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Infertility affects approximately 1 in 6 couples from the West. There are many treatments available for infertile couples which help with the procreation of children.In-Vitro Fertilisation is a procedure conducted within a laboratory in which a man’s sperm is placed within a Petri dish, alongside an unfertilized egg, to accomplish fertilization. The embryo then is transferred into the woman’s uterus to begin a pregnancy. Additionally, the embryo can be cryopreserved (frozen) for future use.Sometimes, a woman agrees to carry a child for another woman with the sole intention of surrendering the child after birth, this is known as Surrogacy. The surrogate mother may be related to the child through natural contraception, or may not be related to the child as a result of IVF.Couples who have had successful IVF treatment may decide to donate any spare embryos left to help other infertile couples. This is known as Embryo Donation.Sometimes an egg is donated by another woman through a process called Egg Donation. The egg is then fertilised by IVF using the husband’s sperm. It is then placed in the wife’s womb by mechanical means.Artificial insemination refers to the range of techniques in which the man’s sperm is put into the woman’s genitals artificially.In the case where a child cannot be conceived naturally, partners may agree to transfer sperm, from the male partner, to the female partners uterus thorough mechanical means – This is known as Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH).Occasionally, there may be problems with the husband or male partner’s sperm; in this case, sperm could be used from a donor (Artificial Insemination by Donor ‘AID’) and implanted within the wife in order for her to procreate. Donor insemination (DI) could also be useful for single women not wanting a relationship and also lesbian partners wanting a child.(Word Count: 304)A.(ii) Explain Christian attitudes and the attitudes of one other religion, to these treatmentsThe Bible was written well before we had any knowledge of medical science, so there are no specific teachings in the bible about infertility treatments. However, different Christians interpret the Bible in different way.Some infertile Christians believe that they cannot have children because God had intended it to be that way. They have this belief because of the Biblical teaching that say, “Hannah had no children…because the Lord had closed her womb” (Samuel 1:2-6).Roman Catholics do not agree with IVF. This is because after implantation, the remaining embryonic cells are discarded; they class this as murder, which Christianity condemns. They also class AID as an act of felony as it is like committing adultery, which goes against God commandments as he wanted sex to be enjoyed between husband and wife. Additionally, Catholics go against all other artificial insemination involving male donors because masturbation is disallowed. However, some Christians do allow artificial insemination as long as the sperm and egg are for the mother and father.Other Christians believe that every life is a gift. They infer; why should we be allowed to help and cure the sick, yet not be allowed to help couples who are infertile. Churches such as The Church of England, are more indulgent towards helping couples with fertility, “Do to others as you would want done to you” (Matthew 7:12). They teach that, as you would want the enjoyment of having children, you should help others to achieve this joy also.Muslims, on the other hand, believe that the procreation of children is also one of the most important things to do as it upholds Islamic beliefs. They are led to believe that children are a blessing from God.Islam permits IVF and AIH as long as the sperm and egg belong to the husband and wife; a donor is intolerable. Some Muslims believe that discarded embryos are not yet foetuses, so therefore, their destruction can be justified by the doctrine of double effect: the intention to produce foetuses for childless couples, and not to kill embryos.However, Muslims do not allow surrogacy, embryo donation and egg donation. Islam disallows surrogacy because a child conceived by the surrogate mother, legally belongs to her and not the yearning couple. In addition, all Muslims believe that if a woman becomes infertile with another man’s sperm; she is initially committing adultery. This is forbidden in Islam; “nor commit fornication or adultery; and whoever does this, not only meets punishments but also the penalty on the Day of Judgement will be doubled to him and he will dwell therein in ignominy” (Al-Furqan: 25)(Word Count: 410)A.(iii) Explain why religious people may have problems with transplant surgeryTransplant surgery is the moving of an organ from one body to another for the sole purpose of replacing faulty or damaged organs with ones that are functioning properly. Organ donor can either be alive or deceased.Many Christians are opposed to transplant surgery. These Christians believe that fundamental organs such as the heart, was given to an individual by God and therefore should not be moved as it has spiritual means. Also, organs cannot be paid for as this is a form of exploiting the poor which is condemned in the bible. However, these Christians sometimes agree with the voluntary donation of living organs as it upholds Jesus’ command, to love your neighbour.Other Christians disapprove of all types of transplant surgery. They believe that transplant surgeries ignore the Sanctity of Life and take over Gods role as the arbitrator of human life.Most Muslims totally oppose transplant surgery whatsoever as they believe that it goes against God’s will. They believe this because the Shari’ah Law teaches that nothing should be removed from the body after death in order for the individual’s soul to be at peace following resurrection.Mainly, many Muslims have a problem with transplant surgery because it gives the impression as if surgeons are acting as God, which is not permissible in Islam and serves as one of the greatest sins; this can be referred to as shirk. It also threatens the belief on the sanctity of life where only God has control over our fate.However, some Muslims do allow transplant surgery as long as the organ donor is a close relative. They believe this as the teaching in the Qur’an infer that we should all help one another; “Whoever saves the life of one person, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” (Surah 5:32).