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Write a 750-1000 word analysis of “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality.” Be sure to address the following questions:
- Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? Explain.
- How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendation for action?
- What theory do you agree with? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?
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In the case study titled “Fetal Abnormality,” four individuals – Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson – are faced with the challenging task of determining the moral status of a fetus. Each person applies different ethical theories to guide their decision-making process. This analysis will delve into the theories employed by these individuals, discussing how each theory influences their recommendations for action. Additionally, I will present the theory that aligns with my perspective and explore how it shapes the recommendation for action.
1. The ethical theories being utilized by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson in determining the moral status of the fetus:
a) Jessica: Jessica leans towards the theory of ethical egoism. She prioritizes her own happiness and well-being, evident in her concern for the impact on her quality of life and future goals. Jessica bases her decision on the consequences she would face if she chose to continue with the pregnancy.
b) Marco: Marco appears to follow the ethical theory of cultural relativism. He emphasizes the cultural context and beliefs surrounding the issue. Marco’s recommendation aligns with his cultural background, which values the preservation of life and advocates for continuing the pregnancy.
c) Maria: Maria’s approach to assessing the moral status of the fetus seems to be influenced by the theory of utilitarianism. She considers the potential harm and suffering that might arise from the birth of the child. Maria’s focus is on maximizing overall happiness and minimizing suffering for everyone involved, leading her to recommend terminating the pregnancy.
d) Dr. Wilson: Dr. Wilson, as a medical professional, relies on the ethical theory of beneficence. His primary concern is the well-being and best interests of the mother, Jessica. Driven by this principle, he recommends terminating the pregnancy to avoid potential harm to Jessica’s physical and mental health.
2. How the theories determine or influence each of their recommendations for action:
a) Jessica: Jessica’s adherence to ethical egoism leads her to prioritize her own well-being, as she believes that continuing the pregnancy will negatively impact her happiness and future. Her recommendation for action aligns with her own self-interest and the pursuit of personal fulfillment.
b) Marco: Marco’s cultural relativism shapes his recommendation to continue the pregnancy. He emphasizes the cultural values he holds and believes that these values dictate the moral status of the fetus. His actions are influenced by the social norms and traditions of his community.
c) Maria: Utilitarianism guides Maria’s suggestion to terminate the pregnancy. She considers the potential suffering and harm that the child might endure and weighs it against the happiness and well-being of all individuals involved. Maximizing overall happiness and minimizing suffering determines her recommendation.
d) Dr. Wilson: Dr. Wilson’s commitment to beneficence directs his recommendation to terminate the pregnancy. His duty as a healthcare professional is to prioritize the well-being of the mother and act in her best interests. He believes that continuing the pregnancy would pose risks to Jessica’s physical and mental health, and thus recommends termination.
3. The theory I agree with and its influence on the recommendation for action:
After considering the theories presented, I find myself aligning with the theory of utilitarianism, as demonstrated by Maria. By prioritizing the overall happiness and minimizing suffering for all individuals involved, this theory presents a comprehensive ethical framework. In the case of Jessica’s fetus abnormality, I believe that the potential suffering the child might experience, combined with the negative impact on Jessica’s well-being and future happiness, justifies the recommendation to terminate the pregnancy. Upholding the principle of utilitarianism would ultimately result in the decision that maximizes overall happiness and minimizes harm.