Religious Studies 2

  • Created by: Toni
  • Created on: 28-03-13 20:51

Environmental and Medical Issues

Conservation - protecting and preserving natural resources and the environment,

Creation - the act of creating the universe or the universe which has been created,

Embryo - a fertilised egg in the first eight weeks after conception,

Environment - the surroundings in which plants and animals live and on which they depend to live,

Global Warming - the increase in the temperature of the earths atmosphere (thought to be caused by the greenhouse effect),

Infertility - not being able to have children,

Natural Resources - naturally occurring materials, such as oil and fertile land, which can be used by humans

Organ Donation - giving organs to be used in transplant surgery,

Stewardship - looking after something so it can be passed on to the next generation

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Environmental and Medical Issues

Global warming


  • The greenhouse effect - The trapping of the sun's warmth in the Earth's atmosphere and the burning of fossil fuels on Earth produces Carbon Dioxide which produces a barrier and traps the warmth.
  • Natural climate change - Our climate has slowly been changing and produces more Carbon Dioxide from volcanos, animals and bacteria.
  • Solar activity - Changes to the Earths atmosphere might be due to the amount of radiation coming from the sun.

Effects: Poor health, car emissions, farming, increasing temperatures, natural catastrophes,


  • You can make electricity which doesnt produce carbon dioxide
  • Car manufacturers are using ethanol, biodiesel, electric batteries etc.. to power cars without carbon emissions,
  • It is possible to improve efficiency and reduce pollution caused by cars,
  • Increased use of public transport would greatly reduce carbon emissions,
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Environmental and Medical Issues

Forms of Pollution

Acid Rain - Acid Rain is being made due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. When burnt they release sulfuric and nitric acid and these pollutants get trapped into the atmosphere and change the pH, creating acid rain. To prevent this, you could stop using fossil fuels in power stations and instead create electricity from wind, sun, tides and nuclear energy.

Human Waste - Waste is produced by humans in the form of sewage refuge every single day but litter is a main form of pollution, but also a major threat. Raw sewage that has not been treated adequately is a serious source of water pollution. To prevent this from happening, you could recycle using incinerators to produce electricity.

Eutrophication - Excess of nitrates, nitrites and phosphates in rivers leads to a lack of oxygen and an increase in aquatic plants whidh is causing many fish to die. Fertilisers are also being washed into streams which can cause health problems for humans. To prevent this, you could increase the use of organic farming methods.

Radioactive Pollution - Nuclear power stations do not produce carbon dioxide, but do produce nuclear waste and this waste is being buried without knowing whether it is safe or whether the containers it is in will be able to hold it. There may be dangerous circumstances if humans were to come into contact with it. Some nuclear waste can be reprocessed, meaning it can be re-used.

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Environmental and Medical Issues

The scarcity of Natural Resources

Overfishing - We may be harming the whole balance of our marine ecosystem; for every one ton of prawns caught, three tons of other fish are killed and discarded,

Sustainable Living - Coal, Oil and Gas are all running out, we should be finding replacements; wind power, wave power and solar power are used to generate electricity. When trees are cut down others are planted to replace them,

Conservation - Protecting and preserving the world's natural resources; includes protecting the oceans fishing stock through setting quotas,

Rainforests - This supports a complicated ecosystem; many species are on the verge of extinction; in the rainforest, about 2000 trees are cut down a minute; it takes about 60 years for a tree in a rainforest to grow large enough for timber

Possible solutions to scarcity of resources: Electricity can be used using non-renewable resources (wind, water, solar etc); car makers are looking at water, sugar cane and electric batteries as ways to power cars; recycling will extend the life span of many resources (cars are 75% recycled material); some people may have alternate lifestyles (only use natural products, eat organic food and ride bikes etc)

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Environmental and Medical Issues

Christian Teachings on Stewardship

  • In the Book of Genesis, God creates everything and everyone in it so they are responsible for caring for it,
  • In the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus taught Christians about responsibility to ensure the sharing of the Earth's resources.
  • Judgement Day - Christians believe God will look to see if they have fulfilled their duty as stewards of God's Earth,
  • "are not two sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God"

How do Christian Beliefs about Stewardship affect their attitudes towards to the Environment?

share resouces to improve living standards; support groups that work to save/conserve the environment; raise awareness on issues that affect the environment; change their lifestyle; responsible for caring for everything that God made.

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Environmental and Medical Issues

Islam teachings on Stewardship

  • Allah created the Universe and all life in it,
  • Allah has given humans the responsibility to look after his creations (Khalifah),
  • Allah created the Earth as a good place to sustain life,
  • Allah will judge every Muslim on account of how well they have guarded His creation,
  • Muslims are allowed to hunt, but only for food.
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Environmental and Medical Issues

The nature and importance of medical treatments for infertility

Surrogacy - An arrangement whereby a woman bears a child on behalf of another woman or where an egg is donated and fertilised by the husband through IVF and then implanted into the wife's uterus

AI by Donor - Donor's sperm mechanically inserted into a woman's womb.

