University of South Florida World Religions Chinese Religions Discussion Questions

Citing your text, using Times New Roman 12 pt font, and writing a double-spaced response in 1-1.5 pages, please answer ALL of the questions for reflection associated with this prompt:

As the nurse educator for the surgical rehab unit where I worked, I had a reputation for having a lot of fun. My students and unit managers came to appreciate me filling that role. I especially highlighted ethical issues, mostly because no one else broached the subject. I loved it and almost have a Master’s degree in it now. The area I live in and the hospital I work for focuses a god deal of ethical attention on the issue of abortion, so it is often in my course material.

About a year ago, our hospital formed a “sister hospital” relationship with a hospital in China The deal required multiple trips to China for educators from all over the hospital. I happily accepted an invitation to go as part of our clinical education team to focus on ethics, bioethics, and religion and ethics. Apparently, as Chinese culture becomes more open, their enforcement of atheism has softened and religion is becoming more important in the country. So they wanted me to talk about religion and ethics as part of my curriculum. Of course in the US religion and abortion is a huge issue and so I had thought I would include the topic of abortion in my course.

In the process of putting together my course, I was communicating routinely with the nurse educator on their end. I asked that she review my session goals and her response to abortion caught my attention. She informed me that, although she had a good deal of personal knowledge of religion, Christianity, and the topic of abortion in ethics and clinical ethics, she did not advise me to include abortion in my course material. In the past, China’s ‘one child policy’ had required enforcement such that forced abortions became routine. A very common reality for the women of China was that they were forced to have abortions whether or not they wanted one. Apparently, women of all faiths in China have a very high likelihood of having personal experience with abortion. According to my educator partner on site in China, abortion was not a moral issue and did not make its way on to anyone’s list of hospital or clinical ethics course material.

Questions for Reflection:

(1) Is Christianity the only religion that argues abortion is a moral issue? What do other religions have to say on this topic?

(2) If lots of religious people have undergone abortions in China, should that automatically take it off a list of ethical issues to be addressed in a hospital ethics course?

(3)If the government forces someone to get an abortion and it is not a personal choice, does that remove the moral conviction often associated with it?

(4) Based on your knowledge of Confucian & Taoist principles, what other moral issues might emerge surrounding abortion in Chinese life and culture?

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