On Human Dignity and Biotechnologies

  1. Lemma
  2. О человеческом достоинстве и биотехнологиях
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine - Ethics
  6. 08-07-2018
  7. Гундяев, Владимир Михайлович [Author]. О человеческом достоинстве и биотехнологиях
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. electronic identification - Russian Orthodox Church - in vitro fertilisation - euthanasia - bioethics - biotechnology - Medical technologies - organ transplantation
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    1. <p>Гундяев, Владимир Михайлович (2009). О человеческом достоинстве и биотехнологиях. <em>Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии</em>. Retrieved from: <a href="http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/253-">http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/253-</a> </p>
    1. The author, Metropolitan Bishop Kirill (Patriarch Kirill as of 27 January 2009) argues that while technological progress was initially meant to help humans survive, it now uses humans for experimentation. He provides the example of the use of human embryos for artificial fertilization or human organ donation without consent. Human dignity is one of the most important things in Christianity as well as in the humanist philosophical tradition of Western Europe. Yet it is in the West that new biotechnologies violate the principle of human dignity. The author asks why, in the west, freedom of speech matters more than human dignity in biotechnological experiments. For Christians, humanity is made in the image of God and thus has supreme value. Disease in Christianity is a consequence of sin, the disruption of God’s order. Therefore it is wrong to think and aspire to the elimination of diseases through medical manipulation. Diseases will remain unless people stop sinning.

      New technologies, such as electronic identification, imply a change of human consciousness and behaviour. The author maintains that it is not clear whether these new humans with electronic devices installed in their bodies are worthy of the status of divine life made in the image of God. Euthanasia is another problem of new biotechnologies. The Church believes doctors should keep trying to save a patient’s life if he or she is in the state of coma as long as the whole body is alive. The Church, however, has not yet elaborated on what is to be done if the consciousness dies and only certain bodily functions are active in coma patients. In vitro fertilisation is viewed as wrong if it involves humans outside of the married couple and manipulates embryos. The Church is also against electronic identification for data collection because this way an electronic chip becomes part of the human in a legal sense and this may entail discrimination against those who are not electronically identified.