Case Study on Moral Status
Case Study on Moral Status
Theories Used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to Determine the Moral Status of the Fetus
Theory based on relationships
The moral theory based on relationships states that a person in relationship with another individual should respect their rights. It also states that people in relationships have roles and responsibilities to each other (Luppicini, 2013). Maria has a biological relationship with Jessica and Marco, as she is an aunt to them. Jessica and Marco have been living in her house for the last 3 years. She even walks out of the room wailing and praying loudly after hearing of the diagnosis of the fetus. She is opposed to any termination of Jessica’s unborn baby and urges Jessica to go on with the pregnancy and let God’s will happen. She tells Jessica to plan and carry out her duties as a mother to the unborn baby.
Jessica is in a relationship with her unborn child and it would be wrong for Jessica to abort and kill the fetus (Luppicini, 2013). Marco and Jessica are also in a relationship as they are both husband and wife, and together are responsible for the welfare of the unborn baby. Marco is going to support Jessica in any decision she makes regarding the unborn child. Dr. Wilson has a doctor-patient relationship with him and her patient Jessica. Because of this relationship, Dr. Wilson must respect any decisions made by Jessica and her husband Marco about the unborn child (Luppicini, 2013).
Theory based on sentience
Sentience theory is based on the ability to feel and sense (Coeckelbergh, 2014). According to scientific research, the fetus will eventually grow into a full-grown human being. It has full rights as a full-grown person. Past research has indicated that fetuses gain the ability to sense and feel at week 28 (Coeckelbergh, 2014). Since Jessica is 16 weeks pregnant, Dr. Wilson may discuss the idea of pregnancy termination with Jessica because of the ultrasound diagnosis of the fetus, which revealed a possibility of a fetal abnormality.
Dr. Wilson has to make a decision based on the results to terminate the pregnancy due to the abnormality (Coeckelbergh, 2014). Dr. Wilson supports the decision on abortion based on scientific research. Jessica has a difficult time in making a decision between her beliefs on the value of life and being financially independent. Marco is also worried about the financial burden that will come due to the disabled child.
How Does the Theory Determine or Influence Each of Their Recommendation for Action
The theories influence Jessica, Maria, Marco, and Dr. Wilson recommendations for action. Dr. Wilson clearly understands the process of conducting an abortion and the negative outcomes it has on the parents of a child but also knows the negative effects that are going to come along by Jessica’s decision to keep the baby. Through scientific medical research, Dr. Wilson believes that Jessica can terminate the pregnancy through a safe medical process and there is still a chance for Jessica to have another healthy baby (Luppicini, 2013).
Dr. Wilson provides a safe medical alternative based on the quality of life the baby would have as the baby will have no arms and a 25% chance of the baby developing Down syndrome. Maria believes in God and urges Jessica to keep the baby and allow God’s will to take place. This decision is based on a Christian’s view that life is sacred (Coeckelbergh, 2014). Marco’s decision is based on the relationship that he has with his wife Jessica and is there to support her in any decision she makes regarding the pregnancy.
What Theory Do You Agree With? How Would That Theory Determine or Influence the Recommendation for Action?
I agree with the theory based on relationships. This theory will determine the recommendation for action. The relationship theory is based on a guideline of respecting other people’s rights and treating them fairly based on an existing relationship between the individuals (Sumner, 2016). In this case, the unborn baby has a right to be protected and so Jessica has the responsibility of protecting her unborn baby (Sumner, 2016). This theory based on relationships is not only based on biological aspects but also social and economic relationships. The relationship between Jessica and her unborn baby is a biological relationship where else the relationship between Dr. Wilson and Jessica is a social relationship (Coeckelbergh, 2014).
These relationships determine roles and responsibilities for each of the members involved. Jessica has a special relationship with her unborn baby and a responsibility of keeping the baby alive where else Dr. Wilson has a responsibility of making sure that his patient Jessica is safe and gives birth to a healthy baby (Sumner, 2016). Jessica as a parent has a moral obligation of protecting her baby and the baby has a right to be protected by her mother. Maria and Marco have a biological relationship with Jessica and her unborn baby and too have a responsibility to the unborn child (Sumner, 2016).
Coeckelbergh, M. (2014). Growing moral relations: Critique of moral status ascription. S.l: Palgrave Macmillan.
Luppicini, R. (2013). Moral, ethical, and social dilemmas in the age of technology: Theories and practice. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Sumner, L. W. (2016). Abortion and moral theory. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.