PHI413V Grand Canyon University Fetal Abnormality Case Study Paper Please make sure to write an essay with introduction, thesis, and conclusion, using the

PHI413V Grand Canyon University Fetal Abnormality Case Study Paper Please make sure to write an essay with introduction, thesis, and conclusion, using the APA style. Attached i will add the case study you can use. Also please use the course material i attached and copied here.

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Write a 750-1000 word analysis of “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality.” Be sure to address the following questions:

Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? Explain.
How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendation for action?
What theory do you agree with? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.


PHI-413V Lecture 2

God, Humanity, and Human Dignity


While health care utilizes some of the most advanced technology and is dependent upon scientific advancement, the goals of health care and medicine are fundamentally different from that of science. Science’s fundamental goal is the acquisition of knowledge through research and experimentation. The fundamental goal of health care and medicine is healing and care that results in physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Dissecting the Concept of Care

The concept of care that undergirds and is assumed by the healing professions presupposes a certain conception of the subject (as opposed to a mere object) towards which care is directed. The oft-debated topic of personhood is not merely an accretion of American culture wars, but has been a topic of philosophical and religious debate for millennia (“Personal Identity,” 2014).

What Does It Mean to Be a Human Being?

While there has been an explosion of scientific knowledge regarding homo sapiens such as the example the Human Genome Project (“All About the Human Genome Project,” 2000), the question of human personhood and dignity remains an irreducibly philosophical and theological question. Implicit in a naïve scientism is not only a form of epistemic reductionism (reducing all knowledge to only that which science can tell), but also a general metaphysical or anthropological reductionism (reducing human beings or human nature to nothing but their physical components or that which can be measured by science).

Anthropological axiology (the basis upon which human beings are assigned value in relation to other kinds of beings) contra relativism, cannot be simply dependent upon culture or personal preference, but rooted in the nature of what it means to be a human being. Contra scientism, the value and dignity of human beings, stands over and above that of other species and cannot be simply reduced to a person’s abilities or function, or the person’s physical constituents.

While it has a been a perennial challenge for secularism to find a basis upon which to assign human beings intrinsic worth and dignity, the concept of human dignity and intrinsic value (including its implied ethical principles such as respect for persons, etc.) is inherent biblical teaching and Christian tradition. An appreciation and grasp of this question is fundamental for understanding the contemporary religious context and the goals and virtues of medicine.

Moral Status

A related and central concept in contemporary biomedical ethics is the concept of moral status. Briefly, the concept of moral status concerns which sorts of beings or entities have rights (in the sense that a moral agent has obligations toward this being or entity). Human rights, for example, are considered to be a prime example of descriptions of obligations a moral agent has to any human being. Furthermore, human beings are taken to have these obligations due to them simply in virtue of being human beings. Another way to describe the concept of a beings moral status is to talk about its value or worth. Thus, to talk about a beings moral status is to talk about a beings value, as well as why it has that value.

The video lecture entitled “Ethics: Moral Status” from the Khan academy illustrates this nicely. You might begin by asking, “Why is it that I have obligations to my neighbor, but not to this rock?” Any answer one gives will describe certain characteristics or capacities that differentiate the neighbor from a rock, in that the neighbor has moral status, and the rock does not.

The video lecture distinguishes several views or theories of moral status. While they might be categorized in different ways, they will be broken down into the five following views or theories commonly used by bioethicists: (1) a theory based on human properties, (2) a theory based on cognitive properties, (3) a theory based on moral agency, (4) a theory based on sentience, and (5) a theory based on relationships. Each of the above theories takes a selected characteristic or set of characteristics, and views it as that which confers moral status upon a being. Thus, a theory based on human properties holds that it is only and distinctively human properties that confer moral status upon a being. It follows that all and only human beings, or Homo sapiens, have full moral status. Some of the characteristics that would endow a being with moral status under this view would include things such as being conceived from human parents, or having a human genetic code. Whatever property (i.e., characteristic) the particular theory picks out is considered that which confers moral status upon a being or entity.

