Religion and Medical Issues

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Religion and Medical Issues

Tremaine Bilham

(a) (i) Infertility Treatments

In Western world in recent years, infertility has become more of an

issue. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 couples in Britain are

affected by infertility. Embryology is the collective term used to

describe the many solutions for infertility provided by medical


Ø In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is the process whereby an ovum (egg) is

withdrawn from a woman's ovaries and fertilised with a man's semen

under laboratory conditions. The embryo is then transferred to the

uterus. This is also known as making "test-tube babies"

Ø Artificial insemination by husband (AIH) is the process during which

a husband's semen is inserted mechanically into the uterus of his


Ø Artificial insemination by donor (AID) is the process that occurs

when the semen of an anonymous sperm donor is inserted mechanically

into the uterus of a woman.

Ø Egg donation occurs when a woman donates an egg that is then

fertilised, using in-vitro fertilisation, with the semen of the

husband of the woman into whose uterus the resulting embryo is


Ø Embryo donation is a process that requires both egg and semen to be

donated. The egg is fertilised with the semen using in-vitro

fertilisation, resulting in the formation of an embryo. This occurs

when both partners are infertile.

Ø Surrogacy is the process where a woman bears a child for a woman who

cannot become pregnant and hands the child over after birth. Either

both the egg and semen of the husband and wife are fertilised by

in-vitro fertilisation and transferred to the ute...

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...nd Embryology Authority for

genetic research. Roman Catholics disagree with this reason for

condoning genetic engineering because they believe that life starts at

conception, be it in a womb or a Petri dish and killing an embryo is

equivalent to taking a human life - other than that, they are in

favour of genetic engineering.

I agree with the Christians and the Muslims who are in favour of

genetic engineering for the same reasons as them. It can help to cure

and eventually prevent disease to make the world a better place to

live in. They are not trying to create Heaven on Earth but simply

trying to make this life as bearable as possible and trying to end the

suffering of those with terminal illnesses. Genetic engineering is

perfectly acceptable in my view as long as there is no attempt to

create 'perfect humans'.
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