Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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layla
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Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

Post by layla » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:00 pm

Hi,

I work in bio / medicine and we sometimes test products on neoplasms or tumours (cancerous) This often involves deliberately killing off the tissue / tumour itself. This is simply for research purposes - not to cure cancer or anything socially benificial.

Im confused about what this 1 precept covers. I know a tumour is made up of cell's and micro-organisms. But it's the tumour as a whole I deliberately degrade or essenhtially kill. Fundimentally I'm confused about what the first precept covers, in terms of whats alive (because a tumouroid is alive, living tissue).

I'm a newbie just finding the path,

Layz

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:32 pm

layla wrote:Hi,

I work in bio / medicine and we sometimes test products on neoplasms or tumours (cancerous) This often involves deliberately killing off the tissue / tumour itself. This is simply for research purposes - not to cure cancer or anything socially benificial.

Im confused about what this 1 precept covers. I know a tumour is made up of cell's and micro-organisms. But it's the tumour as a whole I deliberately degrade or essenhtially kill. Fundimentally I'm confused about what the first precept covers, in terms of whats alive (because a tumouroid is alive, living tissue).

I'm a newbie just finding the path,

Layz

I imagine this subject could be waxed philosophically on forever...

I think the first precept applies to beings which are seen to be sentient, I assume a tumor is no more sentient than is a vegetable. In short, if it isn't a thing which has (or is thought to have) subjective experience of it's own or some sort of volition..it isn't a sentient being. That's my understanding of it at any rate.
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seeker242
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Re: Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

Post by seeker242 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:57 am

Abstinence from killing refers to "sentient beings". I would not consider a cancer tumor to fall under that distinction. However, if the research activity causes harm to or kills a being like some kind of animal, a mouse or rat for example, then it would be applicable.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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catmoon
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Re: Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

Post by catmoon » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:21 am

Test point:

Does the tissue in question show any tendency to avoid suffering that you can see?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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lobster
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Re: Hi Right Livelihood and Killing

Post by lobster » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:39 am

Layz you are benefitting sentient beings by doing research into alleviating suffering.

Everything is fine. Many thanks for your work :twothumbsup:

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