PHI-413 Week 2 ElyseeJoanne Case Study on Moral Status

PHI-413 Week 2 ElyseeJoanne Case Study on Moral Status

Christian View of The Nature of Human Persons

In the case study, different individuals have proposed and utilized several ideas to assist them in assessing the fetus’ moral standing. The fetus’s mother, Jessica, employs the theory of moral agency. This idea suggests that moral standing stems from the capacity to be a virtuous person. She prefers to make her judgments on whether an endeavor is morally justifiable. The other individuals are offering her their ideas, but ultimately the final choice lies with her. The fetus’s father, Marco, is a pro-choice advocate who is currently working with a relationship counseling service.

Since Jessica is his wife, he says he will always stand by her side no matter what she decides. But he thinks the doctor is wrong and that the birth will have negative consequences for both. The husband and wife are undocumented foreign nationals on the verge of becoming economically independent of their families. The child’s well-being and the family’s finances will suffer if it is born. Maria is the aunt to Jessica, and she is pro-life, supported by sentient and human properties. She thinks that the person is entitled to survive as it is God’s intention for the infant to be born without arms and with Down’s syndrome.  In addition to urging her sister to act morally, she includes relational qualities by urging her to think about the duty that comes with being a mother.

Theories Being Used

The case study reveals various actors’ perspectives on the fetus’ moral standing. A close examination of the case study reveals three distinct functions of the fetus. The fetus is not considered a whole person from the liberal viewpoint. The fetus is human in every way except that it cannot yet be regarded as a whole person. Abortion would be legal if held by liberals since, in their opinion, fetuses do not have the same moral stature as adults. Dr. Wilson agrees with this denial of the fetal person’s humanity. Concerning Jessica’s health, he feels obligated to suggest that she think about having an abortion.

Marco agrees with Dr. William that a fetus has a moral standing similar to that of a liberal adult. He is even getting ready to suggest that Jessica have an abortion. In contrast, Maria sees the fetus in an entirely different light. She thinks the unborn baby should be given the same rights as an adult. She thinks of the unborn child as a divine image and considers it our duty to protect them. But Jessica has a more nuanced stance on this issue. To ensure her own safety, she is debating whether to abort the fetus she is currently carrying. Concerning the unborn child, she has conflicting beliefs that range from liberalism to conservatism.

Theory Influence on Each of Their Recommendations for Action

The ethical framework utilized by Dr. Wilson, Jessica, Maria, and Marco. Dr. Williams appears to be constrained by the principles of deontology. The theory is connected to the ethics required by service. As a medical expert, he feels obligated to inform Jessica about the fetal abnormalities he has discovered. He considers it his professional responsibility to inform Jessica that the child cannot fully develop and that she should consider having an abortion to prevent further issues.

With the consequentialist moral theory, you weigh the pros and cons of your actions based on their outcomes (Lewis & Richardson, 2020). Marco urged Jessica to have an abortion because he thought it was in the best interests of the family as a whole. If the fetus is permitted to be born, the family’s financial and social stability will be at risk. On the other hand, spiritual Jessica thinks that people have a need to defend the lives of all sentient creatures and that abortion should not be an option. Maria, too, is morally bound by her spiritual beliefs. So, she tells Jessica to give in to God’s will and let the baby be born.

The Theory I Agree With

The more reasonable hypothesis is the one to choose while forming one’s convictions. In my opinion, we can’t save the fetus without considering both the Christian and human perspectives. The fetus has the potential to become a fully formed human being if given enough time. Aborting the fetus might be immoral (Tracy, 2020). In a unique situation like Jessica’s, it could be considered immoral to enable the fetus to be delivered and understand perfectly well that it will not survive. We must not permit this to happen. Even though it is not supported by conservative doctrine, this is a scenario where abortion is necessary.

My opinion and the theory both point to the need to maintain a middle ground. It is unacceptable to take a strong stance on either the left or the right. My situation requires a decision to be made immediately, so it’s important to me that the conclusion be grounded in the facts as they currently stand. Therefore, Jessica should think about having an abortion to avoid the consequences of trying to have a child. She may, however, contemplate having another baby, which would help her become a better mother overall. This will ultimately satisfy the driving force behind why she was created. So, following Dr. William’s recommendation, Jessica should terminate the pregnancy.


Lewis, O., & Richardson, G. (2020). The right to live independently and be included in the community. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 69, 101499.

Tracy, D. (2020). Christianity And Suffering. In Fragments (pp. 83-92). University of Chicago Press.

NRS PHI-413V-O500 WEEK 2 Case Study on Moral Status

View Rubric

Requires Lopeswrite

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?
  4. 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.



Rubric Criteria

Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons and Compatible Theory of Moral Status

Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons and Compatible Theory of Moral Status

Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible with is clear, thorough, and explained with a deep understanding of the relationship to intrinsic human value and dignity. Explanation is supported by topic study materials.

Determination of Moral Status
Criteria Description

Determination of Moral Status

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.

Recommendation for Action
Criteria Description

Recommendation for Action

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
Criteria Description

Personal Response to Case Study

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
Criteria Description

Organization, Effectiveness, and Format

Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.

Documentation of Sources
Criteria Description

Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style)


Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision-Making in Health Care

Read Chapters 2 from Practicing Dignity.

View Resource

Philosophy – Ethics: Moral Status

View the video “Philosophy – Ethics: Moral Status,” by Jeff Sebo, from Wireless Philosophy.

The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons with Profound Intellectual Disabilities

Read the attached article, “The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons With Profound Intellectual Disabilities,” by Devan Stahl and

… Read More

JCID 6.1-6.2 – Article – D. Stahl_J.Kilner – Image of God Bioethics and PWIDs.pdf

Optional – Topic 2: Optional Resources

For additional information, see the “Topic 2: Optional Study Resources” that are recommended.


Optional – Joni and Friends

For additional information, the Joni and Friends website is recommended:

Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

Jessica is a 30-year-old immigrant from Mexico City. She and her husband Marco have been in the United States 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 mother.