PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
The case study, “Fetal Abnormality,” presents ethical challenges that individuals face in dilemma situations concerning the sanctity of life-based on different worldviews or perspectives. In this case, four individuals make decisions and feelings about an unborn deformed fetus who has a 25% chance of being born with Down Syndrome. The fetus is yet to develop limbs, and medical scans show that the probability of growing them is less. The four people include Jessica, the expectant mother, her spouse, Marco, Maria, their religious aunt, and Dr. Wilson, the physician, with the fetus’s medical opinion. Marco is willing to support his wife based on any decision that she will make. Maria believes that Jessica has obligations as a mother before God and should carry the baby to its full term irrespective of the condition. Based on medical and scientific evidence, Dr. Wilson endorses the decision to terminate the fetus because of the possible abnormality that it carries. As such, these individuals have different ethical perspectives in determining the moral status of the unborn baby. The paper evaluates the ethical options by these people and shows the moral status of the fetus.
Christian View on Nature of Persons and Compatible Moral Status Model
Life is sacred and given free by God and begins at conception. According to the Christian perspective, human life is superior and above all creatures because human persons are created in God’s image. Human beings’ exceptional nature is due to their ability to reason and have a sense of awareness that other creations lack. Humans have a clear language and are born as freed agents in God’s image (Stahl & Kilner, 2017). Christian perspective advances that human beings have intrinsic value and dignity, which form the basis of their existence in this world. They should act rationally and protect their moral status as conferred to them by God. They can make decisions about other creations, but taking any life belongs to God, the giver of that very life.
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Moral status is concerned with what individuals believe is valuable and what is not in one’s life, and how individuals conceive their decisions. Moral status determines the value linked to an individual, either born or not, but as long as they are alive. Imperatively, the most compatible theory with the Christian view on persons’ nature is the moral agency theory. The model agency perspective asserts that individuals have the ability, power, and freedom to select what they believe is acceptable and what is not. As such, relationships and interactions among human beings and other creations are based on the value based on life and protection and respect of human dignity. As free moral agents, human beings make decisions based on these aspects, and dignity depends on the degree of morality accepted by individuals and society (Stahl & Kilner, 2017). The implication is that righteousness comes based on free will, and humans should seek to protect all creatures, including fellow persons. The first obligation is this aspect is the protection of human life and its intrinsic value and dignity.
Determining the Fetus’s Moral Status
Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson use various moral theories to determine the fetus’s moral status. Jessica understands that the baby will encounter hardships and place increased socioeconomic challenges on their resources and family. The baby will require specialized care based on its condition. On the other hand, as a Christian, Jessica understands that life is sacred and does not want to interfere with its sanctity. The baby has moral status, and she uses ethical agency theory by acting as a moral agent with free will to make choices that impact her life (Case, 2019). Jessica has considered all the alternatives, and while in a dilemma, believes that she should protect the unborn baby. She knows that the final decision on the fetus’s moral status rests with her perspective, and any decision that she takes will prevail. According to the ethical agency theory, the moral situation arises based on an individual’s ability to make choices as a moral agent based on free judgment concerning what is perceived as right or wrong. However, the baby cannot make decisions and thus lacks moral status or agency.
Marco has concerns about the potential socioeconomic burden of having a child with the medical team’s conditions. He understands that bringing up a child with Down Syndrome will constitute an increased financial obligation but is emphatic that he will support Jessica regardless of her decision (Simkulet, 2020). Therefore, based on these interactions and relationships, Marco uses the relational theory as he believes that his wife’s decision will be okay to him. Maria reminds Jessica of her obligations and roles as a mother and Christian and the need to respect God’s will. As a Christian, Maria emphasizes Jessica’s essential to seek God’s intentions and base her final decision on biblical and religious teachings. Maria is against the fetus’s termination and thus uses the divine command theory and the relational theory to advance that having a relationship with both God and the unborn child, Jessica should not terminate the fetus. Maria cannot demonstrate the baby’s moral status but applies divine logic to confer moral status to the fetus.
Dr. Wilson gives the family all information about the fetus’s status and its possible deformations and implications once it is born. The doctor believes that in his best opinion, the fetus should be terminated due to its deformity. His advice and opinion are based on medical information, knowledge, and experience. As such, the physician uses cognitive theory, which advances that an individual’s moral status begins when they have the rational ability and awareness (Andal, 2018). Based on medical facts, the doctor believes that the fetus has no rationality or attention. It would be difficult for it to attain these cognitive elements even after its birth. The implication is that the doctor believes that the fetus does not have moral status and does not sentience.
