For other advice on the topic we need to look on Catholic Church representatives. Unlike the bible, these people express their views on behalf of the church clearly and get down to the point. Pope John Paul the 2nd stated in his evangelium vitae that, “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit.” Basically he thinks abortion, euthanasia and murder are unacceptable. But he has many supporters of this view, for example the Catholic Truth Society have this to say about abortion, “No pregnancy is unplanned because no baby can be conceived unless God intends that conception and has willed that particular unique new person into existence.” And also the Vatican II are against abortion, they make this comment, “Never under any pretext, may abortion be resorted to.” So basically all of these people disagree with abortion on behalf of the Catholic Church. These comments and quotes may seem like someone else’s views, but they do influence a lot of people in the decisions they make on the subject. Devoted Christians would never consider abortion or euthanasia as an option. But then we have other organisations, which make peoples decisions even more difficult because they offer reasons why they should have the abortion, or agree with the euthanasia.
Organisations that agree with abortion do so for the following reasons:
- It’s the woman’s body, its her choice
- If the pregnancy is the result of rape then the mother shouldn’t have to deal with the constant reminder of her rape, the child
- If the pregnancy is a result of incest then for the sake of the unborn child and the family
- If a young girl becomes pregnant then she can continue her life if she has an abortion
- If the child is going to be disabled then the parents can opt for abortion rather than putting extra strain on their lives due to the disabled child
- If the family cannot support the baby then abortion would be preferred to neglect
- If the mother’s life is at risk as a result of the pregnancy
Organisations that put forward these reasons are called PRO-CHOICE organisations and include the NAC (National Abortion Campaign). These organisations campaign to keep abortion and they provide counselling for pregnant women. They educate people and they protest and petition for abortion and women’s rights. They’re view is that the embryo doesn’t become human or alive until birth so the abortion is not murder because the thing being destroyed is not alive.
Organisations who disagree with abortion do so for the following reasons:
- They see abortion as murder
- They see it as selfish and inconsiderate to the unborn child
- They would try to encourage adoption as an alternative choice
- The child has rights too
- They state that the side affects are worse than the abortion as they can lead to several things-Guilt, depression, suicide and possibly infertility
These organisations are called PRO-LIFE organisations and include the likes of Life and SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children). Like the pro-choice organisations these organisations educate and protest and petition, they also council pregnant women. They also campaign, but they campaign to end abortion. The one thing these organisations offer which pro choice doesn’t is financial help. They offer financial help to women who need basics for their babies.
On the euthanasia issue there are the same types of organisations who hold views on why they think euthanasia is either right or wrong.
Organisations that support euthanasia hold the following views:
- It ends the suffering
- Its what the person wants
- They are going to die anyway
- It allows them to die with dignity
- Its their life, their choice
These organisations are also known as PRO-CHOICE and include EXIT (The way out). They offer support to families, information on how to be euthanised and advise on how to make your will, all on their website which discusses both reasons for and against euthanasia.
Organisations against euthanasia hold the following views:
- Its murder
- No one has the right to end life
- It is morally wrong
- The patient might be in the wrong state of mind
- It devalues human life
- It goes against the Hippocratic Oath
These organisations are also known as PRO-LIFE and include CURE (Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia). They also offer support for families as well as giving advise to patients on why life matters.
The opposition can cancel out the arguments put forward by one of the groups, so it is hard to decide which is right and which is wrong. Personally I think that you would need to be in the situation yourself before you could say either I am for or I am against abortion and euthanasia.
The Catholic Church influences a lot of these decisions made by people who are in the pro-life groups, and on all of the websites that I entered on the subject Christianity and the views of the Christian church were mentioned somewhere. One main thing I noticed was that in the abortion websites there were links to the euthanasia websites and to advice and support groups. There is definately a link between the two topics and the church. The teaching that human life is sacred applies to the teaching that abortion and euthanasia are wrong. If all human life is sacred then the destruction of that life is considered wrong in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church. But even though the church has its views and these views are well known in society, it is entirely up to the person in question as to whether abortion or euthanasia is the right option for them.
“God gives life and only God can take it away.” Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have considered more than one point of view.
