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.
Case Analysis -Fetal Anomalies
Life challenges are inevitable, and at one point, they lead to situations that predispose individuals
to dilemmas and hardships that necessitate the application of ethical decisions and standpoints.
As a result, the decisions made during these challenging situations can build an individual’s
future or reduce it to shambles. Nonetheless, people are defined by their capacity to reason,
which facilitates the decision-making process that considers the consequences (Knutsson &
Munthe, 2017). Besides, people’s decisions and choices stem from their moral compasses and
worldviews, which are further shaped by aspects such as culture, ethics, religion, personal
experiences and relationships, spirituality, and values, among others. Therefore, when faced with
a challenging situation, people tend to respond differently based on these factors. Still, it is
imperative that the identification and understanding of an individual’s moral compass and
worldview and other people are considered in healthcare.
Christian Perspective on People’s Nature and Theory Compatible to the Moral Status
CASE ANALYSIS 2
According to Jaworska & Tannenbaum (2014), the Christian standpoint on humans’
nature stipulates that an unborn child should be considered a human being. It thus follows the
line of thought that an unborn child is a living creature that was made in the image and likeness
of God (Imago Dei and Imago Trinitatis). This scriptural line of thought serves as the primary
reason for the regulation of human respect in deontological Christian morals. In this case,
Jessica’s, Marco’s, and Aunt Maria’s points of view are primarily driven by their moral compass,
grounded in the Christian perspective on humans’ nature. More precisely, the three individuals
value the unborn child’s life but are torn between their desire to attain financial independence and
the value of life-based on Christianity (Knoepffler & O’Malley, 2013). Both are controversial
standpoints. The decision made, either individually or collectively, by the parties involved
evokes mixed feelings on whether or not they did the right thing, especially considering their
morality grounded in Christianity.
Although several theories are compatible with the Christian view on humans’ nature, the
moral agency model aligns with perspective put across concerning the preservation of life,
including unborn children as they created in the likeness of God, the creator. Specifically, the
compatibility between the Christian view on the nature of humans and the moral status depicted
by the individuals entails the consideration of the financial burden posed by the unborn child and
the religious beliefs that oppose abortion (Knoepffler & O’Malley, 2013). Jessica is faced with a
dilemma between financial stability, which would be adversely impacted by the child’s increased
independence, and the recommendations of Dr. Wilson. Similarly, Aunt Maria resonates with the
compatibility between the Christian view and the theory of moral agency by differing from Dr.
Wilson’s remarks and recommendations regarding terminating Jessica’s pregnancy. Her
opposition and rejection of the doctor’s comments, coupled with Jessica’s dilemma, occur due to
CASE ANALYSIS 3
the unborn child’s morality, which is embedded in the responsibility as humans and mothers (Ede
& Obeagu, 2018).
Determining the Moral Status through the Theories used
As mentioned herein, Jessica and Aunt Marias’ responses to the discovery of the fate of
the unborn child allude to the theory of moral agency, which stipulates that people ought to
respect their peers’ rights, especially if a particular relationship bounds them. In this case, Jessica
and the unborn child are related by a maternal-fetus bond that inhibits her from adhering to the
abortion recommendation (Ede & Obeagu, 2018). As the theory of moral agency is primarily
grounded on relationships, it argues that bonds between people dictate their noble status by
establishing roles and obligations on each party (Olsaretti, 2017). Jessica’s relationship with
Marco, Aunt Maria, and the unborn child, as well as with God based on their religious beliefs,
defines their moral status, further describing abortion as a wrong act. Additionally, this
relationship postulates the exemplification and alignment with the theory of divine command that
follows the Christian belief, which represents abortion as morally wrong (Knoepffler &
Moreover, Marco’s concern about the unborn child’s financial burden and his willingness
to support Jessica depict the theory of moral agency as the moral status of the child can change
depending on her ultimate decision (Jaworska & Tannenbaum, 2014). However, Marco’s
hesitation in informing Jessica about the doctor’s findings points out the sentience model.
According to Knutsson & Munthe (2017), sentience describes an individual’s conscious sense
that allows him/her to experience painful and pleasuring feelings. Marco’s efforts to deter Jessica
from finding out about the findings are aimed to safeguard her from the pain of child loss.
CASE ANALYSIS 4
Contrastingly, the standpoint set forth by Dr. Wilson concerning the suitable option
highlights adherence to the model of cognitive elements. This model postulates that the
acquisition and development of morality involve exemplifying the ability to reason, which is
inadequate in the fetus (Knutsson & Munthe, 2017). Dr. Wilson advocated and recommended the
abortion of the fetus, which followed the standpoint that it lacked a moral status and that abortion
would prevent potential adversities (Olsaretti, 2017).
Undoubtedly, the various theories highlighted herein have primarily influenced the
recommended action plan concerning whether or not the pregnancy should be terminated. More
precisely, the relationships model necessitates disseminating the patient’s relevant information
regarding the appropriate action plan to foster the mothers’ well-being (Olsaretti, 2017).
Conversely, the theory highlights controversial viewpoints as Jessica and Aunt Maria’s affiliation
with their religious belief prohibits their engagement in terminating pregnancies. If Jessica opted
to adhere to the doctor’s point of view, she would violate her allegiance to God. On the other
hand, if she disregarded the recommendations, her decision would be based on the relationship
with the fetus. The depiction of the dilemma in choosing the suitable course of actions bequeaths
Jessica, Aunt Maria, and Marco’s moral status (Olsaretti, 2017).
Personal View on the Case
Based on the aspects highlighted herein concerning morality, I insist that whether or not
to terminate the pregnancy should be found on the mother’s well-being and that of the fetus. As
such, I argue that people have a right to their lives irrespective of their mental, physical,
financial, or social well-being. Thus, my point of view concurs with the moral agency model and
CASE ANALYSIS 5
the Christian perspective on humans’ nature by bestowing dignity and honor on humans and
further facilitating the consideration of the viable options before making any decisions.
Ede, V., & Obeagu, E. I. (2018). Ethical Issues in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: A
Christian Perspective. International Journal of Medical Science and Dental
Research, 1(2), 8-14.
Jaworska, A., & Tannenbaum, J. (2014). Person-rearing relationships as a key to higher
moral status. Ethics, 124(2), 242-271. DOI:10.1086/673431
Knoepffler, N. J., & O’Malley, M. J. (2013). After-birth and before-birth personhood: Why
the baby should live. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39(5), e11-e14.
Knutsson, S., & Munthe, C. (2017). A Virtue of Precaution Regarding the Moral Status of
Animals with Uncertain Sentience. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental
Ethics, 30(2), 213-224.
CASE ANALYSIS 6
Olsaretti, S. (2017). Liberal equality and the moral status of parent-child
relationships. Oxford Scholarship Online.