Impacts of Each Theory
The theories used by every person in the case study impacts their decision and opinions in the case. For instance, based on the cognitive model, Dr. Wilson is categorical that termination of the fetus is the best alternative because of the potential disabilities it shall have, which will impact the child’s quality of life. Jessica’s dilemma emanates from her utilization of the moral agency model and relational theory because she has a relationship with the fetus as its mother and God as a Christian and wife to Marco. She decides with knowledge about its potential impacts (Andal, 2018). The relationship between Jessica and Marco influences his decision about the fetus as he asserts that he shall support her irrespective of what action she takes. Maria’s opinion is influenced by Christian beliefs based on divine command theory. She encourages Jessica to consider the whole aspect of motherhood and her relationship with both the fetus and God, and the sanctity of life.
Theory Most Effective
Every person in the case expresses their opinion and uses the relative model to base the merits of their decisions. I believe that the moral agency theory and relational model are critical in this case. The moral agency determines the moral status of the fetus based on the existing relationship. This model transcends egocentrism and challenges one to consider the impact of their choices on another person’s life. Life is sacred and begins at conception. Therefore, Jessica, Marco, and Maria must consider their obligation before God and each other based on these theoretical perspectives. As moral agents with free will, they must make better decisions to benefit their family and relationship with God.
Individuals presented with critical challenges demonstrate and use different ethical perspectives in making significant decisions. People must consider the long-term implications of their choices and their consequences irrespective of how dire the situation may present. The unborn child’s moral status remains and should be founded on one’s rational thinking and cultural beliefs.
Andal, A. G. (2018). Revisiting International Law’s Discussion on the Moral Status of the Fetus.
In Proceedings of Topical Issues in International Political Geography (pp. 327-338). Springer, Cham.
Case, M. A. (2019). Abortion, the Disabilities of Pregnancy, and the Dignity of Risk.
The University of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper, (705).
Stahl, D. & Kilner, J. F. (2017). The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons with Profound
Intellectual Disabilities. The Journal of the Christian Institute on Disability, 6(1-2), 19-40. https://journal.joniandfriends.org/index.php/jcid/article/view/143
Simkulet, W. (2020). Abortion and Ectogenesis: Moral Compromise. Journal of Medical Ethics,
46(2), 93-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2019-105676
PHI 413 Case Study on Moral Status
Based on “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” and other 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.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.
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Topic 2 DQ 1
What is the Christian concept of the imago Dei? How might it be important to health care, and why is it relevant?
Imago Dei is the Latin word for Image of God. “The Christian doctrine that understands all human beings, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or any other qualifier as being created in God’s image and, therefore, possessing inherent worth” (White, 2020). When God created us, he instilled us with all of the attributes that he felt would guide us though life including “the ability to love, forgive, reason, possess wisdom and knowledge, and enjoy a personal relationship with God (Horton, 2011)” (Bogue & Hogan, 2020). Every person we come across deserves to be valued and deserves to be treated with dignity, no matter where they come from. It also can highlight that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
This is relevant to healthcare because we are tasked with caring for every single person equally. We should also be taking care of the human body as well as their minds and their soul since they are more than just a physical being. A homeless person with no insurance may be admitted to the hospital for medical treatment, and some healthcare personnel may look at this person as not deserving everything we have to offer because “how are they going to pay for it”. But this person is still a human being and deserves to have the exact same treatment and same kind of human interactions as the scholarly person admitted into the room next door for the same medical condition. Just because they are homeless does not mean they are worthless or any less deserving. When talking with them, you may find out that they were actually a well-decorated veteran during a war that ended up having severe PTSD that fell on financial hardship and lost everything.
Bogue, D. W., & Hogan, M. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. Retrieved from Grand Canyon University: https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1
White, N. H. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. Retrieved from Grand Canyon University: https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1
Topic 2 DQ 2
According to your worldview, what value does a human person have? How does your position affect your stance on controversial bioethical issues, such as abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research?
According to my worldview, all humans have intrinsic value and dignity from the moment of conception. I agree with Meilaender (2013) that no cognitive or functional test can determine personhood, whether that test is applied to an embryo or a geriatric patient with end-stage dementia. My position affects my stance on controversial issues but does not influence my recognition of an individual’s right to make decisions for themselves.Rare circumstances exist in which an abortion may be reasonable, in my opinion, such as when the mother’s life is threatened due to complications from pregnancy or when the pregnancy is the result of rape. I believe that when two consenting humans engage in an activity known to result in pregnancy, then pregnancy occurs, the outcome should be accepted and supported as a matter of principle and accountability. However, my opinion cannot take priority over an individual’s right to self-determination, and for this reason, I am pro-choice. PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
The issue of “designer babies” when discussed in the context of reducing chances of birth defects and disabilities sounds potentially positive. However, prospective parents involved in this process are heavily invested both emotionally and financially. Given this investment and the increasing abilities of medical science to alter gender and other physical characteristics, we risk tempting people to imagine and attempt to create the “perfect baby” (Meilaender, 2013). By doing this, the human value may be shifted from an intrinsic truth to a question of extrinsic characteristics. Because this is such a slippery slope, I am not in favour of producing designer babies.
