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Explain some of the religious and moral issues relevant to the development of new reproductive technologies.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain some of the religious and moral issues relevant to the development of new reproductive technologies. [35] The development of new reproductive technologies have revolutionised the way society views infertility. However, many object to methods such as IVF, cloning, ICSI and PGD for moral and religious reasons. In examining these issues, a good place to start is IVF. IVF ? in vitro fertilisation ? is one of the most commonly used reproductive technologies. This method bypasses the need for intercourse to conceive; embryos are instead created in a lab and implanted into a mother. It can either use gametes from two parents, or in the case of a homosexual couple some of the material will be donated. From a human-rights perspective everyone has the right to a family life, which some interpret to mean a right to IVF. However, even from a purely secular point of view there are moral problems with IVF. For example, the new ICSI method bypasses many of the body's natural defences for weeding out unfit sperm and therefore the child is at a higher risk of genetic abnormalities. ...read more.

Middle

Both the Methodist Church and the Church of England are quite positive about all forms of IVF and even permit research on spare embryos up to 14 days old because it can be of great help to doctors researching genetic diseases, although embryos should not be created solely for this purpose. Other more drastic forms of reproductive technology pose a bigger problem for the churches. The successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep opened up a debate on the potential of human cloning and saviour siblings. Reproductive cloning would devalue individuality and result in negative psychological effects in the cloned person. Cloned animals tend to have a shorter lifespan and there is a genuine fear that a sub-class of humans could be produced in order for their organs to be harvested. This commodification of life sounds like science fiction, but according to Paul Ramsey it is a real threat. Cloning also removes the need for a male. In the case of Dolly, she had three ?mothers?: one provided the egg, another the DNA and a third carried the cloned embryo to term. ...read more.

Conclusion

Since successful IVF treatment will bring an enormous amount of happiness utilitarians are in agreement with such treatments. In the case of an infertile couple the utilitarian will look at the options available and strive towards to goal of conception. Likewise, if PGD and cloning can help alleviate human suffering it will be supported by utilitarians. Situation ethics bases the morality of an action on the circumstances that surround it. The only underlying principle is that we should always choose the most loving course of action, and there is no absolute morality. Whether an infertile couple should have access to IVF is based entirely on their individual situation. Natural law, on the other hand, is not so accepting. It is similar to the view the Roman Catholic Church takes. IVF and other technologies are unnatural and therefore immoral. Some criticise this theory because they claim that it is no more unnatural then the countless other forms of human intervention such as when we have an operation. Ultimately, reproductive technology causes us to rethink our views on family, marriage, sex and what makes a mother. Regardless of their views, Christians should be compassionate towards those suffering from the effects of infertility. You cannot understand their situation unless you have experienced it personally. ...read more.

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