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.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
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.
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What is the Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons?
In the realm of Christian theology, the nature of human persons is a topic of significant contemplation and discussion. Christians believe that human beings are unique creatures, endowed with a special status in the created order. This article explores the Christian perspective on the nature of human persons, delving into key theological concepts and examining their implications for understanding human identity, purpose, and destiny.
Introduction: Exploring the Christian View of Human Nature
The Christian faith considers human beings to be more than mere physical organisms. According to Christian belief, humans possess a spiritual dimension that sets them apart from the rest of creation. The understanding of human nature is shaped by various theological principles, including the concept of the Imago Dei, the Fall and Original Sin, redemption, and the ultimate destiny of individuals.
Created in the Image of God: The Imago Dei
At the core of the Christian view of human nature lies the belief that every person is created in the image of God. This concept, known as the Imago Dei, suggests that humans reflect the characteristics and attributes of their Creator. While the exact nature of the Imago Dei is debated among theologians, it encompasses notions of rationality, moral agency, creativity, and relationality.
The Fall and Original Sin: Humanity’s Brokenness
Despite being created in the image of God, Christianity teaches that humanity has fallen from its original state of perfection. This fall is often associated with the story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. The consequence of this fall is the introduction of sin and brokenness into the world, affecting all aspects of human existence and separating individuals from a perfect relationship with God.
Redemption and Restoration: God’s Plan for Human Flourishing
Christianity offers hope and a path towards redemption and restoration. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians believe that God provided a means to reconcile humanity with Himself. This redemption allows individuals to experience forgiveness, healing, and the restoration of their broken relationship with God, leading to the possibility of a transformed life and eternal communion with Him.
The Body and Soul Duality: Embodied Beings
Within Christian theology, the nature of human persons is often understood as a union of body and soul. While the exact relationship between the physical and spiritual aspects of human existence is debated, Christianity affirms the significance of both. The body is viewed as a vessel for the soul, and the physical realm is considered important in terms of human experience, expression, and interaction.
The Role of Free Will: Human Agency and Responsibility
Christianity upholds the belief in human free will, emphasizing the capacity for individuals to make choices and exercise personal agency. This free will is seen as a reflection of God’s gift of freedom and a necessary component for moral responsibility. Christians understand that their choices have consequences, both in this life and the eternal realm, and they are called to align their will with God’s principles.
Sanctification: The Journey towards Christlikeness
Once redeemed, Christians embark on a process of sanctification, which involves growing in holiness and conformity to the character of Christ. This transformative journey is fueled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and involves the development of virtues such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Sanctification shapes the Christian’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, guiding them to align with God’s purposes.
Eternal Destiny: Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife
Christianity teaches that human life extends beyond the earthly realm. The ultimate destiny of individuals is believed to be either eternal communion with God in heaven or separation from God in hell. While the exact nature of heaven and hell is the subject of theological debate, Christians anticipate the fulfillment of their hope in a restored creation and the joyous presence of God in eternity.
The Christian View of Human Dignity and Equality
In the Christian perspective, every human person possesses inherent dignity and worth. This understanding is grounded in the belief that all individuals are created in the image of God and are recipients of His love and grace. Consequently, Christians are called to recognize and uphold the dignity of every human being, treating them with respect, compassion, and justice, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or any other differentiating factor.
The Christian Ethic: Loving God and Neighbor
Central to the Christian faith is the commandment to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. This ethical framework guides the interactions and behavior of Christians, emphasizing selflessness, empathy, forgiveness, and service. The Christian view of human persons calls for a commitment to fostering love, justice, and mercy in relationships and society at large.
Human Persons in Community: The Church as the Body of Christ
Christianity places a strong emphasis on the communal aspect of human existence. The Church, understood as the body of Christ, is seen as a community of believers called to worship God, grow in faith, support one another, and engage in mission and outreach. Within this community, individuals find belonging, accountability, spiritual guidance, and opportunities for collaboration in advancing the Kingdom of God.
The Importance of Human Relationships: Family and Society
Christianity recognizes the significance of human relationships, particularly within the context of the family. The family unit is considered foundational for society, providing a nurturing environment for the physical, emotional, and spiritual development of individuals. Furthermore, Christians are encouraged to engage in meaningful relationships within society, seeking to contribute positively, promote justice, and offer compassion to those in need.
Challenges and Tensions: Theological Debates on Human Nature
The nature of human persons is a subject of ongoing theological debates within Christianity. Various perspectives exist on topics such as the extent of human depravity, the relationship between predestination and free will, and the exact nature of the Imago Dei. These debates demonstrate the diversity of thought within the Christian tradition and the ongoing pursuit of understanding the depths of human nature in light of God’s revelation.
The Intersection of Faith and Science: Perspectives on Human Origins
The relationship between faith and science often raises questions regarding the nature of human persons and their origins. Christians hold diverse views on topics such as creationism, evolution, and the compatibility of scientific findings with theological teachings. While some seek to reconcile scientific discoveries with their faith, others approach these matters from a more metaphorical or allegorical perspective, emphasizing the theological truths conveyed in biblical narratives.
The Christian view of the nature of human persons encompasses the belief in the Imago Dei, the impact of the Fall and Original Sin, the hope of redemption and restoration, the body and soul duality, the role of free will, the journey of sanctification, the eternal destiny, the recognition of human dignity and equality, the ethic of love, the importance of community and relationships, and the ongoing theological debates and intersections with science. Christians are called to embrace their identity as both physical and spiritual beings, living out their faith in love, service, and pursuit of God’s purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the Christian view of human nature universal among all denominations? The Christian view of human nature is broadly shared among various denominations, but there may be nuanced differences in emphasis and interpretation.
2. How does the Christian view of human nature differ from other religious perspectives? The Christian view emphasizes the belief in the Imago Dei, the fallen nature of humanity, the need for redemption through Christ, and the hope of eternal communion with God.
3. Do Christians believe in the concept of original sin for all humanity? Yes, the concept of original sin is widely accepted among Christians, signifying the inherited brokenness and separation from God resulting from Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
4. Does the Christian view of human nature affirm the value of every individual? Absolutely. The Christian perspective upholds the inherent dignity and worth of every human person, emphasizing the equality and love that should be extended to all.
5. How does the Christian view of human nature influence ethical decision-making? The Christian ethic revolves around the commandment to love God and neighbor, guiding Christians to consider the well-being and dignity of others in their ethical choices.