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Durham e-Theses
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A theological consideration of ethical issues raised by human genetic manipulation, with particular reference to gene therapy

Elkington, Audrey Anne (1999) A theological consideration of ethical issues raised by human genetic manipulation, with particular reference to gene therapy. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Human genetic manipulation is considered in terms of genetic testing and screening, gene therapy and enhancement, and reproductive cloning. Deontological and utilitarian approaches to ethical decision-making prove less than satisfactory. An alternative approach, involving theological explorations into fundamental moral questions, is used. Human beings are like other creatures in being; embodied, in limited control of their lives, and mortal. Humans are distinct 6om other creatures in reflecting the image of God. Responsibility in human life is considered in terms of stewardship and freedom. To be human is also to be an individual. Theologies of progress suggest that working together with God towards our own salvation is our human calling and destiny. Theologies of realism recognise the failings of human beings and our inability to help ourselves. Moltmann's 'theology of anticipation' holds in a paradoxical whole human limitations and our ability to work with God towards anticipations of his coming kingdom. A theological response to the limitations of medicine and health is explored through situations of disability and premature death. The Christian story, expressed in terms of fragedy and hope, provides a context in which to accept the limitations of genetic technologies and genetic health. These theological explorations are applied in detail to the situations of genetic therapy and enhancement, in somatic and germ line cells. Suggestions are made regarding legislation. The Christian story of tragedy and hope suggests a way of having which involves co-operation rather than competition with those who are genetically different. The Church can befriend and support those caught up in genetic tragedy, whilst celebrating our common hope.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:48

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