Many years ago when I was a child, my mother told me that she was having a baby. I asked questions as most 3 year olds would and basically I was told that God gave my parents and me a present, a baby for my parents to love and a baby brother for me to play with. When she began to show I asked my mummy questions about how the baby got into her tummy, and again God was my answer as he had used his magic powers to put the baby into my mothers womb. A lot of children I knew at school were told the same type of thing about God, and some were told the story about the stork who left the baby at the door in a napkin type of thing after flying for miles with it in his beak. Then when I got to an older age and was told the facts of life I realised that God didn’t put the baby in my mothers stomach that had a lot to do with the actions of my parents. I got all confused and decided to ask my mother why she told me that myth about God. My mother had the Christian answer waiting for me, which was that it was God’s will that she became pregnant. In secondary school I was told that God has given us as children to our parents so that they will look after us, but we are really his children. Apart from the fact that I no longer have a belief in this superior being know as God there are as I have found out a lot of ways to become pregnant these days apart from God’s will granting it to us.
To say that God gives life isn’t technically true, well has is always been known that the reproduction of a species creates a baby so in actual fact the parents who produce the egg and sperm cells and carry out the sex create the baby. Now days with all of this technology and science, we don’t even need two people to have sex in order for a life to be produced. Fertility drugs can help people get pregnant, and IVF can get a woman pregnant without having sex. Basically there are a lot of ways to impregnate a woman these days without the need for sexual activity. The latest scientific discovery is genetic engineering; scientists can take an egg cell and use any other stem cell (cell extracted from anywhere in the body) to produce an embryo without needing sperm from a donor. This essentially provides women with the opportunity to have children using their own eggs and stem cells, so basically we no longer have a use, or need for men! But I’m sure we can find other jobs for men seeing as we can continue to procreate without them. Even those who get pregnant the old fashioned way don’t say that it was God’s doing, as most of the time the man gets the pat on the back for the good job that he has done.
When people die we say to young children that they’ve gone to live with God. Fortunately as a child I have yet to experience a death of a close friend or family member, so I haven’t much experience on the issue. One thing I do know is that not all deaths are from natural causes. Sometimes people feel that they can’t continue on with their lives and so commit suicide, other times people take the life of another person for one reason or another. People now days don’t often die naturally anyway because it is usually the pain medicine they are being given which eventually kills them. People say that God decides when you die, how you die and its his choice, so does God know that someone is going to kill you or that your will kill yourself? One thing, which puzzles me about this theory, is that if God knows a child is going to be aborted, then why does he give that child life to begin with?
People say that when your number is called then its time to go. Does God then disagree with doctors who can save the life of a dying man? Should doctors be stopped from impregnating a woman who is finding it difficult to conceive?
One other side to this argument is the simple fact that God gave free will, so people can do whatever they like. People in World War II murdered thousands in the name of God, but they did so because of one mans ideas and theories. God also gave the people the brains to develop the knowledge of the human body, to enable people’s lives to be saved through medicine and technology. The original ideas behind genetic engineering were to grow things like bone marrow to help people with leukaemia and other diseases. The bible says, “Thou shall not kill” Exodus 20:13 so if this is truly the word of God then murder and indeed suicide are against what God wants.
The bible also agrees with capital punishment after all wasn’t Jesus crucified for blasphemy? Most true believers think that God is the only giver of life. My parents believe that it may be nature, which carries it out, but God gives a helping hand as they say God created nature in the first place. My father is true believer and in our argument I put forward the fact that babies are created when a sperm and egg fuse, where does God come into it? His reply was good; he stated the odds of penetration. Why does one sperm reach the egg? What are the chances, the odds of that happening, and why does it only happen sometimes? He believes that God decides when it happens and allows it to happen. Basically they believe that it all boils down to free will. God gave the free will and some people use it for good and others for evil. God may be the only person who has the right to take life away, but he isn’t the only person who does it. If as my parents believe, God decides that life should be given then God has his say in all the genetic engineering and he allows the penetration to occur, or the cells to divide or the baby to grow.
One thing my father said when I put the arguments to him was a very good point, “What comes first the chicken or the egg?” I had to think about it and I said egg and he said well then how did the egg get there and where did the chicken evolve from and how did the earth begin and the universe and who caused the big bang? I was totally not winning that argument basically because I don’t know, no one knows. People in ancient times as far back as Roman Empire didn’t have advances in medicine that we have. They didn’t know what caused illness or disease so they came up with supernatural explanations claiming that spirits made you ill and Gods like Asclepios made you well again. It wasn’t until the ancient Greek philosophers began asking questions that discoveries were made giving explanations other than the supernatural that people began to understand the human body and how it works. People now days still have their Gods and beliefs in cure through prayer. Thousands of people flock to Lourdes each year with the faith that they will be cured, and many are. Whether or not there is a God we might never know. Maybe in years to come people will make more discoveries, which can answer the questions of the world. People in the future might laugh at us for our thoughts and theories as we today laugh at the ancient Egyptians because they thought that evil spirits caused disease. Until these discoveries are made we are left with the option to have faith or not to have faith.