(Word Count: 305)(B) “Only God has the right to interfere with our genes”Many Christians may agree with this statement. They believe that from the moment of conception, God had a plan for all humans and that we should not undermine or rectify what he had intended for us. They believe that God made us how we are as part of his image, and to change this would go against his will, and seem as if we are playing with his design of the world as genes are part of this design.Experiments with genes have also sometimes proved to be disastrous as scientists can never determine the full outcome. As a result, people may develop incurable disease or natural deformity. Many people are disgusted by the fact that deformed and diseased children have to suffer a life of hardship only because on human intervention. Some people even suggest euthanizing the diseased or deformed so that they won’t have to suffer anymore; but this is also wrong, and this is murder. This can also justify why many religious people blame humans and not God for evil and suffering on earth.Traditional Muslims would also agree with this statement. They are particularly worried about the use of embryos. They think of embryo research as a form of abortion (and murder) as they believe that life begins at fertilisation. They also see scientists as people whom are trying to take over the role of God thus becoming powerful enough to eventually decree our lives and dictate how we develop in the future. They would strongly argue that our bodies are not products of research, hence should not be meddled with in any way.Controversially, interferences with genes may involve cloning; this is open to many conflicts and disagreements. Through cloning, there is a major fear that an individual will eventually create the ‘perfect race’ of people, all identical in appearance. Cloning goes against what God intended as it puts the creation of life in the hands of scientists.However, many Muslims would disagree with this statement. Many traditional Muslims, as do I, accept that society has changed immensely since the time the Qur’an was written. They accept that treatments involving genes only have a solitary purpose of helping people and providing for a better future. Allah also wanted everyone to help one another and treatments with genes are a form of help that prolongs many lives. Additionally, there are no biblical guidelines regarding genes for all Christians to follow as no one knew anything about genes at the time. As a result of this, it is up to different members of Christianity to develop ethical guidelines to determine society’s attitude to what is permissible within gene interference.Why would God disallow us to interfere with genes for medical means? He is the one who gave us the knowledge and the ability to develop after all. This itself infers that God intended us to use our skills by giving us a chance to help others. The teachings in the Bible and Qur’an also state that we should try to heal the sick; it doesn’t mention what medical techniques are opposed. Jesus led by example when expressing that Christians should do all they can to cure diseases. He showed this when curing the fatally ill man in John 5:8-9. Who knows, the use of our skills and knowledge on earth could relate to the test, in which we are judged on how we live in preparation for the afterlife.Contentiously, to suggest that scientists are trying to take over the role of God is really a misconception as scientists are not denying Gods existence nor are preaching or sending words that they are God. They are, in theory, working with God because creating cells to cure disease is not the same as creating human life.Also supporting my belief; many people are atheist. Some atheists support medical methods involving genes as they maintain the belief there is no God, so there is no plan either and therefore, we should live our lives as best as we can because once you are dead…you’re dead.To conclude, God gave use the skill and knowledge to conduct genetic experiments, so we may as well put this to use in helping others. However, I do sympathise reasons which support this statement as genetic experiments are sometimes hazardous and can potentially prove to be of a risk, especially in the case of cloning humans in order to produce the perfect race. But we must also not forget that, religious or not, we have no real proof, nor do we have any sort of conclusive evidence which proves that there is an afterlife. Based on this, I believe that we should use whatever means and measures necessary to lengthen our lives on earth. We don’t necessarily need to make our earth perfect, but by aiding those in need by using genetic means, we are seeking rewards for heaven if it is existent, whilst also maintaining human dignity.I believe that upon creation, God has already interfered with our genes, making us who we are. But I believe that thereon after we should be reliant upon our own knowledge to get us through this life. If only God was allowed to interfere with genes, would it be fair to those whom were born with natural diseases – no it wouldn’t be fair. I think God placed these poor and helpless people on earth in order to see how far we would go to help them whether we truly have faith in him.Overall, supporting the teaching in Islam and Christianity, scientists should interfere with genes in order to find cures for ‘incurable’ diseases for the future. We are after all the stewards of the earth…therefore; we need to make it a better place for the next generation to live in.

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