Embryos Are Not People Right or Wrong

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Last updated: November 21, 2019

Embryos are organisms in its early stages of development and by destroying them, most of the population would think that you are effectively destroying human life; however this is not quite the case in many peoples’ eyes. Everyone has a different point of view on the question above; a somewhat conspicuous question leaving the reader with only two choices – right or wrong. Nevertheless, these two outcomes need quite a lot explanation behind the thoughts of the person who is answering the question.

This is exactly what is going to happen and as you read through this discursive essay, not only will you encounter my thoughts on this significant point but also others. In 1991, 3,000 embryos were frozen. This was because IVF (in vitro fertilisation) was taking place. In vitro fertilisation is basically fertilising a woman’s egg in a test tube. Once the egg has been fertilised by a man’s sperm, the egg is then implanted into the woman’s womb. However, there is one major drawback; doctors need many attempts before an embryo actually implants.So as a result, the embryos were frozen and were saved for future use.

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A new law was made stating that the embryos could not be stored for more than five years unless they had the couples consent. By 1996, 5 years had passed and thus meaning that the clinics had to contact the embryo owners regarding their decision; to keep or destroy their embryos. However, the clinics had either lost contact with many of the couples or their records were out of date – it was inevitable. This then lead to the loss of 3,000 embryos on the 2nd of August 1996.This matter obviously led to a lot of controversy, thus making the Catholic Churches object to such decisions. They came t0 a conclusion – lead a campaign and protest.

The churches’ thinking was completely different to many other people; they thought that the embryos were God-given. They were effectively a blessing from God; therefore they should save them whatever the situation. Acting within a few months, many Catholic couples decided to have another person’s embryo implanted in their womb – basically, adopting without the owner’s consent.Unfortunately, only 130 couples had volunteered and consequently, only 130 embryos were saved.

When this number is compared to 3,000, it is not much; however, it is better than nothing. The Catholic also decided to act in other ways; they went to court and failed in persuading the Official Solicitor – a person who has a legal duty to protect the interests of children – to save the embryos. He said a few words: ‘I can only act on behalf of a life in being. Until a child is delivered, it doesn’t not have an independent legal persona’.His point of view contradicted with the Roman Catholic Churches, they argue that life begins at fertilisation, and that even an embryo has rights. So, this effectively means that you are destroying human life.

I am a Hindu and I am studying Hinduism. Within the rest of the essay, you will encounter my thoughts alongside my religion’s thoughts on this topic. It could be argued that embryos in the early process of fertilisation have only a 30 per cent chance of becoming a full human being. So why not use them for the potential benefit of existing human beings, for 14 days, and then destroy them?After all, it is not thought that in these early stages cells are sufficiently developed to feel any pain. Furthermore, cells could potentially be used to treat illnesses that we currently do not have a cure for. It is a compelling argument; when scientists tell us that in embracing this technique we could reduce the hideous effects of strokes, heart diseases, cancers of various sorts, etc.

.. Who would dare be ‘inhuman’ enough to suggest this and does not justify the means? It is not as simple as that. On the face of it, such an argument would be quite wrong.

Hindus believe that Brahman lives in literally everything (the Atman). In this case, Brahman is living in the foetus. From this we can draw a conclusion that if we kill an embryo, we are effectively harming Brahman. Brahman created and maintains life but that we, as humans, must continue that responsibility by protecting life. In addition, the Hindu Vedas states that all life is blessed; this also includes animals and plants. It is this guideline that lies at the heart of the Hindu policy of Ahimsa (non-violence). We believe that we must respect life; it is important and accumulates into the bad karma if not shown.

By showing love to creatures – again including animals – we are in actual fact showing love to God, who is literally in everything as mentioned before. All things are God’s creation and therefore we must respect all of it, as we love all of God. Finally, in Hinduism the soul passes through many species until it finally evolves to the highest level consciousness, in the form of a human being.

It is this human birth that can finally end up with God. By preventing this from happening, it could be said that one is separating one from their God.Hinduism is an ancient religion practiced by hundreds of millions in India and abroad.

One commentator describes it as: “…

more than just a creed: it is a total culture, a way of life based on the belief in the unity of all creation. Hindus, like Buddhists, see humankind not as an entity separate from animals, but rather as an integral part of the universe that includes all living creatures. Although Hinduism is well known for considering cows to be holy, in Hindu doctrine, all living creatures, including insects, plants, and trees, are thought to enjoy a kinship with one another and to be worthy of respect and life. “

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