law. The principle of deontology was employed by Clara, as she acted on the
maxim between the benefits and the risks to perform her predetermined duties
irrespective of the outcome. It is her duty to protect herself and keep herself
alive by preventing the occurrence of any physical, mental or emotional injury.
the freedom to act or function independently or the capacity to take decisions
by one’s self without any external involvements is one of the key principles to
ethics in biomedical health and social care
described by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress (2001). An individual is entitled
to autonomy of thought, will, and action,
even if their actions do not bring their best interest. With regards to Clara’s
episode, she decided to abort her pregnancy considering the circumstances
surrounding the situation. Doctors and social health workers are obliged to
respect patient’s autonomy. In situations where the patient is unable to take
an autonomous decision regarding their health, the healthcare worker must act in the best interest of the patient.
and the value of life must be lived to the fullness of its purpose. What is the
essence of bringing forth an innocent life
and torturing it with a series of overwhelming social, medical and psychological
conditions in which the outcome of those conditions will eventually end in
permanent disability or death? This is principle of life and the value of life
described by Jacques Thiroux (1997) to ethics in health and social care.
a look at the ethical concept of prudence, Clara’s interest was focused not
only on her wellbeing but on the outcome
of her infected fetus. The Cambridge dictionary (2017) describes prudence as
the act of being wise discrete and frugal. Aristotle and Mill and other philosophers
suggest that one’s own interest may
coincide with the interest of the society. The act of Clara being prudent need
not to be called selfishness she acted for the best interest to the parties
involved (Clara and her fetus).
is also clear that the ethical concept of altruism was also taken into account by
Clara. According to Jonathan Seglow (2004), altruism simply means acting for
the interest of others. The aspect of psychological altruism (a theory that
people naturally act for the benefit of others) an ethical altruism (the view
that 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 how
the outcome of the baby will eventually be and then decided to act on the maxim.
far as religion is concern, abortion is one of those issues causing extreme
divisions amongst various religious groups especially those of the Jewish and
Christian religion due to their various laws. The Jews believe as written in their Holy book that the act of abortion
is not considered murder since the fetus is a part of the mother and is not yet
a person or a separate being (Butler et al., 1992) but in fact, the Jewish law condemns
abortion being carried out for the convenience of it, but that which is carried out under properly and in
difficult circumstances is accepted. This very view of abortion postulated by
the Jews was actually utilized by Clara.
Considering the fact that we live in a heterogeneous
society with the opinions, criticisms, and
objections of different classes of people, some liberals argue that the very
act of abortion should be considered open, unguarded and free to every woman in
the society. It is even stipulated to be used as a birth control measure since more women don’t accept
protection of the natural means.
another perspective, the very act of abortion is harmful to both the fetus and
the mother on several spheres. In the process of aborting, the fetus is harmed
and the mother as well under goes a
series of physical and psychological pain. It is an obligation to avoid the
causation of harm in all circumstances and above all first do no harm. This is
the principle of non-maleficence described by Jacques Thiroux (1977), to ethics
in health and social care. What about the extreme risk factors that is present
in 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 of
gynecologist can’t seem to predict the outcome or flea away from it. Clara
failed to obey this principle to avoid the causation of harm, instead, she willfully decided to cause harm to
the fetus by aborting it and endangering herself as well. She must have been
callous in her action. What if she had encountered damages in her uterus and
then lost her chances of never becoming a mum, imagine the psychological trauma
that would have been heartbreaking to her.
researchers will argue that, the fetus is not an individual person and that the
fetus is an entitlement of the mother or a link and that link can be cut off, if the mother so desires. But that is not
true! The fetus is actually a human being and a separate entity from the moment
of conception, that’s why there is a whole process of embryo development, cells
differentiation, fetus developing, organ formation and then finally the birth
of a “natural kind” which may be similar to the mother but a total different
unique and individual person. It is morally wrong to end the life of an innocent
person, because some naive people think
since the attachment is a part of them, they have the full right to do whatever
they sole desire with it. The foetus is an innocent person who has its own rights
which needs to be respected. How can a personhood of a human be decided upon by
another 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 not
have the same rights as the person it becomes when it is born? Even if Clara’s fetus
had medical conditions, it is human in nature and possessing nature and as such
should be treated fairly and given the rights it deserve.
addition every individual has the right
to life, regardless whether it is fetus or a mature individual. What does it
mean to take another person’s life? The code of conduct “do not kill” by Gaylin
et al (1998) was compromised by Clara. What grounds the wrongness of killing is
not 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 be
killed 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 to
life, 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 directly
or indirectly. In this instance, Clara can be guilty of murder.
it is clearly observed that the principle of honesty, truth telling was not
considered by Clara. Clara intends to tell her fiancé that she accidentally had
a miscarriage. Doesn’t the father of the unborn fetus have a say in the fetus’s
life? It is not right for the mother of the fetus to autonomously take
decisions about the fetus life solely especially when it concerns matters of
life and death, without consulting the father. It is true that, the woman is the carrier of the baby not
the man, but the woman did not generate the baby by herself it was from the
gonad’s of the man. This character of lies telling demonstrated by Clara is not
ethically acceptable. It could have serious detrimental effects on her
relationship if her fiancé gets to find out. This principle of honesty bridged
by Clara was described by (Jacques Thiroux 1977).
at 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 fair
enough to know that every individual has the right to be treated properly
regardless of their physical, psychological or medical challenges in life.
Everyone counts and in that respect, everyone should be treated equally. This
is the principle of justice violated by Clara. In cases of abortion for medical
reasons, the killing cannot be justified by pointing at the benefits of the
affected fetus. (Savulescu and Kahane, 2009).
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 fail
to 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 woman
is 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 be
treated as a means but always also as an end
point and of course predetermined
duties should be performed whatever the consequence. It may be burdensome but
at the end, has respect for person’s rights. To continue, every individual was
once a fetus that’s why the act of abortion is wrong (Alexander, 2011). An
individual arguing that the fetus is not a life and not an individual person is
irrational. What if that so called person
was aborted as a fetus will he/she be arguing that the act of abortion is
right? No. One can only imagine the level of selfishness, callousness and indecency
exhibited. How is the greatest happiness (good) obtained from terminating
another person’s life? As far as the principle of utilitarianism is concerned,
the greatest happiness (good) is obtained from the greatest number and is used
as the measure of right or wrong. Well as far Clara is concerned, the greatest
happiness was obtained from her sole decision (the minimum number) it was about
her 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 the
situation where an individual is robbed while asleep, will that individual still
be able to consent to the action while still asleep? (Gensler, 1984). The
answer is no, just because the foetus is
unable to fight for its right as an individual, that doesn’t mean it should be
abused by women. Fetuses have rights, the same rights as humans because they
are actually humans and those rights need not to be molested by women just
because they serve as a means of bringing life.