Artificial Insemination - Injecting semen into the uterus by artificial means.

In-vitro fertilisation - Method of fertilising a human egg in a test tube.

Egg donation - Another woman's egg is fertilised by IVF using husband's sperm, then placed in the wife's womb.

AI by Husband - Husband's sperm mechanically inserted into wife's womb.

Infertility is on the rise, about 12.5% of UK couples have fertility problems; it gives everyone the chance to have a baby2007 = 2% of all births in the UK were the result of fertility treatments; human nature to want to have children and mental illnesses can be prevented by infertility treatment,

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Environmental and Medical Issues

Christian Attitudes to Infertility Treatments

Most Christians:

  • God gives children and he decides who has them,
  • Only allow methods that do not threaten the sacredness of life and in which sex acts are natural (3rd person/ killing of embryos)
  • All fertility treatments involoving medical technology are banned.

They believe this because:

  • IVF fertilises a number of eggs, some of which are thrown away. Catholics view this act as no different from an abortion,
  • AI and Surrogacy involve masturbation by the male, which is a sin.
  • Embryo Technology means the egg is fertilised outside a normal sex act. For Catholics God intended procreation to be part of the sex act.
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Environmental and Medical Issues

Christian Attitudes to Infertility Treatments

Other Christians:

  • They allow IVF and AIH,
  • Concerned by other forms of embryo technology, but not banned them. These methods cause problems on the child's identity,
  • All Christians would encourage childless couples to adopt,

They believe this because:

  • Its good to use technology to provide couples with the joy of children. This is one of the purposes of Christian marriage,
  • Egg and Sperm are from the husband and wife so the offspring will be theirs,
  • Discarded embryos are not seen as foetuses and the aim is to give children to a childless couple and not kill embryos.
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Environmental and Medical Issues

Islam Attitudes to Infertility Treatment

  • A child is a gift from Allah,
  • Nobody has the right to intervene because Allah has a plan for everyone,
  • However some believe that every woman has the right to be a mother and that medical help should be available,
  • IVF is acceptable to many Muslims if the egg and sperm are from a married couple: if not it would be classed as adultery.
  • Artificial insemination by the husband is acceptable to Muslims but artificial insemination by donor is totally forbidden and would constitute adultery as the donor is not married to the woman. 
  • Surrogacy is not permitted as well because a man's sperm is placed into a woman who he is not married to. It also upsets the idea of lineage,
  • Every child is entitled to an identity which could cause problems in some forms of infertility treatment if the child was conceived using an egg or sperm of a donor,
  • There is no legal process of adoption but they are encouraged to take care of orphans or children who have been abandoned if they cannot have children.
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Environmental and Medical Issues

The nature and important of Transplant Surgery

There are two types of transplant surgery;

  • Using organs from a dead person,
  • Using organs from a living person that they can live without e.g. bone marrow, kidney etc...

Why is Transplant Surgery important?

  • It is an effective, proven method of curing life threatening diseases and improving people's lives,
  • In March 2007, 7234 people were waiting for vital organ transplants but in the previous year only 3000 transplants were carried out. So transplants could save over 4000 extra lives a year,
  • The number of people needing transplant surgery rises by 8% each year so they are an important part of health provision,
  • It is a proven and efficient way of bringing life out of death, giving people the chance to help others after they die.
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Environmental and Medical Issues

Christian Attitudes to Transplant Surgery

  • Christians who believe in the immortality of the soul believe the organs arent needed after death,
  • Christians who believe in resurrection believe St Paul's words that the body will be transformed and will not need the organs,
  • Jesus told Christians they should love their neighbours and leaving your organs is a way of loving your neighbour,
  • Jesus also said that Christians should treat others as they would wish to be treated by them,


  • Some believe that transplants could disregard the sanctity of life,
  • Transplanting organs is usurping God's role and it is wrong to "play God",
  • It raises the problem of when someone is dead, as heart transplants require the heart to be removed before it stops beating,
  • It diverts resources from prevention or less expensive cure which could improve the lives of far more people than a single transplant,
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Environmental and Medical Issues

Islam Attitudes to Transplant Surgery

  • The Shari'ah teaches that nothing should be removed from the body after death and opposes post-mortems,
  • The Qu'ran says that Allah has created the body of a person and so to take parts from one body and put them into another is to act against him,
  • The Muslim belief in the sanctity of life means that all life belongs to Allah and only he has the right to give and take life,
  • Many Muslims believe that they will need all their bodily organs if they are to be rusurrected on the Last Day,


  • Some Muslim lawyers have said that it is permissible,
  • A ruling, fatwa, was issued by the Muslim Law Council of the United Kingdom in 1995 saying that Muslims could carry donor cards and have transplants,
  • Islam aims to do good and is not intended to put burdens on people they cannot bear. If a close relative is dying and a transplant could save them, then it should be given, just as pork can be eaten if a Muslim would otherwise starve to death,
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