universallaw. The principle of deontology was employed by Clara, as she acted on themaxim between the benefits and the risks to perform her predetermined dutiesirrespective of the outcome. It is her duty to protect herself and keep herselfalive by preventing the occurrence of any physical, mental or emotional injury.
Moreover,the freedom to act or function independently or the capacity to take decisionsby one’s self without any external involvements is one of the key principles toethics in biomedical health and social caredescribed by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress (2001). An individual is entitledto autonomy of thought, will, and action,even if their actions do not bring their best interest. With regards to Clara’sepisode, she decided to abort her pregnancy considering the circumstancessurrounding the situation. Doctors and social health workers are obliged torespect patient’s autonomy. In situations where the patient is unable to takean autonomous decision regarding their health, the healthcare worker must act in the best interest of the patient.Lifeand the value of life must be lived to the fullness of its purpose. What is theessence of bringing forth an innocent lifeand torturing it with a series of overwhelming social, medical and psychologicalconditions in which the outcome of those conditions will eventually end inpermanent disability or death? This is principle of life and the value of lifedescribed by Jacques Thiroux (1997) to ethics in health and social care.
Takinga look at the ethical concept of prudence, Clara’s interest was focused notonly on her wellbeing but on the outcomeof her infected fetus. The Cambridge dictionary (2017) describes prudence asthe act of being wise discrete and frugal. Aristotle and Mill and other philosopherssuggest that one’s own interest maycoincide with the interest of the society. The act of Clara being prudent neednot to be called selfishness she acted for the best interest to the partiesinvolved (Clara and her fetus).Itis also clear that the ethical concept of altruism was also taken into account byClara. According to Jonathan Seglow (2004), altruism simply means acting forthe interest of others. The aspect of psychological altruism (a theory thatpeople naturally act for the benefit of others) an ethical altruism (the viewthat people ought to act for the benefit of others) was set into play by Clara.Clara worried about her fetus having so many congenital malfunctions and howthe outcome of the baby will eventually be and then decided to act on the maxim.
Asfar as religion is concern, abortion is one of those issues causing extremedivisions amongst various religious groups especially those of the Jewish andChristian religion due to their various laws. The Jews believe as written in their Holy book that the act of abortionis not considered murder since the fetus is a part of the mother and is not yeta person or a separate being (Butler et al., 1992) but in fact, the Jewish law condemnsabortion being carried out for the convenience of it, but that which is carried out under properly and indifficult circumstances is accepted.
This very view of abortion postulated bythe Jews was actually utilized by Clara. Considering the fact that we live in a heterogeneoussociety with the opinions, criticisms, andobjections of different classes of people, some liberals argue that the veryact of abortion should be considered open, unguarded and free to every woman inthe society. It is even stipulated to be used as a birth control measure since more women don’t acceptprotection of the natural means.Inanother perspective, the very act of abortion is harmful to both the fetus andthe mother on several spheres. In the process of aborting, the fetus is harmedand the mother as well under goes aseries of physical and psychological pain. It is an obligation to avoid thecausation of harm in all circumstances and above all first do no harm.
This isthe principle of non-maleficence described by Jacques Thiroux (1977), to ethicsin health and social care. What about the extreme risk factors that is presentin the course of performing the act, some of which include hypovolemic shock,injury, organ damage, heavy bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, sterility, and death (David, 2003). Some of these are unavoidable instances in which even the best ofgynecologist can’t seem to predict the outcome or flea away from it. Clarafailed to obey this principle to avoid the causation of harm, instead, she willfully decided to cause harm tothe fetus by aborting it and endangering herself as well. She must have beencallous in her action.
What if she had encountered damages in her uterus andthen lost her chances of never becoming a mum, imagine the psychological traumathat would have been heartbreaking to her.Someresearchers will argue that, the fetus is not an individual person and that thefetus is an entitlement of the mother or a link and that link can be cut off, if the mother so desires. But that is nottrue! The fetus is actually a human being and a separate entity from the momentof conception, that’s why there is a whole process of embryo development, cellsdifferentiation, fetus developing, organ formation and then finally the birthof a “natural kind” which may be similar to the mother but a total differentunique and individual person.
