Life as God’s Gift. Theology and Bioethics

  1. Lemma
  2. Жизнь — дар Божий. Богословие и биоэтика
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine - Ethics
  6. 19-08-2018
  7. Христодул, Архиепископ [Author]. Жизнь – дар божий. Богословие и биоэтика
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - biomedical technology - church and technology - bioethics - Cloning - surrogacy - in vitro fertilisation
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    1. <p>Христодул, Архиепископ (2008). Жизнь – дар божий. Богословие и биоэтика. <em>Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The author argues that current technological progress has become more dangerous for humans than natural disasters. He believes that egotistic people use science to destroy family through new technologies such as in vitro fertilization. The author points out that firm ethical norms should exist to lead people. One of these norms is to see the embryo as a human in development. In his view, life has three biological stages: birth, growth, decay and death. Now science interferes with both stages of birth and death. Science ends up representing a menace to the independent development of a human. It also threatens the decent aging of humans. Fortunately, all countries forbid human reproductive cloning.

      The author believes that the main issue nowadays is to develop a ban on the use of embryos for medical treatments of patients, as it may involve the death of embryos. If such a technology becomes successful, the free market economy will impose its rules and embryos will become a commercial product. Supporters of therapeutic cloning have gone so far as to call human embryos “early embryos” in order to justify abortions and to use less than 14 day-old embryos for medical experiments and not feel moral discomfort. The church believes that the embryo is a unique human being from the moment of fertilization and it is not a tissue one can easily remove from a woman’s body, as many feminists say. The author believes that such feminists should rather be called utilitarianists and egotists. The author quotes American Orthodox Christian theologian Herman Engelhardt who said that once we take away human rights from embryos we could also deprive little children or people in coma of human rights as well.

      While commenting on in vitro fertilization, the author mentions that this technology which uses the sperm of a donor can cause psychological trauma in the child as the child would want to find out who his/her father is. The archbishop is also opposed to the use of the technology by homosexual couples. As to surrogacy, the author points out that this process implies legal risks. A surrogate mother will have rights for the child who in turn may also be psychologically traumatized. The victim of all these manipulations is always the child who doesn’t have any power to resist the actions of adults.