Stem cell research is something I am undecided about. While many scientists report this field has the potential to successfully treat or cure many debilitating diseases, I cannot reconcile this benefit with the destruction of countless viable human embryos. I lean toward condoning the research, especially after considering that most human sperm and eggs die and that research embryos are created in a lab environment. PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Course Code Class Code Assignment Title Total Points
PHI-413V PHI-413V-O500 Case Study on Moral Status 200.0
Criteria Percentage Unsatisfactory (0.00%) Less than Satisfactory (65.00%) Satisfactory (75.00%) Good (85.00%) Excellent (100.00%)
Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons and Compatible Theory of Moral Status 30.0% Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible is insufficient. Explanation is not supported by topic study materials. Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible is unclear. Explanation is not clearly supported by topic study materials. Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible is clear. Explanation is supported by topic study materials. Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible is clear and thorough. Explanation is supported by topic study materials. Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible is clear, thorough, and explained with a deep understanding of the connection between them. Explanation is supported by topic study materials.
Determination of Moral Status 15.0% The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is not adequately explained. Rationale for choices made is not supported by topic study materials or case study examples. The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is not clearly explained. Rationale for choices made is unclearly supported by topic study materials or case study examples. The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is explained and draws relevant conclusions. Rationale for choices made is supported by topic study materials and case study examples. The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is explained clearly and draws relevant conclusions. Rationale for choices made is clearly supported by topic study materials and case study examples. The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is explained clearly and draws insightful relevant conclusions. Rationale for choices made is clearly supported by topic study materials and case study examples. PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
Recommendation for Action 15.0% Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is insufficient. Explanation is not supported by topic study materials. Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is unclear. Explanation unclearly supported by topic study materials. Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is clear. Explanation is supported by topic study materials. Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is clear and demonstrates an understanding of the theory. Explanation is supported by topic study materials. Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is clear, insightful, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the theory and its impact on recommendation for action. Explanation is supported by topic study materials.
Personal Response to Case Study 10.0% Evaluation of which theory is personally preferable along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is inadequate. Evaluation of which theory is preferable along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is lacking a personal connection. Evaluation of which theory is preferable within personal practice along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is clear. Evaluation of which theory is preferable within personal practice along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is clear and relevant. Evaluation of which theory is preferable within personal practice along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is clear, relevant, and insightful.
Organization, Effectiveness, and Format 30.0%
Thesis Development and Purpose 7.0% Paper lacks any discernible overall purpose or organizing claim. Paper lacks any discernible overall purpose or organizing claim. Thesis is insufficiently developed or vague. Purpose is not clear. Thesis is apparent and appropriate to purpose. Thesis is clear and forecasts the development of the paper. Thesis is descriptive and reflective of the arguments and appropriate to the purpose. Thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear.
Argument Logic and Construction 8.0% Statement of purpose is not justified by the conclusion. The conclusion does not support the claim made. Argument is incoherent and uses noncredible sources. Sufficient justification of claims is lacking. Argument lacks consistent unity. There are obvious flaws in the logic. Some sources have questionable credibility. Argument is orderly, but may have a few inconsistencies. The argument presents minimal justification of claims. Argument logically, but not thoroughly, supports the purpose. Sources used are credible. Introduction and conclusion bracket the thesis. Argument shows logical progression. Techniques of argumentation are evident. There is a smooth progression of claims from introduction to conclusion. Most sources are authoritative. Clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative.
Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use) 5.0% Surface errors are pervasive enough that they impede communication of meaning. Inappropriate word choice or sentence construction is used. Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader. Inconsistencies in language choice (register) or word choice are present. Sentence structure is correct but not varied. Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but they are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct and varied sentence structure and audience-appropriate language are employed. Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few may be present. The writer uses a variety of effective sentence structures and figures of speech. Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
Paper Format (use of appropriate style for the major and assignment) 5.0% Template is not used appropriately, or documentation format is rarely followed correctly. Appropriate template is used, but some elements are missing or mistaken. A lack of control with formatting is apparent. Appropriate template is used. Formatting is correct, although some minor errors may be present. Appropriate template is fully used. There are virtually no errors in formatting style. All format elements are correct.
Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style) 5.0% Sources are not documented. Documentation of sources is inconsistent or incorrect, as appropriate to assignment and style, with numerous formatting errors. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, although some formatting errors may be present. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is mostly correct. Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error. PHI 413 Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks
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