The Status of the Human Embryo: An Analysis from the Christian and Islamic Viewpoints

Abstract

The issue of when human life begins and the present state of scientific developments has made the status of an embryo a major controversial issue. Developments such as embryonic research, human cloning, genetic engineering, assisted reproduction techniques, pre-implantation diagnosis and genetic screening, among others have brought forth weighty questions on the status of the human embryo. This question of the status of the human embryo has been debated upon by many in the medical field, secular philosophy and by religious scholars. This article describes the nature of the embryo from religious point of view (Christianity and Islam), and further makes an analysis between the view points of these religions. The objective is to ethically examine the status of the embryo from the perspectives of Christians and Muslims. This involves an analysis of the ethical concerns of the two major religions to ascertain their position on such an existing contemporary ethical issue. While most people in the scientific community describe the embryo as none other than a human tissue, religious scholars view it as human or a potential human being which should be treated with the highest respect and dignity. This in a way has created an impasse which is somehow affecting scientific researches as well as religious thoughts. The paper is made relevant due to its quest to comparatively examine the take of religion -which shapes and continue to inform many minds -on modern scientific medical developments

Keywords: Christianity and Islam, Comparative Analysis, Ethics, Human embryo, Status


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 24-60 (Download PDF)

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