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Fetal Abnormality Paper

Fetal Abnormality Paper

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Sometimes the fetus normally exhibits abnormality during development presenting both the parents and medical professionals with a difficult decision of whether to terminate or follow through with the pregnancy. Such is the situation in which Jessica and Marco, a young couple living in the U.S., find themselves in. After it becomes apparent that Jessica’s baby has fetal abnormality, the people in Jessica’s life and her doctor are forced to make a tough decision regarding the pregnancy (Murray, and McKinney, 2014). This paper examines the various decisions made by the above individuals and the theories that back their respective decisions.

Marco, Jessica’s husband, wants Dr. Wilson to withhold the results of the scan from Jessica, until such a time when she will be psychologically ready to receive the news. He assures the doctor that when that time comes, he would personally inform his wife about the fetal abnormality. Therefore, Marco’s decision is based on the Conflict Model of decision making, which is a sub-set of the Consequentialist Theory. Telling Jessica the truth in her current emotional state will only cause her pain and the decision to delay the truth is aimed at minimizing her emotional suffering.

As a medical professional, Dr. Wilson is under obligation to explain to all his patients the results of any medical examination and advise them accordingly(Miller, 2010). After deciding to explain to Jessica the entire situation to Jessica, Dr. Wilson seems to follow the Deontological theory that requires one to make a decision based on his or her duties or obligations. Despite the fact that the information revealed to Jessica might emotionally upset her, the doctor goes ahead and tells the truth to her patient and suggests the most practical solutions as dictated by the work ethics in the medical profession. In the 18th century, Immanuel Kant developed the most commonly used Deontological theory today, and it emphasizes on the use of preset rules while making decisions, regardless of the consequences of such decisions.

Maria appears to be a relatively religious lady. After learning about the fetal abnormality, she starts wailing and praying to God. She even makes plans for a priest to come over and pray for them. It is clear that Maria considers every life to be very sacred and hopes that Jessica can follow through with the pregnancy and let God’s will be done. Her decision is based on the Dual Concern decision model, which is a sub-set of the Moral Virtue theory. The Moral Virtue theory is based on Aristotle’s ethical thinking and requires people to not only act, but also make decisions that are morally right. Furthermore, as a religious lady, Maria believes that the Bible is against abortion. Life begins at conception, and God has a purpose for everyone in the world. There is a commandment to that extent that forbids people from killing.

Based on the context of the above situation, the Deontological theory is the most appropriate. Under this theory is the Explanatory Coherence Model that requires one to explain clearly the circumstances regarding a particular situation before making a decision (Slowther et al., 2004). The doctor is under obligation to tell Jessica the truth. Similarly, Jessica has the right to know the truth about her baby so that she can make an informed decision in the end. All the people around Jessica express a difference of opinion, a factor that puts Jessica in a tough position to make the ultimate decision. Nevertheless, the Deontological theory is the best because it ensures that she gets all the relevant information to enable her make a decision and provides her with the possible solutions to her problem.

References

Murray, S. S., & McKinney, E. S. (2014). Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women's Health Nursing. London: Elsevier Health Sciences. Miller, G. (2010).

Pediatric bioethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Slowther A, Johnston C, Goodall J, Hope T (2004) A practical guide for clinical ethicssupport. The Ethox Centre. Section C: Ethical Frameworks.


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