Piyali Mitra
University Of Calcutta
Religion has a considerable influence over the public’s attitudes towards science and technologies. The objective of the paper is to understand the ethical and religious problems concerning the use of embryo for research in assisting conception for infertile couples from the perspective of Catholic Christians. This paper seeks to explain our preliminary reflections on how religious communities particularly the Catholic Christian communities respond to and assess the ethics of reproductive technologies and embryo research. Christianity as a whole lacks a unified and definitive statement on when an embryo becomes a person, although fundamentalist Christians tend to be opposed to embryo experimentation. Roman Catholics tend to believe that the embryo should be treated as human life from the moment of conception or fertilisation. As opposed to this preconception I have tried to point out that a foetus is a clump of cells and lacks individuality as a conscientious human being and thus can be used for research for therapeutic reason. The paper concluded that the Church accepts techniques on embryo that respect their life. So they would allow procedures that are akin with healing and improvement of life without involving undue risks. The Church feels children should arise out of act of love between man and his wife in co-operation with God. In this regard, it may be pointed out though the creation of a child through a conjugal act in a wed lock is the preferred method since it is the most natural, least expensive one. But that does not mean, it should be the only acceptable means to conception. To state a child born using ARTs would be less perfect compared to a child born through conjugal act of husband and wife is absurd one to be mentioned.
Keywords Embryo Research  Catholic Christianity
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