Case Study Fetal Abnormality Assignment Paper

Case Study Fetal Abnormality Assignment Paper

Case Study Fetal Abnormality Assignment Paper

Case Study on Moral Status

Healthcare providers make numerous ethical decisions when dealing with patients. Providers follow institutionalized approaches in making fast decisions concerning care based on the worldview that patients are using or accept to guide them in such situations. While providers have ethical principles based on medical ethics and code of conduct and base their decisions on scientific evidence as well as compatible ethical theories, they must consider patients’ approaches and their ability to make moral decisions (Beckwith & Thornton, 2020). The purpose of this paper is to offer a reflection about a case related to ethics and the theories that individuals in the case use related to the moral status of human beings.

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Christian View of the Nature of Human Person and Compatible Theory

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The Christians believe that human persons are God’s special creation as He created them in his image based on the concept of “Imago Dei.” Christians advance that each living human being has a spirit and this is the primary reason why they deserve dignity and respect (Müller, 2020). The implication is that an individual’s identity is an outcome of being a person and not the acts of one’s acts of consciousness, intelligence and freedom. Human beings have the inherent dignity as individuals and should be respected. For Christians, life is a sacred gift from God and begins at conception and should be respected.

The Christian view of the nature of human persons is compatible with the cognitive properties theory. According to this theory, all individuals, including the fetus in the womb after conception, possess cognition that consists of memory, perception, awareness, understanding and logic. Christians consider human beings as possessing self-awareness, implying that they understand the present, past, and can predict or hope for a better future (Beckwith & Thornton, 2020). The cognitive properties model asserts that individuals have inherent freedom and free will to make any decision and the capacity to participate in purposeful deeds. Therefore, the model is related to inherent human value and dignity as it shows that human beings are superior creations.

Theories Being Used in Determination of the Moral Status of the Fetus

The different individuals in the case study use diverse theories in determining the moral status of Jessica’s unborn child. Jessica and her Aunt employ a variety of theories based on the gender as women and their belief as Christians. Imperatively, Maria has a Christian view of the moral status of a human being and believes that all life is sacred (Milliken, 2018). Consequently, she advances that Jessica has a responsibility before God to carry the pregnancy irrespective of the nature of the child that will be born.

Maria uses human properties theory which values humans because of the intrinsic value that they possess. The fetus has genetic code of its parents and abortion or termination should be considered as murder. Jessica employs the moral agency theory and relational theory as she must make a decision to determine the moral status of the fetus (Brown, 2018). She demonstrates intrapersonal conflict as she is in a dilemma on which moral status theory to use in determining the fetus’s moral status. Jessica’s relationship as the mother of the child also complicates the situation as she must consider her obligations as insisted by her aunt. She must also know that she has obligations before God who has entrusted her with the pregnancy.

Doctor Wilson advances the theory of cognitive properties which suggests that for something or someone to have moral status, they must demonstrate cognition and high levels of awareness and rationality. However, at its age, the fetus lacks these abilities and can be terminated according to the physician. The doctor also holds this view as he informs the family about each possible solution to the issue (Surovell, 2018). Marco, Jessica’s husband holds the relational theory as he advances that he will support whatever decision that she makes in the case. Marco also agrees with Dr. Wilson and views as well as places the larger value on the future of the child (Milliken, 2018). For instance, he considers the economic hardship that the child will create and how they will manage it. Marco is ready for any decision that his wife will make concerning the fetus as he acknowledges the right of the expectant mother to make decisions about her health, her body and the unborn baby.

Theories  Determining or Influencing Their Recommendations

The relationship theory and the moral agency model influence both Marco and Jessica in this case. Marco employs these theories since Jessica has the ultimate final decision. Further, relationship theory influences Maria’s view about the determination of the pregnancy as she asserts that it is wrong and persuades Jessica to maintain as the mother of the unborn child based on her belief in God. The theory of cognitive properties influences Dr. Wilson as he stresses the benefits of terminating the pregnancy for Jessica (Brown, 2018). The theory is based on scientific evidence and associated aspects.

Theory in Agreement & Influence on Recommended Action

The theory that I agree with concerning the moral status of human being is one advanced by Maria, the relationship model. While it is true based on the cognitive properties that a human being attains moral status because of cognition, the Christian view is different and having a relationship with the fetus, Jessica should not terminate the pregnancy (Surovell, 2018). The theory would impact my recommendation by suggesting the Jessica should weigh her obligation as a mother and human being before making any decision. While she may opt for termination of the pregnancy, she must consider the psychological effects that it constitutes in the final analysis.


The Christian nature of human persons is explicit that they are created in God’s image and have intrinsic value, right from conception. The view aligns with the cognitive properties theory and any decision concerning termination of life should be weighed against these moral values. The case study shows the people use different theories to determine the moral status of human beings, including unborn children or fetuses


Beckwith, F., & Thornton, A. K. (2020). Moral status and the architects of principlism.

The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, 45(4-5): 504-520).

Brown, M. T. (2018). The moral status of the human embryo. The Journal of Medicine and

Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, 43(2): 132-158).

Milliken, A. (2018). Refining moral agency: Insights from moral psychology and moral

philosophy. Nursing Philosophy, 19(1), e12185.

Müller, S. (2020). Concepts and dimensions of human dignity in the Christian tradition.

Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society, 6(1), 22-55.

Surovell, J. (2018). But for the Grace of God: Abortion and Cognitive Disability, Luck and

Moral Status. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 20(2), 257–277.

Assessment Description
Based on “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” and the required topic Resources, 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 Resources.

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.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.


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