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Term Paper on Religious Views about Ill Newborn Babies



New advances in medical knowledge and technology have created new treatment options for both patients and health care givers. Doctors are increasingly being confronted with challenges especially in the criteria by which they can make good clinical judgment. These judgments are often fraught with ethical dilemmas for medical personnel who are required to make decisions in the "best interest" of their patients whose wishes may not always be rational or even known. These decisions which are influenced by the doctor's own values, should always be based on ethically acceptable principles. Ethical dilemmas in medical practice nowadays are, however, not only limited to direct patient care. The advent of managed healthcare and medical entrepreneurial endeavors, have raised ethical questions for which there are no easy answers.


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Before the turn of the century, most babies were born in the home, and the fate of a number of babies was dismal. During the first half of this century, it became evident that hospital deliveries reduced the toll of complications of birth for women. However, a low survival rate for premature or low-birth weight babies remained, due to a lack of ability to manage respiratory distress. There are many children even today which face severe conditions after birth. The parents of these children are often faced with difficult challenges, financial distress and lingering uncertainty about their children's future.

Children are important for every faith, religion and culture and there are mixed views available concerning the fate of the ill newborn. If they were not cared for a life would be lost. The religions round the world offer different views considering the conditions of the newborn but all lead to the same fact that the sufferings of the baby should be reduced. In Christianity, the suffering of the ill should be reduced that is the child should be best cared for under all the circumstances. However, there are separate views found amongst the conservative and the liberals. The conservatives strictly follow the Christian law as it is and believe that the newborn is the responsibility of the parents and should be cared for. The concept of ending the pain of the baby has also emerged in the past years. Many have strongly started believing the fact that the life should be ended if it is causing pain but this practice has gained enough criticisms as well for it being an interruption in the way God works and God is the Supreme Law.


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In Islam, it is strictly forbidden for the humans to decide the fate of the newly born even when conditions are worse. Here, God is the Authority and without His approval a life cannot be taken away. The fate of the newborns is to be decided by God Himself but families and parents are to care for the babies, as they are a human life too. Islamic views take the pain of the baby under consideration but all the people can do is to pray and make the best use of their resources to make the child feel better. The fate that is what is to be done about the baby is a decision taken by God with which none can interfere. God has sent the newborns and would they care for. So, in all Islamic countries and the Muslim people the concept of ending a life brutally called Euthanasia is rare because Muslims believe that whatever happens, happens for the betterment of the human race and they have no right to interfere with Nature and its actions. Most of the religions that date back to the history of the world offer the view that the pain should be reduced. In the Jewish faith, the newborn should go through the minimum of pain.

Newborns are fragile creatures and need to be handled with great care. Ill newborns should be treated with utmost responsibility and care like in many cases the babies remain in their incubators for long times. Jews also believe in reducing the pain but taking away a life is still a dilemma facing the people because no one cane easily interfere with God and what He does for the people. All round the globe the concept of reduction in pain and thus ending a life has generated a controversial debate.
Another major religion of the world, Hinduism has a number of classes that have diverse beliefs about certain things. Most of Hindu populations face the 'class' problem that is there are separate classes to which people belong like the most rich and powerful ones and then the mediocre ones and so on. The lowest class is not treated with much respect. This cast system has formed the basis of Hindu beliefs for the past years but today the intensity of such feelings has thinned. Considering the newborns, the fate is decided by their various Gods and what they feel is right. The fate of the newborn is to be handled by their Gods. Pain is a universal language that can be understood by its vocal sounds, facial expressions, body movements, respiration, color, and even its crashing metabolism. Babies speak this language as well as anyone. We should listen seriously and react appropriately. But the fate is not in our hands and is not decided by us ever.


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