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Flashcards in Medical Ethics Deck (34):

What is IVF?

In-vitro fertilisation. When the sperm and the egg of a couple are introduced to each-other externally in a test tube and then the embryo is implanted into the womb.


What is AID?

Artificial insemination by donor. When a donor's sperm is artificially injected into the mother's womb with a syringe.


What is AIH?

Artificial insemination by husband. When the husband's sperm is artificially injected into the mother's womb with a syringe.


What is surrogacy?

When an externally fertilised embryo is implanted into another woman's uterus.


What is the UK law concerning surrogacy?

It is illegal to pay a surrogate mother. The surrogate mother has parental rights over the child.


What is the UK law concerning donors?

Egg and sperm donors have no parental rights over their children. Children born by donors have the legal right to request the donor's identity when they turn 18.


What is 'the sanctity of life'?

The idea that life is something precious, holy and special because it was given to us by God.


Explain the idea that life begins before conception and who shares this belief.

The idea that a pre-existing life force enters the body at conception. This is a belief shared by people who believe in reincarnation or rebirth such as Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus.


Explain the idea that life begins at conception and who shares this belief.

The idea that life begins at conception because the sperm and the egg both have living sources. Roman Catholics and some other Christians believe this.


What happens after 14 days of pregnancy?

The embryo becomes attached to the womb. At this point experimentation has to stop.


What happens at 3 weeks of pregnancy?

The child's heart begins to beat.


What is the 'quickening'?

The stage after about 9 weeks of pregnancy when movement is first felt in the womb.


Explain the idea that life begins at 'ensoulment' and who shares this belief.

This is the Muslim idea that 120 days after fertilisation the soul enters the embryo. This is also when the nervous system and brain begin to develop.


What is viability?

The point when the child could theoretically survive outside the mother's body.


What is reproductive cloning?

The creation of an identical copy of an organism. It is illegal for humans.


What is therapeutic cloning?

The cloning of biological material to help treat diseases.


What are some arguments against AID?

The donor is a stranger, inserting the sperm from a man other than the woman's husband could be seen as adultery, it allows an unmarried woman to have a child and bring it up on her own, and it allows a gay couple to have a child and bring it up in a 'single-sex home'


What are the arguments against fertility treatments?

The main reason for being opposed to fertility treatment is that it is not seen as natural, and is therefore against God, or that the 'wrong people' could become parents.


What are the disadvantages of fertility treatments?

Success rates are low, it is expensive and some children can lack a sense of belonging without their biological parents.


What is transplant surgery?

Transplant surgery is the replacement of a faulty organ with a healthy organ (e.g. heart or lung) taken from a donor, usually shortly after the donor's brain death.


Why are Jehovah's witnesses against blood transfusion?

They feel their life is carried in their blood so they cannot have anybody else's blood. This is an interpretation of Leviticus 17:11 - 'For the life of a creature is in the blood'.


Define blood transfusion?

When a patient is given extra blood as part of an operation


Define cloning?

The scientific method by which animals or plants can be created which have exactly the same genetic material as the original, because the DNA of the original is used.


Define conception.

The moment the sperm fertilises the egg.


What are designer babies?

Babies with gender and characteristics chosen by the parents. Currently illegal in the UK.


Define Embryo.

A fertilised ovum at about 12-14 days when implanted into the wall of the womb.


What is embryology?

The study of human embryos.


What is fertility treatment?

Medical procedure to assist an infertile couple to have a child.


What are savior siblings?

A sibling genetically compatible with a sick child is implanted and born to provide stem cells to treat the sick child.


What is a stem cell?

A cell, most often taken from 4-5 day old embryo, whose role in the body is not yet determined.


Define 'the value of life'

The value of a person, over and above their physical value.


Christian quote to show the importance of children.

God said "Be fruitful and increase in number"


Islam quote against fertility treatment.

He gives daughters to whom he will and sons to whom he pleases. - Qur'an 42:49


Islam quote against adoption and surrogacy.

No one can be their mother except those who gave them birth. - Qur'an 58:2