It is morally wrong to end the life of an innocentperson, because some naive people thinksince the attachment is a part of them, they have the full right to do whateverthey sole desire with it. The foetus is an innocent person who has its own rightswhich needs to be respected. How can a personhood of a human be decided upon byanother person? it sounds morally wrong. Others will argue that the embryo/fetus in the same “person” as it will be when it is born. Should it then nothave the same rights as the person it becomes when it is born? Even if Clara’s fetushad medical conditions, it is human in nature and possessing nature and as suchshould be treated fairly and given the rights it deserve.Inaddition every individual has the rightto life, regardless whether it is fetus or a mature individual.
What does itmean to take another person’s life? The code of conduct “do not kill” by Gaylinet al (1998) was compromised by Clara. What grounds the wrongness of killing isnot interest or harms but the victim’s dignity and the fetus lacks dignity.Just because the fetus does not have the worthiness of deciding it won’t bekilled doesn’t give individuals the right to do so. What is wrong with killing,when it is wrong, may not be so much that it is unjust, violating the right tolife, but frequently that is the callous and contrary to the virtue of charity(Mathew Lu, 2011)? It is not morally right to take another’s life be it directlyor indirectly. In this instance, Clara can be guilty of murder.
Also,it is clearly observed that the principle of honesty, truth telling was notconsidered by Clara. Clara intends to tell her fiancé that she accidentally hada miscarriage. Doesn’t the father of the unborn fetus have a say in the fetus’slife? It is not right for the mother of the fetus to autonomously takedecisions about the fetus life solely especially when it concerns matters oflife and death, without consulting the father. It is true that, the woman is the carrier of the baby notthe man, but the woman did not generate the baby by herself it was from thegonad’s of the man. This character of lies telling demonstrated by Clara is notethically acceptable. It could have serious detrimental effects on herrelationship if her fiancé gets to find out. This principle of honesty bridgedby Clara was described by (Jacques Thiroux 1977).
Lookingat this issue from a just point of view, how fair is it to take another’s life,even if the life in question is condemned to a medical situation? It is fairenough to know that every individual has the right to be treated properlyregardless of their physical, psychological or medical challenges in life.Everyone counts and in that respect, everyone should be treated equally. Thisis the principle of justice violated by Clara. In cases of abortion for medicalreasons, the killing cannot be justified by pointing at the benefits of theaffected fetus. (Savulescu and Kahane, 2009).Furthermore,it is the primary duty of the mother to carry the fetus/embryo to its due term.Why get pregnant in the first place if giving birth is not an option? To failto obey moral duties understood as the dictates of practical reason, is simply to manifest irrationality(Mathew Lu, 2011). Above all do what your duty (deontology).
A pregnant womanis supposed to do her duty which is carrying her pregnancy and giving birth.Clara failed to fulfill her duties. It is important that no person should betreated as a means but always also as an endpoint and of course predeterminedduties should be performed whatever the consequence. It may be burdensome butat the end, has respect for person’s rights.
To continue, every individual wasonce a fetus that’s why the act of abortion is wrong (Alexander, 2011). Anindividual arguing that the fetus is not a life and not an individual person isirrational. What if that so called personwas aborted as a fetus will he/she be arguing that the act of abortion isright? No. One can only imagine the level of selfishness, callousness and indecencyexhibited. How is the greatest happiness (good) obtained from terminatinganother person’s life? As far as the principle of utilitarianism is concerned,the greatest happiness (good) is obtained from the greatest number and is usedas the measure of right or wrong. Well as far Clara is concerned, the greatesthappiness was obtained from her sole decision (the minimum number) it was abouther and her alone.
The parties involved were not econsented (the father of the fetus and the rights of the fetus)and as such the ethical principle was misused by Clara. Take a look at thesituation where an individual is robbed while asleep, will that individual stillbe able to consent to the action while still asleep? (Gensler, 1984). Theanswer is no, just because the foetus isunable to fight for its right as an individual, that doesn’t mean it should beabused by women.
Fetuses have rights, the same rights as humans because theyare actually humans and those rights need not to be molested by women justbecause they serve as a means of bringing life.