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Abortion and Euthanasia

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Introduction

Abortion and Euthanasia The Roman Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred. Explain how this teaching influences its attitude to abortion and euthanasia, showing that you understand other points of view. Abortion is the deliberate and intentional killing of an unborn baby. Abortion means destroying the life of an unborn baby, either by killing it in the womb or by removing it from the womb prematurely before it is able to live in the outside world. The abortion Act states that the law in the UK says that an abortion can be performed up to the end of the 24th week of pregnancy if two doctors agree that: > To continue the pregnancy would involve a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than the risks involved in having an abortion. > To continue the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing children of the pregnant woman greater than the risks involved in her having an abortion. However, the law allows an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy > If the doctors agree that continuing the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the mother; > If they agree that an abortion is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of pregnant woman; > If there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. ...read more.

Middle

You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child" (Didache 2:1-2 [A.D. 70]). Our church the Roman Catholic Church states that the church is officially against abortion. The law of the Church states that anyone who commits the sin of abortion automatically excommunicates herself from the Church. Other Churches have different viewpoints. Protestants They refer to a passage in the bible that states that if two men are fighting and wound a pregnant woman, they shall have to pay her husband a fine if she has a miscarriage, but they will have to give a life for a life if the woman herself dies. The difference is that it indicates that early Biblical writers did not consider that the woman and the fetus had equal status - the fetus was not considered a person. Orthodox It teaches that the taking and administration of drugs for the purpose of abortion is wrong, but does not specifically outlaw the other methods of abortion. Judaism Judaism has traditionally taught a respect for life, including pre-natal life, and in Jewish law there is an absolute right to be born. Hinduism Hinduism has a doctrine of non-interference with natural processes and so it is against birth control and abortion. ...read more.

Conclusion

In general the Baptists are against euthanasia because they believe that all human life is sacred and therefore worth preserving. However Baptists usually agree that when a person is brain dead or cannot maintain any kind of relationship with friends and relatives, and medical experts agree that there is absolutely no chance of recovery, then it is acceptable for treatment to be stopped and the patient to be allowed to die. The Church of England has been involved in a lot of discussion about euthanasia in the last thirty years, and has produced reports, which set out its position. It agrees that the sanctity of life is very important. The church also stresses the importance of making sure that the church should do all it can to make the elderly feel important members of society. The Roman Catholic Church is totally against euthanasia, and teaching that any act, which deliberately brings about death is the same as murder. However it accepts that sometimes drugs, which are intended to relieve pain, might also shorten life, and this is considered acceptable. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that ordinary treatments, such as feeding a patient, must always be continued, but that 'extraordinary' treatments, such as a complicated operation that is unlikely to succeed, need not be given. It emphasises that sick people need and deserve special care. ...read more.

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