In the “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” four individuals that are able to make their feelings about aborting a fetus are presented. They include Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson. In this scenario, Jessica is pregnant with a fetus that has a 25% chance of Down Syndrome and currently does not have any arms with a low probability they will develop. Marco is Jessica’s husband who will support her decision. Maria is the religious aunt that pleads with Jessica about her obligation to God and this unborn child. Dr. Wilson is supportive of aborting the fetus. These individuals pose various theories in determining the moral status of a fetus.
Dr. Wilson has provided the family with all the possible options, but shows the greatest support of abortion based on his medical knowledge of the disabilities. Dr. Wilson is utilizing the theory of cognitive properties, which states in order to have moral status one needs to be able to demonstrate a level of awareness and rationality, which fetus’s do not posses (“Theological anthropology,” 2015). Under this theory the fetus has no moral status so it is acceptable to abort it.
Maria pleads with Jessica to think about her obligations as a mother to this child, as well as respecting God’s intent. This would fall under the theory based on relationship. Jessica has a relationship to this fetus as its mother and a relationship to God, these relationships provide the fetus with moral status making abortion wrong. This also demonstrates the divine command theory, which is based on God being the creator and decides morality (Dunstan, 2012).
Jessica is in confict because of the financial burden this child poses and her religious beliefs that oppose abortion. Jessica is acting as the moral agent, a person acting for herself to make the most appropriate decision (Purtilo &Doherty, 2011). This represents the theory of moral agency, because Jessica will decide the moral status of the child. Marco is concerned about the burden of a disabled child but is willing to support Jessica. This demonstrates the theory based on relationship, because the moral status of the child may change, depending on Jessica (“Theological anthropology,” 2015).
This Authors Opinion
This author believes in the theory of sentience and relationship. Sentient beings have moral status and relationships that determine moral status (“Theological anthropology,” 2015). This will influence the decision of abortion because the author believes that a fetus can feel pain and that the mother has an obligation to the fetus, as its mother to protect it as well as an obligation to God not destroy one of his creations.
The four individuals in this case study, as well as the author had different values when it comes to human life. As a Christian this author believes that abortion is immoral and goes against God’s plan. However, as a Nurse my opinion should not influence the decision of a patient. A decision regarding abortion is a difficult choice to make, and is a decision that a patient will need to live with for the rest of their lives. As a medical professional we have a responsibility to provide all of the options in an unbiased manner.
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