Problems of cellular technologies in light of Orthodox moral theology

  1. Lemma
  2. Проблемы клеточных технологий в свете православного нравственного богословия
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 07-08-2017
  7. Смирнов, Димитрий [Author]. Проблемы клеточных технологий в свете православного нравственного богословия
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. Medical technologies - health - stem cell research - stem cell technologies - bioethics
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Смирнов, Димитрий (2007). Проблемы клеточных технологий в свете православного нравственного богословия. <em>Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии. </em>Retrieved from: <em><a href=""></a> </em></p> <p> </p>
    1. In this article, published on the Moscow Patriarchy’s website, the author points out that currently health has become a fundamental value in society. This "fundamentalism" manifests itself not only in advertising and pharmaceutical and medical ideology, as both part of public and individual consciousness, but also in new medical practices. New health care methods include regenerative technologies that use embryo stem cells. This technology claims to be able to cure deadly diseases by replacing “old” damaged cells with “new” ones. Supporters of this technology in the medical community believe that this may become a panacea not only for curing most diseases, but even for maintaining youth and possibly preventing death altogether. These doctors do not hide the fact that the most suitable “material” for such experiences are unused embryos for in-vitro fertilization.

      Smirnov believes that embryos should be treated as human beings and have the right to live as any other human being. Therefore it is immoral to use “spare” embryos after the in-vitro fertilization procedure. Many in the medical community argue that when unused embryos are used for stem cell replacement, they somewhat live on and become useful for the health of other people, thus making this technology ethically acceptable.

      The voluntary donation of embryos is legal in Russia and the author questions the moral grounds of this procedure. He also finds problematic the fact that parents have the right to allow others to use stem cells from their embryos. Smirnov explains that this technology in fact kills embryos when the stem cells are extracted from them. He argues that currently, society justifies this new technology by toting the concept of “good health” which itself has become a new idol, and idols inevitably demand human sacrifice. The author calls this new idol “Moloch-Health” (Молох-Здоровья).

      The author explains that some rationalize this behaviour by saying that parental consent for the use of human embryos for tissue transplantation can be compared with Abraham leading his son to be sacrified. The author wonders how it is possible, in the light of Orthodox moral theology, to use this example as an analog of Abraham's sacrificial humility. The author concludes that everything, including new technologies, arises and proceeds according to the will of God, and that there is a lesson here of humility, contrition and Christian love, which stands up for the protection of human life.