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Religious Studies Debate on Medical Ethics

June 2017

Religious Studies Debate on Medical Ethics

The Dinosaur exhibition presented a scientific viewpoint on how life began in contrast to religious beliefs.

Following an educational visit to the Centre for Life, students are debating whether science and religion are compatible in terms of medical intervention and the treatment of human life.

Students first investigated different beliefs about when life begins, considering conception, viability and ensoulment. The many different cultural views were then linked to termination of pregnancy and when this is considered legally and morally acceptable. A guided workshop at the Centre for Life on premature babies helped students to develop their own opinions on the ethics in medicine of intervening to save life, and also ending life, perhaps before it has even begun.

To complement this, students considered the differing scientific and religious perspectives of how life actually began - Big Bang vs Creation. A visit to the planetarium discussed the development of the cosmos, and the dinosaur exhibition, pictured below, presented scientific evidence on evolution. This evidence was then considered alongside the views of various faiths.

The trip offered an excellent opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, especially when presented with contrasting information and views. However, it also gave students the opportunity to build confidence in forming and expressing their own opinions, and in presenting them to others.

King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