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Christianity and Bioethical Issues

            The Christian faith has various ethical teachings which are used as a tool to communicate their beliefs in certain situations. An example of where these ethical teachings are used to communicate the churches standpoint is in the matter of bioethics. Bioethical disputes regarding such topics as; abortion, IVF and euthanasia are all acts which are heavily debated in both secular and religious senses. The Christian church uses ethical teachings such as; The Golden Rule, Sanctity of life, Human Dignity and Stewardship to explain their views on such bioethical issues.
             Christians deem abortion to be illicit as directly contradicts several ethical teachings such as; Sanctity of life, Human Dignity, Golden Rule and Stewardship. The ethical teaching of the golden rule states "Do unto others as you would have them do to you" and Christians argue that the termination of a pregnancy is in direct contradiction of this. All variants agree with this ethical teaching as can be seen in many documents such as the Catechism where it is said that "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception". However this being said various traditions such as the Anglican and United Churches outline that there are circumstances in which exceptions are made due to extremely severe circumstances, "The Church combines strong opposition to abortion with recognition that there can be limited conditions under which it is morally legitimate. Such times as when a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, where the mother has been raped, where the foetus is at risk of being seriously handicapped"This statement highlights that in certain situations as stated above, that abortion can be regarded as licit as it takes into account the physical and mental wellbeing of the mother and the embryo. The teaching that life is a gift from god is also taken into account when Christians talk about abortion.

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