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Case Study: Fetal Abnormality Assignment Help

Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

Jessica is a 30-year-old immigrant from Mexico City. She and her husband Marco have been in the United States for the last three years and have finally earned enough money to move out of their Aunt Maria’s home and into an apartment of their own. They are both hard workers. Jessica works 50 hours a week at a local restaurant and Marco has been contracting side jobs in construction. Six months before their move to an apartment, Jessica finds out she is pregnant. 

Four months later, Jessica and Marco arrive at the county hospital, a large, public, nonteaching hospital. A preliminary ultrasound indicates a possible abnormality with the fetus. Further scans are conducted, and it is determined that the fetus has a rare condition in which it has not developed any arms and will not likely develop them. There is also a 25% chance that the fetus may have Down syndrome. 

Dr. Wilson, the primary attending physician, is seeing Jessica for the first time, since she and Marco did not receive earlier prenatal care over concerns about finances. Marco insists that Dr. Wilson refrain from telling Jessica the scan results, assuring him that he will tell his wife himself when she is emotionally ready for the news. While Marco and Dr. Wilson are talking in another room, Aunt Maria walks into the room with a distressed look on her face. She can tell that something is wrong and inquires of Dr. Wilson. After hearing of the diagnosis, she walks out of the room wailing loudly and praying aloud. 

Marco and Dr. Wilson continue their discussion, and Dr. Wilson insists that he has an obligation to Jessica as his patient and that she has a right to know the diagnosis of the fetus. He furthermore is intent on discussing all relevant factors and options regarding the next step, including abortion. Marco insists on taking some time to think of how to break the news to Jessica, but Dr. Wilson, frustrated with the direction of the conversation, informs the husband that such a choice is not his to make. Dr. Wilson proceeds back across the hall, where he walks in on Aunt Maria awkwardly praying with Jessica and phoning the priest. At that point, Dr. Wilson gently but briefly informs Jessica of the diagnosis and lays out the option for abortion as a responsible medical alternative, given the quality of life such a child would have. Jessica looks at him and struggles to hold back her tears.

Jessica is torn between her hopes of a better socioeconomic position and increased independence, along with her conviction that all life is sacred. Marco will support Jessica in whatever decision she makes but is finding it difficult not to view the pregnancy and the prospects of a disabled child as a burden and a barrier to their economic security and plans. Dr. Wilson lays out all of the options but clearly makes his view known that abortion is “scientifically” and medically a wise choice in this situation. Aunt Maria pleads with Jessica to follow through with the pregnancy and allow what “God intends” to take place and urges Jessica to think of her responsibility as a mother.

1. What is the Christian view of the nature of human persons, and which theory of moral status is it compatible with? How is this related to the intrinsic human value and dignity?

2. Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? What from the case study specifically leads you to believe that they hold the theory you selected?

3. How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?

4. What theory do you agree with? Why? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?

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(i) As per Christian world view, people are created in the image of god. Though we are not divine, every person is honourable and privileged to live a honourable and decent life on this planet. This is independent of the social, economic and physical status of the human beings.  True humanity is bestowed in us by the gods and it is reflected in terms of love and relationship with other human beings. Further god has also created human beings to contain morality. Moral boundaries are not expected to be crossed by any true Christian. Christian spirituality is all about transcendent life. Further spirituality means accumulating God’s personality into human life and this is stated as can be achieved by mechanical acts. As per Christian world view, human beings are also created to be culturally infused.  Spirituality and culture are both infused with each other.  Almost all cultures will treat human beings with honour and Christian world view of humanity in integrated more or less in every culture on the earth.  The moral theory that every human being is same is the core belief of the Christian faith.  Every individual’s right for dignity and privacy is the intrinsic human value to be recognized as right to dignity.  Person creation as an image of god closely resembles this intrinsic human value and dignity(Shelly and Miller, 2009).

(ii) The moral status of the fetus is observed by different roles in the case study differently. Three types of the moral statuses of the fetus are visible in the case study. The first of it is a liberal view point and as per this view the fetus cannot be considered as a complete person, it might be human by nature but still cannot be considered as a person. As per liberal moral status, fetus cannot be considered as a person and abortion can be allowed on such case. This liberal moral status of fetus as non-person is taken by Dr.Wilson and is evident when he considers it as his duty to inform Jessica to take up the abortion based on circumferential conditions. Secondly Marco also believes the same liberal moral status of Fetus when he accepts what Dr.William informed him and even he prepares himself to advise Jessica to remove the fetus. The view point of Maria is highly conservative about the moral status of fetus, he believes both the fetus as a person and further links her vision of the fetus as a divine image and responsibility to take care of the same.  However Jessica view is more moderate in this perspective, she is struggling to take a decision between taking care of fetus as well clearing a pathway to lead more secured social and economic life.  She is in-between liberal and conservative views about the fetus (English, 1975).

(iii) Moral theories as employed by Jessica, Marco, Maria and Dr. Wilson. Dr. Wilson seems to be bounded by deontological moral theory. The theory is related with the ethics of the duty. As a health care professional, he believes that he has obligation to inform Jessica about the condition of the fetus and further he believes his moral obligation is to inform that the fetus cannot get developed normally and suggests abortion to avoid the aftermath complications. Even consequentialism moral theory which is based on the belief and consideration that the consequences of the actions are more concerned and there is need to consider the justification of the action based on consequences. If the fetus is allowed to take birth the subsequent consequences for financial freedom and social security of the family will be at stakes hence Marco believed that abortion can be a wise choice and advised Jessica to go about the same.   Jessica is though practical, she has spiritual mindset and her morality and spirituality believes of spiritual duty of human beings in general as a mother in specific, not letting her to opt for an abortion plan. Maria is spiritualistic and moral obligations to remain human have made her to advise Jessica to accept what god has prepared for her and to let her child take the birth(Vaughan,2015).

(iv) Well, when it comes to the belief, I believe in moderate theory in normal circumstances, I believe there is need to consider both the human and religious view points to protect the right of fetus. Of course that too after certain time, when there are more human characteristics acquired and the time evolves for fetus to take up the life of a person and enjoys its right to mature into personhood, it is strictly not allowed to take up the abortion. However in special cases, like in the current case, considering the fact that the fetus is disadvantaged and giving life to such fetus, knowingly is not competent to lead a successful life is a sin. It should not be entertained and though it is against the conservative ideology to let the fetus take birth and take up the life of a person, it is very much needed to allow the abortion of the same. Hence my view point and the theory is to remain moderate. There is no need for extreme conservative at the same time there is no need to remain extreme liberal.  My ideology is more or less particularistic; it is this view point, which does allow me to take up decisions in accordance with the particular case scenario. So considering the facts and the situations(Socio, economic concerns), it is right time for Jessica to take up the abortion and let her baby be given a chance to avoid the wrath and misery that she is more likely to face in life.  However she can take up an another opportunity to give birth to an another person and can lead a better motherhood, which can give complete integrity for her life and existence (Martin,2018). So considering all these facts, it is recommended for Jessica to go ahead with abortion as per the advice of Dr. William and as per the advice of Marco.

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