Moral Theories

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Moral Theories

In this case, it is important to understand that Jessica, who is pregnant, intends to keep the pregnancy initially, however, there is an issue as they go for one of the medical check ups. It is discovered that there is a chance that if carried to term, the baby may have future abnormalities that may make it nearly impossible to function normally. Following this, a moral dilemma involving the different people in this scenario arises, and in each case, they come to different conclusions regarding what to do with the fetus

  1. Moral Theories Used by Jessica, Marco, Maria and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral Status of the fetus

For Jessica, her personal beliefs are that all life is sacred. She sees the fetus in question as already alive. However, she is torn between wanting more independence and a better socioeconomic future. The two moral theories that are clear in this scenario for her are utilitarianism and Intuitionism. Utilitarianism here means that she looks at things that may have the best of benefits to her situation. In this case, a better future and socio economic independence. Marco’s theory seems to be that of utilitarianism. He sees the prospects of a disabled child as a huge disadvantage to him and Jessica economically. However, he will e supportive of her no matter the decision. Maria sees all life as sacred. She is evidently a strong believer in God. Her moral theory that she uses in this case is categorical imperativeness. For the doctor, the moral theory that is followed in this case is utilitarianism. He sees the fetus as a possible inconvenience and does not shy away from suggesting abortion as a possible and responsible medical option

  1. How does the theory determine and influence their recommended course of action

For Jessica, it is clear that utilitarianism makes her think that the abortion will be a viable option as it is the action tat will have the best outcomes for her. She thinks of her future economic prospects and sees that the baby, if born with the disabilities suggested, will be an inconvenience to her. Evidently, she is not ready financially or mentally to deal with the situation. However, her previous moral guideline was that all life was sacred. This is part of the reason she is torn between an abortion and keeping the baby (Vaughn, 2015). Marco operates on utilitarianism. It is for this reason that he sees the abortion as a viable option and has no trouble supporting it. However, he will also support Jessica no matter what decision she makes. For the doctor, utilitarianism is also the path that he follows. This means that he believes that the choice is Jessica’s to make (summer, 2014). On the other hand, he believes that she should have all the information necessary to make this decision., He tells her that an abortion is a viable and also a responsible situation in a scenario like hers. Finally, Maria, Jessica’s aunt, who believes all life is sacred is persuading Jessica to keep the baby. She is a believer in God, and believes babies to be a gift from God. It is for this reason that she does not consider any other options unlike all the other people. Her mind is set on making sure the baby lives and that this is the right thing to do. 

  1. What do I agree with. How would it determine the course of actions

In this scenario, I agree with the doctor in charge of the case the most. To me, he seems logical in all his conclusions. First, in the conclusion that the action is Jessica’s to make. He does not hesitate from informing her, even though her husband wants to take some time to tell her. He sees and respects her bodily autonomy, something which non of the other people does. Secondly, he believes in her right to get the right information regarding the choices available to her. This means the information regarding abortion and also her decision to keep the baby (Shrage, 2013). He informs her of the fact that an abortion would be a responsible decision in this case. His information is based on the fact that the baby, if born, would have future complications that would require so much time and resources from Jessica. In addition, the baby may never actually be able to do anything with their life as they will be too disabled and with mental health issues. He does not see these conditions as ideal for any human being. These views of his would determine the course of actions for me in a number of ways. If I were Jessica, for example, I would listen to the doctor, as he seems to be the authority figure in this case. I would also look at my bodily autonomy, and the prospects for my future and the future of my child. If they were as dim as presented in this scenario, my next step would be to go through with the abortion. However, I would also make sure that my aunt understood my reasons for choosing the way I did, and that all along, the call was mine to make. This would possible make her more supportive and she would stop seeing things through her own way alone


Shrage, L. (2013). Moral dilemmas of feminism: Prostitution, adultery and abortion. Routledge

Summer, L. W (2014) Abortion and moral theory. Princeton University press

Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company

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