different doctors

It can take place up to 24 weeks into pregnancy (approx 6 months)

It must fit one of four clauses to be allowed to take place

Life


If it is a
threat to
the life of
the mother

Health

If it is a
threat to the
mental of
physical
health of the
mother

Existing Kids


If there is a
risk to the
lives of the
existing
children

Disability


If there is a
risk of
severe
disability
for the
child

Abortion

Arguments in Favour of Abortion
:

a)
Every woman has the right to do as she wishes with her own
body

b)
Every baby has the right to be born into a family that meet its
basic needs for food, shelter and love

c)
A disabled baby places a massive burden of responsibility on
those who are looking after it. Not everyone can handle this

d)
There are far too many unwanted babies in the world, it would
be wrong to add to this number

e)
A woman who becomes pregnant after rape should not be
compelled to have the rapist’s baby

Abortion

This is called: Pro
-
Choice

Arguments Against Abortion
:

a)
Every child is a gift from God to be loved and cherished. It
would be unthinkable to destroy that gift

b)
Abortion is murder

c)
Everyone, especially the most vulnerable, need special
protection


and has a right to expect it

d)
A foetus is a human being from the moment of conception: it
has a perfect right to live even if it is damaged in any way.

Abortion

This is called: Pro
-

Life


The Roman Catholic Church
expresses the strongest
objection of any Christian
church to abortion


The Protestant church
believes that abortion is an
evil that should be avoided
at all costs. However, there
are some circumstances
where it can be justified:

Christianity & Abortion

The majority of Christians feel very unhappy about abortion

You shall not kill by
abortion the fruit of the
womb and you shall not
murder the infant already
born

Didache (70CE)

1)
Risk to the physical health
of the mother

2)
Risk to the mental health of
the mother

3)
Risk of disability

4)
A result of rape

Fertility Treatment


Fertility Treatment can take many different forms; from IVF to
AID to surrogacy. Christianity has a view on all of these different
forms.


The Law says that people can have fertility treatment in order to
get pregnant. It does not allow parents to create ‘designer’
babies or even choose the gender of their child.


The only genetic engineering that can take place is in ensuring
that a child is born without a hereditary / genetic condition



Some people feel that IVF etc should not be allowed as it is
unnatural.

Some people feel that it is simply allowing science to
help people to attain what they desire.


In Biblical times, people thought that infertility was a sign from
God, either as punishment or that they were not intended to
have children. Today, we have a better idea about the causes of
infertility, but opinions tend to vary between two different
views.

Fertility Treatment


It is acceptable if it’s the husband’s sperm
being used. This protects the sanctity of
marriage and allows the use of IVF and AIH.
This is the view of most denominations

Viewpoint
1


Any form of fertility treatment (IVF, AIH,
embryo technology) is unacceptable. This is
the view of the RCs. Embryo research
destroys embryos after their use in research

Viewpoint
2


People do not have a ‘
right
’ to children


they are a gift.


Instead, couples can adopt children or play a role in terms of
fostering or supporting children in the community.

Fertility Treatment

Roman Catholics would advocate adoption instead of the
use of unnatural methods such as fertility treatment. There
are thousands of children in this country alone that need
loving homes and families, not to mention the hundreds of
thousands abroad.

Euthanasia


Euthanasia is a term that comes from the Greek ‘
Eu thanatos

which means a good death. It has come to mean the choice that
someone makes to end their life to preserve dignity and end
pain.

Euthanasia is illegal in UK. It carries a prison
term of up to 14 years for aiding and
abetting a suicide.


Euthanasia is as controversial as abortion.
People have different ideas about what the law
should be and why.


Some people bypass the UK law and go to
Holland to a clinic called ‘
Dignitas
’ which helps
people to end their lives peacefully


The main issue of euthanasia is who has the right to take life.

Euthanasia


They argue that euthanasia would not be an issue if
better methods for caring for the dying existed

Non
-
Conformists


Life is sacred and should be protected at all costs. If
there is no quality of life left then the question of
euthanasia might arise

Anglican
Church


Only God can give and take life. Euthanasia, as with
abortion, is murder. Hospices can offer the support
needed when a person is in the final weeks.

Roman
Catholics


Hospices are advocated by many Christians as a place where
people can go who are terminally ill. This might be for therapy,
palliative treatment or rest. It offers support to the families of
those dying.


This is not a place where people get better but a place to make
a person’s last weeks or days more comfortable

Euthanasia

Suicide


There are some times when people feel the need to end their
own lives when they are not terminally ill. There are a number
of reasons that might affect this choice:

Debt

Grief

Regret

Unemployed

Loneliness


Suicide is seen by Christians as self
-
murder and as we know
murder is wrong. Christians believe that people who commit
suicide will not have access to heaven


they will go to hell.

Suicide

A vicar, named Chad Varah, held a service for a 13year old
girl who had committed suicide. She’d had her first period
and thought it meant that something was wrong with her.

Chad was concerned that there were other people in his
parish in need but not knowing who to talk to so he
installed a phone in his home and encouraged people to
call him 24/7 if they were in need

This was the birth of the Samaritans: a
voluntary organisation that helps suicidal
people

Vivisection


Animals are a controversial issue: we love our pets and describe
them in human terms but they are not human and do not have
the same rights as humans.


Vivisection is the term given to the use of animals in research.
This usually relates specifically to medical research rather than
cosmetic

What is tested on animals then?



Toothpaste


Paracetamol


Make
-
up


Cleaning products


Hair products


Body spray


There are no specific teachings in the Bible about the use of
animals. In fact, the text is ambiguous: it can be used on both
sides of the argument!

Vivisection

Rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and over
every living thing that moves on the ground

The issue is with the

word ‘rule’


what does it mean?


Do

we rule like parents, caring for everything and protecting it
as if it were as important as us


Or do we rule as

superiors, leaders, those whose existence is
the most important?

Practice Exam Question

Religion and Medical Ethics


this exam question is worth 24 marks

a)
What

does the term ‘euthanasia’ mean? (1)

b)
What are Christian attitudes towards euthanasia? (2)

c)
What do Christians believe about suicide? (3)

d)
Explain Christian attitudes towards the use of animals in
medical research (6)

e)

Children are a gift not a right
”. Discuss this statement. Give
different, supported viewpoints including a personal
viewpoint. You must refer to Christianity (12)

Remember
: Part E is an ESSAY question and must be written in an
essay style with PEE paragraphs in order to attain all 12 marks