The common denominator in all these issues is the high regard and concern of the church for human life as a gift of God. Eastern Orthodox Christianity takes a conservative approach to these issues, seeing in them a dimension of the holy and relating them to transcendent values and concerns. Only an intense respect for human life can curb the modern tendencies to destroy human life both before birth and as it approaches its end. The human person, from the very moment of conception and implantation in the womb, is dependent upon others for life and sustenance. It is in the community of the living—especially as it relates to the source of life, God in Trinity—that life is conceived, nurtured, developed, and fulfilled in communion with God. The trust that each person has in others for the continued well-being of his or her own life forms a basis for generalization. Eastern Orthodox ethics, consequently, functions with a pro-life bias that honors and respects the life of each person as a divine gift that requires protection, transmission, development, and enhancement.


SEE ALSO: African Religions; Buddhism, Bioethics in; Christianity, Bioethics in; Daoism, Bioethics in; Eugenics and

Religious Law; Islam, Bioethics in; Jainism, Bioethics in; Judaism, Bioethics in; Medical Ethics, History of: Europe; Mormonism, Bioethics in; Native American Religions, Bioethics in; Reproductive Technologies; Sikhism, Bioethics in; Transhumanism and Posthumanism


Ware, Kallistos. 1964. The Orthodox Church. Baltimore: Penguin.

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