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Flashcards in Medical Ethics Deck (50):

Definition of morality

A system of ethics about what is right and wrong


Definition of ethics

The theory relating to morality


Definition of absolute morality

What is morally right and wrong in any circumstance at all times


Definition of sanctity of life

Life is sacred because it is God given and should be protected and respected by all


Definition of value of life

The value of a person over and above physical value


Definition of quality of life

A measure of fulfilment


When do most Christians and Muslims believe life begins at

Conception - when the sperm meets the egg and this is part of a bigger plan made by God. They believe it is from this moment that it is a human life and has rights


When do some Muslims believe life begins at

After the foetus is 120 days old as that is when they receive a soul - but they also believe there is potential life at conception


What does Genesis 1:27 say

'So God created human beings, making them to be like himself ...' - This argues that people shouldn't have plastic surgery or be cloned


What does Mathew 22:39 say

'The second most commandment is like it: 'love your neighbour as you love yourself'' - This shows you should accept others choices e.g. if they want to be transgender


What does Ecclesiastes 3:1 say

'Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses' - This argues that you shouldn't have IVF


What does Exodus 20:3 say

'Do not commit murder' - This argues that you shouldn't commit murder


What does the 1990 Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act

You are not allowed to keep an embryo after the primitive streak is visible (14 days after fertilisation)


What is IVF

Creating a human life outside the body of the mother by using a petri dish to put sperm into an egg


What is egg donation

Harvesting several eggs from a donor woman. They can be used for a woman to make her own baby via IVF or they can be given to another woman who needs IVF


What is AIH (Artificial Insemination by Husband)

The sperm of the husband's and wife's egg are fertilised in a petri dish in a lab. The embryo is created outside the mother's body and then inserted artificially back in her womb


What is surrogacy

A substitute mother who carries a baby for a couple. The baby may have been created by IVF. It is given to a couple to bring up


What is AID (Artificial Insemination by Donor)

Using the donor sperm of a man who is not the lady's partner to fertilise the egg


What is embryo donation

A couple can receive a fertilised embryo, because they are unable to make their own baby naturally. The baby is not biologically related to the parents who bring it up


Reasons for IVF

Anything that creates new life is good
It allows homosexual couples to have a baby
God told Adam & Eve to have a lot of children (that means by any means necessary)
Infertility is a medical problem that can be treated like any other illness. God has given doctors the skills to resolve this problem
It is a personal choice that should be accepted (Mathew 22:39)


Reasons against IVF

Only God decides when you should have a baby (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
People should adopt a child instead and give them a better life
Using donor sperm is like adultery. You are bringing in a 3rd person into the relationship
Disposing embryos is like murder (Exodus 20:3)
Sex is the only way you should create children, anything else is unnatural
Childlessness could be due to bad karma, IVF goes against this


What is transplant surgery

The removal of a faulty organ replaced by a healthy organ taken from a donor (usually after death)


What organs and tissues can be donated

Heart / Heart valves
Bone marrow
Femoral & Saphenous veins


Definition of cloning

The exact genetic replica is created of something already living


What is therapeutic cloning

Copying biological material from stem cells to use in research to find treatments for a range of disease


What is reproductive cloning

The creation of an identical copy of any organism


Reasons for cloning

People have a right to choose and free will is God given
God inspires people to develop technology to benefit mankind
It helps with embryonic research which could help sick or infertile people
It is compassionate and improves people's quality of life


Reasons against cloning

A cloned person may not have a soul
It results in the disposal of embryos (murder - Exodus 20:3)
It is against nature and the way we were created by God
It may encourage scientists to make further advances that are even more unacceptable


Christian beliefs on cloning

Christians believe that human beings are created in the image of God and, therefore are unique and shouldn't be copied
Human life is something to be valued and not treated like a commodity to be bought and sold - this could happen & be developed - people may soon be able to replicate themselves


What is Genetic Engineering

Changing or destroying parts of a human's genetic makeup in the embryonic stages of life


What is Embryo Research

Taking a human embryo up to 14 days after conception to scientifically research into causes and cures of certain genetic disorders


What is Eugenics

Improving the population by controlled breeding to increase occurrence of desirable characteristics


What are Saviour Siblings

A baby whose genetic make up has been selected so their stem cells can be used to treat a sibling


What are Designer Babies

Babies whose genetic make up has been selected to ensure the presence or absence of particular characteristics


What is Genetic Modification of Animals

Modifying animals with the aim of making them healthier and less prone to disease. Linked to cloning of animals


What is Genetic Modification of Crops

Modification of crops of plants to alter characteristics so that crop yields are higher, more robust, healthier etc.


Buddhists beliefs about genetic engineering

Right Intention (eightfold path) is important to save/improve someone's life so it can be acceptable. But, destruction of embryos goes against the First Moral Precept not to kill any living thing


Christian beliefs about genetic engineering

We have God given intelligence to be used positively to help others so it can be acceptable. But, Roman Catholics view the disposal of embryos as murder


Hindus beliefs about genetic engineering

Hindus believe in ahimsa (not harming any living thing) and genetic engineering also gives you bad karma. But, its ok if it is to help others


Muslim beliefs about genetic engineering

We have the God given skills - babies also don't get a soul until 120 days. But, it can be classed as playing God


Jewish beliefs about genetic engineering

It is acceptable if it saves a human life but the disposal of the embryos can be seen as murder.


Sikh beliefs about genetic engineering

It is good as spare embryos can be used for IVF & embryos are people from conception. However, the cycle of birth, death & rebirth rules out human interference.


Reasons for genetic engineering

It offers the prospect of cures for currently incurable diseases
Research into stem cell cloning would only use embryos until it was easier to use adult cells
Genetic research is an integral part of medical research and is bound to include some genetic engineering
It is closely monitored by the law, but has vast potential benefits


Reasons against genetic engineering

Researchers have too little information about the long-term consequences
It treats the body as a commodity, no different than plants
Has irreversible effects, so if anything goes wrong it would be permanent


Arguments that animals are equal

Buddhists attach great importance to the natural world. They see all living beings as connected and dependent on each other. Animals should be treated well as they are part of the cycle of rebirth
Jesus spoke about the value of every living thing, even each individual sparrow (Luke 12:6)
Sikhs believe that God created the Earth and God lives in all things, including animal life
Religious people that believe in reincarnation think all animal bodies hold a soul that will live in another body when they die


Arguments that animals have a status but not much value

Christians believe that God created the world, including animals and people, and put human in charge
Religions treat that although animals are not equal to humans, they should be cared for as respected as part of the natural world
Muslims believe that the world belongs to Allah who give humans the job of being stewards of the Earth
Jewish people believe that God created the Earth and gave humans the responsibility for its care


Why are some religious believers against surrogacy

The conception is unnatural
Contrary to God's plan
A child could be bought (illegal in the UK)
Could allow a gay couple to become parents
Potential harmful effect on child as it grows up and finds out


Why are Muslims and Jews are reluctant to be organ donors

They do not want to be buried or cremated 'incomplete'. Islam and Judaism forbid 'desecrating or mutilating the body'. However, organ donation is permitted because it enables life to be saved
'If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people' - Qur'an 5;32


Why do many religious people agree with transplant surgery

They believe in sanctity of life and value of life
It is a compassionate act as they would want to help someone live after their death (giving someone else a good quality of life)


What is embryology

The study of human embryos