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What is meant by "Abortion" and "Voluntary Euthanasia"?

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Introduction

GSCE RELIGIOUS STUDIES PAPER 2A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND WORLD ISSUES CENTER NUMBER - 10124 CANDITATE NUMBER - 5105 GEORGIA MCDONALD Contents * A (i) What is meant by "Abortion" and "Voluntary Euthanasia"? Pg. 1-3 * (ii) Outline the biblical teachings relevant to a discussion of these two issues. Pg. 4-5 * B. Explain why some Christians may agree with abortion in certain circumstances but not with genetic engineering. Pg. 6-9 A (i) What is meant by "abortion" and "voluntary Euthanasia"? Abortion: Abortion is the artificial ending of the life of a foetus in the womb. It is usually carried out for one of the following reasons; - To preserve the life or health of the mother - To prevent a pregnancy brought about by rape - To prevent a child being born mentally or physically disabled - To prevent a birth because, for example, the mother is very young. The Chambers English Dictionary states that abortion is: The premature expulsion of an embryo or foetus, or the procuring of this, esp. in the first three months of pregnancy: arrest of development: the product of such arrest. The word abort comes from the latin word abortare, which is the past participle of aborire which means to miscarry, ab means wrong or badly and arire to appear to be born. Abortion is the expulsion of the products of conception before the embryo or foetus is viable. Any interruption of human pregnancy prior to the 28th week is known as abortion. The term spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, is used to signify delivery of a nonviable embryo or foetus due to foetal or maternal factors, as opposed to purposely-induced abortion. Therapeutic abortion is an induced abortion performed to preserve the health or life of the mother. (Encyclopedia.com 2003). Abortion is defined in the English Dictionary as: "The expulsion of a foetus from the womb before it is able to survive independently". ...read more.

Middle

"Naked I will depart". 1 Corinthians v3 16-17 This passage states that by killing an unborn child by abortion or killing a diseased person by euthanasia, you are destroying a part of god. It suggests that by him making you, you are god's temple, and therefore part of god. He has "built" you, and so his spirit lives in you. By harming his sacred temple or spirit you are committing a sin. There is also a word of warning in this passage, "if anyone destroys god's temple, god will destroy them". This underlines the importance of the message that the body and soul is sacred and by harming the body you are also harming the soul. A temple is a holy place of worship, which should be treated with respect, by destroying god's place of worship (your body) you are showing no respect to god and are rejecting his holiness. The 6th Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill" The ten commandments are god's fundamental teachings which Christians should try to live their life by. You can interpret one of these teachings to the issue of abortion and euthanasia. Both abortion and euthanasia are forms of ending a human being's life (killing them), and therefore are strictly going against this commandment, that states that you shouldn't kill. Jeremiah 13 This passage states that god knew you even before you are in your mother's womb. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." This is and important teaching, as it shows that all human beings are intended, and god knew you even before you were a fertilised egg. God knows everything that will happen in your life even before you are born. By killing a foetus by abortion, you are going against god's intention for it to live, and god's intention for its path of life. "Before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." ...read more.

Conclusion

friends concerned feel that any relationship has ceased and where medical opinion is that no recovery is possible, most Christians accept that it is not wrong for treatment to be withdrawn and thus for the patient to be allowed to die. The reasons that people want the law to be changed about euthanasia is because; Advances in medicine have led to people being kept alive who would previously have died, but their quality of life is appalling. It is claimed that doctors and relatives should be able to give such people a painless death. The development in life support machines has already brought in a form of euthanasia as doctors and relatives can agree to switch off these machines if the doctors feel that there is no chance of the patient remaining consciousness. It is claimed that the NHS cannot afford to keep the person alive for that many years on a life support machine, which could also be used to save the life of someone else, with a chance of recovery. Doctors already make decisions about switching of life support machines, and various decisions by judges have given doctors the right to stop treatment. For example, Tony Bland a Hillsborough disaster victim, whose parents won the right to stop him being fed. Euthanasia is already occurring all over the country behind closed doors, despite being illegal. Many people feel that a basic human right is to have control of your life. If you have the right to commit suicide, then you should have that right to ask a doctor to assist your suicide if you are ill and in pain and unable to commit suicide yourself. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society provide "Living Wills", where a person can write a will whilst they are fit and well saying that they do not wish to be kept alive if they develop an incurable disease. This type of euthanasia, including being able to request a painless death, is now permissible in Holland. Why not in Britain? ...read more.

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