Life and Death

Jesus Birth_12

Life and Death

On the surface of things, it all seems so simple. People are born, and people die. This is the circle of life.

But in the 21st century, things are anything but. In the past 100 years, increased birth control (contraceptive devices) and the legalisation of abortion under certain circumstances has impacted on the birth rate as people choose whether or not to have children. In 1978, the first ‘test tube baby’ was born, marking a medical milestone. Scientists regularly assist in the conception process, helping couples for whom having a baby was an impossible dream to create a new life.

At the other end of the spectrum, advances in medicine and medical technology mean that people are living longer than previously, raising questions about when and how death can and should occur. Life support machines keep the body alive when the mind has shut down, blurring the distinction between life and death. And even now a debate rages over whether people themselves should have the right to choose their moment of death. Taking one’s own life is still illegal in the UK, as is causing the death of another, either intentionally or through negligence. Yet many people are campaigning to allow exceptions for those wishing to be spared – or to spare others – the pain or indignity caused by terminal illness.

The Bible is an ancient text, written at a time when many of the medical advances we now enjoy could never have even been imagined. But Christians believe that it is able to speak into any and every situation, and offers perspectives on the ethics of all of these practices. This section looks at some of the ethical considerations around abortion, contraception, fertility treatments and euthanasia, and how different Christians apply ideas found in the Bible to judge on the morality of each.

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Life and Death Articles

Bereavement

Losing someone close

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Phil Knox

Bereavement

Losing someone close

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What is it like to lose someone close to you? How did one Christian cope with the death of his father? How can faith and belonging to a community help during times of bereavement? Watch the film to hear more about one person’s experience.

Abortion

What are the issues surrounding the area of abortion?

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RR Abortion

Abortion

What are the issues surrounding the area of abortion?

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When does life begin? Should an embryo be seen as a person? What ethical issues surround abortion? What care is available for couples struggling with an unwanted pregnancy? Watch the Reflections Remix film to discover the view of three medical professionals on these and other […]

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Christian professionals share their thoughts on IVF

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IVF

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Christian professionals share their thoughts on IVF

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What is IVF? How can it help those longing for a baby? What are the ethical issues surrounding the process? Where does life begin? Hear how two Christian professionals respond to these questions in their work.

Euthanasia

Discover the views of three Christian Professionals

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Euthanasia v1

Euthanasia

Discover the views of three Christian Professionals

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What do the different terms mean? Euthanasia: The word comes from two Greek words meaning ‘Good death’. It usually refers to painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. Assisted suicide: Providing a seriously ill person with the […]

Believer’s Blog: Wanting a baby

'My experience of infertility'

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ISSUES-SANCTITY-FERTILITY1

Believer’s Blog: Wanting a baby

'My experience of infertility'

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Is is possible to reconcile a loving God with a sense of personal loss? What do you do with ethical questions when it personally impacts your own life and happiness? In our guest blog, ‘Mary’ shares her journey through fertility treatment. ‘I married Ian when we were […]

Fertility treatment

What's the issue?

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Fertility treatment

What's the issue?

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The word ‘fertility’ relates to producing children. Infertility is being unable to conceive a child by natural means. Sometimes the man can’t produce sperm, or not enough sperm, or his sperm is not of a good enough quality to fertilise the egg. Sometimes the woman […]

Believer’s Blog: Euthanasia

Perspectives from Christian health professionals

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ISSUES-SANTITY-EUTHANSIA

Believer’s Blog: Euthanasia

Perspectives from Christian health professionals

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In our guest blog,  Dr. Paul Lambert, MA, BM, BCh, MRCP, Specialist Registrar in Diabetes and Endocrinology, and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Lambert, RGN, DipN, Practice Development Nurse, explain their perspective on euthanasia. ‘Euthanasia means many different things to different people. In the strictest sense, euthanasia […]

The Hospice Movement

What are the alternatives to euthanasia?

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ISSUES-SANCTITIY-HOSPICE2

The Hospice Movement

What are the alternatives to euthanasia?

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A hospice is a house or home dedicated to the care of terminally ill patients. The first hospice was set up by Christian nuns in 1900 in Ireland. There are about 100 hospices in the UK. Many of them have a Christian basis, set up […]

Journey of life

How does the foetus develop?

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ISSUES-SANCTITY-LIFE JOURNEY

Journey of life

How does the foetus develop?

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How does a foetus develop? Take a look at this timeline for more information.   First trimester (months 1-3) Day 1 – conception takes place. 7 days – tiny human implants in mother’s uterus. 10 days – mother’s periods stop. 18 days – heart begins […]

Abortion

What's the issue?

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QUESTION

Abortion

What's the issue?

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Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by removing or expelling of a foetus before viability (the time the law agrees a baby could survive outside the womb). Before 1967, abortion was illegal in the U.K. The Abortion Act made abortion legal if : Two […]