Sanctity of Life

Birth and Death

Sanctity of Life

Christianity teaches that every person is a sacred child of God, made in His image. This contrasts with an atheistic position which points to the similarities between humans and other primates. This view underpins Christian responses to issues like Abortion and Euthanasia, and seems to suggest absolute responses similar to the position of the Catholic Church.

However, in practice there are no simple answers. The sacredness of the foetus has to be weighed against the sanctity of the mother's life. Also, there are huge debates around when human life begins. If it is at conception, as the Catholic Church suggests, then any use of embryos is called into question. However, if it is at some point after this, embryonic stem cell research may be ethical, or even required in order to save other sacred human lives.

Even the euthanasia debate isn't clear. What is the correct way to treat a sacred person who is suffering greatly and will not recover? Is it more dignified to help them to die or to care for them through their suffering?

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