Moral Status essay


: Case Study of Fetal Abnormality

In this case study, Marco and Jessica are in a dilemma on the courseof action they should take on whether to terminate the pregnancybased on presence of fetal abnormality. The decision they have totake is based on moral status of the fetus and the right thing to doas parents. Jessica, Marco, Dr. Wilson and Maria fail to agree on theway forward. Moral status of the fetus is the key dividing factoramongst them.

Moral status is the moral obligation people or entities haveconcerning viability of other specific entities or people (Warren,1997). Moral status has five important theories which include humanproperties, moral agency and sentience as well as Cognitiveproperties and relationships. In the case study, the differentplayers disagree on what theory to choose. Jessica, for instance,picks sentience by believing that all life is sacred and has moralstatus. She believes she has a moral obligation as a mother towardsher child further supporting the relationship theory (Warren, 2015).However, she has financial setbacks. Her aunt Maria recommendskeeping the fetus. She supports both relationship theory andsentience theory.

Marco views a deformed fetus as a financial burden to them and wouldlike an abortion supporting human properties theory too. However, hislove for his wife makes him support her sentience theory to keep thechild. Doctor Wilson breaks the news of the fetal abnormality toJessica and counsels on abortion as necessary alternative based onthe quality of life the child would have. Here he supports cognitiveand moral agency theories. Personally, the theory I would chose mustalways reflect my pro-life attribute. Sentience theory would guide mydecision because I believe in preservation of all life irrespectiveof any anomalies.


Warren, Mary Ann. (1997). : Obligations to Persons andOther Living Things. Oxford: Oxford University Press