All throughout life we go through and sometimes have to face and deal with the most challenging and unexpected circumstances. Thankfully, we have the ability to take a moment and think wisely about our choices. Because that is ultimately what life is about making decisions. In the Case Study: Fetal Abnormality Jessica and Marco are faced with some unfortunate news from Dr.Wilson, that the fetus Jessica was carrying was not likely to develop any arms and had a quarter of a chance of having Down syndrome. They were faced with a couple of options to deal with the situation accordingly which was either to keep, abort, or give the baby up for adoption. However, each of the individuals involved gave their recommendation for action based on the different moral status theories.
When it comes to Aunt Maria, I would associate two theories with her, which is the moral agency and the relationship theory. For one she is involving God in the equation as being a factor in the decision making process for both Jessica and Marco in regards to aborting the fetus. Immediately when she mentioned God and the fact that He intended the pregnancy to happen, me being a Christian, I know that He makes no mistakes and for Jessica and Marco to go along with the abortion it would be seen as sinful. “ Thou shalt not kill”. (Exodus 20:13) Another theory that she is using is the relationship theory. Reason being is because she has pretty much already established a relationship between Jessica and the unborn fetus the moment she urged Jessica to “think of her responsibility as a mother”. Given that the aunt displayed the moral agency and relationship theory each influenced her recommendation in various ways. Starting with the moral agency theory, of course the fetus did not demonstrate any understanding of morality Aunt Maria did.
Based on the scenario given, she relied on her morals and therefore took it upon herself to make a judgement call towards Jessica on whether or not it is right or wrong to choose abortion. When it comes to the relationship theory, Aunt Maria has applied it to the fetus in relation to Jessica (motherhood). Seeing that the theory says that roles coincide with the relationship between beings, the Aunt, like stated before gave Jessica the role of mother when she urged her to take care of her responsibilities of a mother. As far as Dr. Wilson he has demonstrated the ways of the human property theory to determine the moral status of the fetus. Dr.Wilson looked at the situation from a doctor’s point of view by suggesting an abortion based on scientific and medical means. The human property theory influenced Dr.Wilson’s greatly in my opinion.
“Some of the characteristics that would give a being with moral status under this view would include things like, being conceived from human parents, or having a human genetic code, or the features of a human (physical human characteristics). And since the baby will be born without arms, the doctor might have found it just to abort the baby since it lacks the physical human characteristics of arms. However, if the baby were to be born with arms and just have down syndrome I’m sure the doctor would not be for abortion since there are babies born with down syndrome. I would also associate the moral agency theory with Jessica because she saw life as something sacred. However, I feel as though she is a bit indecisive about the decision. Now this is when the moral agency comes into the equation. A person’s morals plays a huge part in their decision making choices and even though it is not directly stated in the scenario I think she might choose to keep the fetus seeing that she sees life as being sacred and if she bases her actions off her morality of right and wrong then she will keep the child. As far as her husband Marco is using the relationship theory to determine whether or not to keep the child.
He has already accepted the responsibility of fatherhood and foresees the burdens put on him and Jessica if they were to continue through with the pregnancy. Marco falls into the relationship category because even though he does not want to have the role of being a father to the unborn fetus, the theory stills considers it a relationship between the two because even if one party in the relationship does not desire or value the other party there is still a relationship that has been established even though the father wants to have the abortion. In this situation I believe that it is an uneasy decision that no one should have to make. Had this had been me in this predicament I would choose to see the pregnancy through, however I would choose to give the child up for adoption because I don’t think it is the child’s fault that they are born with this disability so I would give them the opportunity to live for I too see life as being sacred.
As a result one might say that the theory I relate too is the moral agency one. I chose to handle the decision based on my morality and I thought that it was not right to choose to terminate the pregnancy. Due to me judging the situation and deciding what was right and what was wrong, my decision was heavily influenced by the moral agency theory. Overall this is an unpleasant circumstance to deal with but often times people in this world can’t handle something as devastating as this. This is exactly why people do have to stop and think rationally about the decisions that will be made. There were a variety of theories introduced and different ways to handle them but it all depended on the parents. At the end of the day it depends on the decisions of both parents to come to an agreement to handle the issue as one.
J.M, V. (2011). A Christian ethical perspective on the moral status of the human embryo
Acta Theologica, (1), 189
Personal identity. (2014). Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/ Ten Commandments. (2013). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1.