Based on Case Study: Fetal Abnormality and the required topic study materials, write a 750-1,000-word reflection that answers the following questions:
- 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?
- 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?
- How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?
- What theory do you agree with? Why? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?
Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
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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.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Case Study: Fetal Abnormality
Christians are guided by moral codes that help in decision-making or to ensure that they live by the word of God, be that as it may, other essential theories facilitate decision-making in an individual, which contributes to the decision-making. These theories might lead to a decision that is ethically correct but has an implication on Christian values. Only focusing on a single moral theory might be detrimental to some point since it does not analyze the issue from multiple points of view.
Christian Worldview on Human beings
According to a Christian perspective, human beings are unique of all God’s creation as they resemble his image and should be accorded respect. Respect for one’s life prevents killings, mistreatment, ridicule, or mockery regardless of gender, age, or race of the person. Accordingly, killings are considered to be a sin in the Christian worldview ad should be avoided or prevented. The Christian view portrays a life in which God intended people to live in harmony and easily coexist with each other in fulfilling the wishes of God (Grand Canyon University, 2015). The Lord wishes that each person leads a health quality life that ensures all the attributes of life are in their favor. Quality of life in a Christian view entails a life of happiness, joy, and does not contain suffering or pain. Christian worldview demonstrates a theory of intrinsic value for humankind, valuing them unique and worthy of God’s grace.
Theories for Determining the Moral Status
The case study of fetal abnormality concentrates on exploring the various theories that can be used to make decisions regarding a fetus that presents different outcomes when the different options are considered. The different individuals within the case study are conflicted with different morals concerning the issue of abortion due to various reasons. The case study is about Jessica’s pregnancy in which the fetus has been diagnosed with a probability of 25% of developing Down Syndrome (Grand Canyon University, 2015). The doctor also diagnosed that the fetus has not yet developed hands despite having passed the development stage with a small margin that they might even develop. Jessica, the doctor, Maria and Marco have different perspectives and exhibit their theories within the case. Jessica makes use of the theory of western modernism and that of moral agency while Marco exhibits the theory of materialism. Dr. Willis on the other hand has a theory of scientism and cognitive properties and lastly Maria portray the relationship theory.
Theory and Case Recommendation
To begin with, Dr. Wilson is a professional within his field and advises the patient to abort the pregnancy due to the knowledge and experience he has had on the field. Wilson is able to demonstrate the theory of cognitive properties and scientism, which relies because the moral status is based on one’s awareness and rationality. Scientism elaborates on the scientific evidence available to help conclude abortion (Gasparatou, 2017). Be that as it may, Jessica’s aunt Maria has strong Christian values due to her religious affiliation, and her advice to Jessica is in line with Christianity and moral conduct. She advises Jessica not to abort the pregnancy and that all life has value before God. Maria exhibits the relationship theory depicting that she has a strong relationship with Jessica, and Jessica, has a strong relationship with her unborn child and God. In this manner, they should act by the teaching and guidelines of God.
Marco, Jessica’s husband, exhibits the theory of materialism as he is concerned with their financial capacity to look after the child. Marco is afraid that they will not be able to afford the resources and services that the child will need (Clark, 2018). However, he also tells Jessica that he will be with her in whatever decision she will make. On the other hand, Jessica is conflicted between taking the doctor’s advice and their lack of financial capacity to abort the fetus and her religious values (Singh, 2020). Jessica demonstrates the theory of western modernism focused on the financial ability to take care of an infant with multiple healthcare conditions and has religious attributes that contribute to her moral obligation. Jessica also depicts the theory of moral agency as she needs to act on herself and on behalf of the fetus, which cannot make decisions yet.
In my own view, Jessica needs to ensure that she makes the right decision both for herself and the fetus. In the case study, she is depicted as financially unstable, and the husband is also of the same idea. The doctor affirms that the life of the fetus after delivery will be difficult as it has a possibility of Down Syndrome, and it has not yet developed hand (Fox, & Alldred, 2016). Keeping the pregnancy will affect the quality of life of the fetus and the family negatively. In this manner, she should abort the pregnancy and avoid the implications that will bring. Focusing on the theories of scientists, materialism, and some Christian teaching, the decision to abort is justified.
In conclusion, human beings are created uniquely of all God’s creation and should lead a happy life devoid of surfing. In the case study, keeping the pregnancy will lead to suffering and struggle with life as the parent does not have the financial capacity to manage the baby’s condition. Different theories have been used to depict these decisions in detail.
Clark, M. S. (2018). What is good and what is missing in relationship theory and research.
Fox, N. J., & Alldred, P. (2016). Sociology and the new materialism: Theory, research, action. Sage.
Grand Canyon University. (2015). Theological Anthropology and the Phenomenology of Disease and Illness. In Grand Canyon University lecture notes. Retrieved March 17, 2016, from https://lc-ugrad1.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html?operation=home&classId=9bdc20ef-c021-4d8b-b939-12067cc3b2ef#/learningPlatform/loudBooks/loudbooks.html?view
Grand Canyon University (GCU), (2015). Case Study: fetus AbnormalitySebo, J. (n.d.). Moral Status
Gasparatou, R. (2017). Scientism and scientific thinking. Science & Education, 26(7-9), 799-812.
Singh, P. (2020). Fetuses, newborns, & parental responsibility. Journal of Medical Ethics, 46(3), 188-193.