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What is surrogacy and why might it be used

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Introduction

1. What is surrogacy and why might it be used? Many couples, such as homosexual, celibate and infertile couples, are unable to biologically conceive children with each other. Today, due to advances in reproductive technology, couples now have medical means to have children. Reproductive techniques such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation and other reproductive technologies allow otherwise infertile couples a chance to have children. However, there are still some couples for whom these techniques are not successful and for whom adoption is not an attractive or viable option. These couples may still wish to have children who are their genetic offspring. Often the mother cannot give birth for reasons that may include lack of a uterus or where pregnancy would be medically risky. For these or other reasons, the only way to have genetic offspring is to have another woman carry and give birth to their child: a Surrogate Mother. Surrogacy is when a woman external of the couple carries the fertilised embryo, which was conceived by the couple, inside her womb until child birth, when she will hand the baby over to the couple. Surrogacy might be used for many different reasons. Couples most often choose surrogacy when the woman is infertile and treatments have failed, or when a woman is unable to carry a child herself because of abnormalities in her uterus or if she has had a hysterectomy. ...read more.

Middle

The purpose of pregnancy is to have a child, and the natural end of pregnancy is the birth of a child. When the end is not achieved, then this is believed to be against the will of God, and therefore errant. A major source of authority in Roman Catholicism, the Vatican, states that it 'supports and urges a worldwide comprehensive ban on human embryonic cloning for both reproductive and scientific purposes'. As you can see, the absolute view on the topic is due to the termination of unborn embryos. The Roman Catechism strictly states that 'human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception'. They also argue against Human Genetic Engineering because they believe that it leads of man usurping God as the almighty creator and designer of life. They believe that no longer will a child be considered a blessing from God, but rather, a product manufactured by a scientist. The Roman Catholics argue that nothing is more important than the preservation of human life, and are therefore completely against genetic engineering. Conversely, followers from the Raelian Faith have a vastly different perspective on genetic engineering. The origins of the faith reveal where they get their unique perspectives from. They believe that life on Earth was created scientifically, through DNA and genetic engineering, by a human extraterrestrial race. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though lives may be lost, it is in aid of preserving other lives. The ends will justify the means. However, the arguments that support this statement are also very convincing. Whether the embryo is truly human or not is truly debateable. If the embryo is human, then the termination of the embryo is no less than murder, and murder is seen in Roman Catholicism to be 'gravely contrary to the natural law'. Many argue that by altering the very essence of nature, man will soon no longer have no need for God. Many fear that forgetting of the existence of God is the worst possible thing that humanity can do. A defining characteristic of Roman Catholicism, as well as Islam, is that God/Allah has intents and purposes for everything. If they intended for cancer to exist, and for a child to be born disabled, then that is their plan. For Muslims, to go against Allah's will is to defy Allah. To conclude, I would have to say that the fundamental issue is whether the embryo is considered to be a human or not. And if it is a human, is it worth sacrificing the embryo for the sake of helping others. I believe that it is worth the sacrifice, as the number of human lives lost will pale in comparison to the number of human lives saved due to research into genetic engineering. Religious Studies Homework - Issues of Life Vishnu Parameshwaran ...read more.

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