Case study on moral status
Jessica demonstrates the theory of moral agency because she is conflicted by the financial burden such a child will pose and the Christian belief that views abortion as a sin. In this case, she has to decide whether to uphold her Christian values that prohibit abortion or be realistic and consider both the financial burden the child would pose as well and the quality of life the child would lead. Based on her Christian value, Jessica considers every life to be sacred, therefore, associates she probably associates herself with the sentience theory that bases its arguments on the value of life (Greasley, 2016). That is, Jessica believes her unborn fetus has a right to live and thus it is not her place to determine whether the child is conceived or not. Her role as a moral agent and acting on her self-interest to come up with the best decision influences her approval for actions they would take.
Marco, on the other hand, is torn between deciding to have the child aborted due to the challenges that accompany a disabled child and thus he is ready to accept any decision Jessica makes which would fulfill the sentience theory (Singer, 2013). However, because of the relationship he has with Jessica and the responsibility to the unborn fetus, he demonstrates the application of the relationship theory. The fact that he is Jessica’s husband and father to the unborn child implies that he should be supportive of her wife. For this reason, he chooses to support whatever decision his wife, Jessica would come up that is whether to go ahead with abortion or keep the unborn child despite of the child’s disability. These principles influence his actions because he demonstrates the genetic or family obligations which account for the fetus moral status.
The doctor showed a clear understanding of what was at stake and advised the parents to consider scientific abortion due to the quality of life the child would lead once conceived. For this reason, it is clear that the Doctor subscribes to the scientism theory. The theory applies scientific claims and empirical evidence to guide a particular decision (Jackson, 2016). By applying the theory of scientism, Doctor Wilson mostly focuses on scientific facts such as the presence of the rare condition and Down syndrome, to help guide the parents on the best and the most realistic decision that is appropriate in such a scenario. The Doctor did not consider various religious perspectives that view scientific abortion as a sin but rather focused on the scientific perspective to analyze the situation in an attempt to provide the best remedy (Jackson, 2016). The theory influenced his recommendations for the appropriate action since as a medical practitioner, he is obliged to be as realistic as possible and approach such a situation scientifically to allows the parent to weigh their options while taking into account the doctor’s recommendation. The doctor still shows compassion and care when relaying the information about the diagnosis to Jessica, and indicated his respect for her wishes but offers the best alternative to the couple that wass highly favorable at that moment.
Aunt Maria would be associated with the relationship and moral agency theories. Firstly, in helping Marco and Jessica decide whether to abort or not, she mostly takes a religious perspective. Such applies to the Moral agency theory in that God had a plan and intended for Marco and Jessica to have that baby. Therefore, if they go ahead and abort, they will be going against God’s will and various Christian teachings that prohibit abortion. The other theory is the relationship approach in that she already created a connection between the fetus and Jessica by urging her to think about her role as a mother (Singer, 2013). The two theories influence her recommendations for action since; first, she understood the meaning of morality and used it to advise Jessica not to abort. The relationship theory influences her recommendations because the relationship she created with the fetus and the mother enhanced her view that it has a right to life.
The theory of moral agency is the one I would agree on because it centers its argument on the ability of a person to perform as a moral agent. The theory would influence the recommended action to be taken by the four parties and their capacity to make decisions on what is wrong or right would be determined by how their motives are judged on the grounds of morality.
- Greasley. (2016). Arguing about abortion. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Jackson, E. (2016). Medical law. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Singer, P. (2013). A Companion to Ethics. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
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