The theory based on cognitive properties holds that it is not any sort of biological criteria or species membership (such as the theory based on human properties) that endows a being with moral status. Rather, for this theory it is cognitive properties that confer moral status upon a being. In this context “cognition refers to processes or awareness such as perception, memory, understanding, and thinking…[and] does not assume that only humans have such properties, although the starting model for these properties is again the competent human adult” (Beauchamp and Childress, 2013, p. 69). Notice carefully that this is claiming that if a being does not bear or express these properties, it follows that such a being does not have moral status. The theory based on moral agency holds that “moral status derives from the capacity to act as a moral agent” in which an individual is considered a moral agent if they “are capable of making judgments about the rightness or wrongness of actions and has motives that can be judged morally” (Beauchamp and Childress, 2013, p. 72).

The theory based on sentience holds that the property of sentience is that which confers moral status on a being. Sentience in this context is “consciousness in the form of feeling, especially the capacity to feel pain and pleasure, as distinguished from consciousness as perception or thought.” According to this theory the capacity of sentience is sufficient for moral status (i.e., the ability to feel pain and pleasure confer upon a being moral status). The final theory holds that relationships between beings account for a being’s moral status. Usually these are relationships that establish roles and obligations, one example being the patient-physician relationship. Of course, there are many types of relationships (family, genetic, legal, work, etc.), even ones in which one party in the relationship does not desire or value the other party. In such a case, a person who holds this theory may be forced to concede that a being’s moral status may change, depending on the other party.

Consider also that the particular shape that each of these theories takes will be in the context of a broader worldview framework. Thus, the way in which Christianity and Buddhism would apply a theory based on human properties or a theory based on sentience would be very different. Furthermore, there may be worldview considerations that would not allow one to hold to one or more of the theories. It should be noted that while the video lecture covers a variety of views, it is not exhaustive (there are clearly more theories covered here) and furthermore seems to implicitly assume or be working in the framework of a particular worldview. What worldview could it be and what are some of the assumptions being made in the background?


The point is simply this: While there seems to be an innate sense of what it means to be a human being that most people have, one needs to stop and actually think about what this means. It might be assumed that healing and caring are good things because human beings are valuable and ought to be respected, but the question is whether one’s worldview provides an adequate explanation for these beliefs? Are they in some sense relative? Pay attention to how the Christian narrative answers these questions and begin to ask yourself how you would answer them.


“All about the human genome project.” (2000) National Human Genome Reasearch Institute. Retrieved from

“Personal identity.” (2014). Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from

Beauchamp T. L., & Childress, J. (2013). Principles of biomedical ethics. (7th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

© 2015. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.

Long-Term Care: The Family, Post-Modernity, and Conflicting Moral Life-Worlds.
Engelhardt, H. Tristram
Journal of Medicine & Philosophy. Sep/Oct2007, Vol. 32 Issue 5, p519-536. 18p.
Document Type:
LONG-term care of the sick
Long-term care is controversial because it involves foundational disputes. Some are moral-economic, bearing on whether the individual, the family, or the state is primarily responsible for long-term care, as well as on how one can establish a morally and financially sustainable long-term-care policy, given the moral hazard of people over-using entitlements once established, the political hazard of media democracies promising unfundable entitlements, the demographic hazard of relatively fewer workers to support those in need of long-term care, the moral hazard to responsibility of shifting accountability to third parties, and the bureaucratic hazard of moving from individual and family choice to bureaucratic oversight. These disputes are compounded by controversies regarding the nature of the family (Is it to be regarded primarily as a socio-biological category, a fundamental ontological category of social reality, or a construct resulting from the consent of the participants?), as well as its legal and moral autonomy and authority over its members. As the disputes show, there is no common understanding of respect and human dignity that will easily lead out of these disputes. The reflections on long-term care in this issue underscore the plurality of moralities defining bioethics. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Journal of Medicine & Philosophy is the property of Oxford University Press / USA and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.) Case Study: Fetal Abnormality
Jessica is a 30-year-old immigrant from Mexico City. She and her husband Marco have been in
the U.S. 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
© 2015. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.

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