Required Resources

  • Read/ Textbook: Chapter 12
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 5 scholarly sources (This includes the sources from the annotated bibliography. Additional sources may be included as appropriate.)

Instructions
Return to the topic you chose in the week three assignment. Articulate a specific dilemma in a situation faced by a particular person based on that topic. The situation can be real or fictional.

  • Summarize the dilemma.
  • Define any needed key terms associated with the dilemma.
  • Analyze the conflicts or controversies involved in the dilemma.

Revise and rewrite based on any feedback you received in your previous draft (week three). Reference and discuss any professional code of ethics relevant to your topic such as the AMA code for doctors, the ANA code for nurses, etc.  State whether and how your chosen topic involves any conflicts between professional and familial duties or conflicts between loyalty to self and loyalty to a community or nation.

What in your view is the most moral thing for that person to do in that dilemma? Why is that the most moral thing? Use moral values and logical reasoning to justify your answer

Next, apply the following:

  • Aristotle’s Golden Mean to the dilemma
  • Utilitarianism to the dilemma
  • Natural Law ethics to the dilemma

Which of those three theories works best ethically speaking? Why that one?

Why do the other two not work or not work as well?

 Is it the same as what you said is the most moral thing earlier? Why or why not?

Use the 5 articles from your annotated bibliography to support your answers. (Additional academic scholarly research from the past 5 years can be included as well.) 

Include a reference page at the end of your paper in APA format that includes your bibliography with the annotations removed and any other sources used in your final paper.

Writing Requirements (APA format)

  • Length: 4-5 pages (not including title page or references page)
  • 1-inch margins
  • Double spaced
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Title page
  • References page (minimum of 5 scholarly sources)

Grading
This activity will be graded based on the Assignment 

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Abortion

Name

Institution

Abortion

Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended prematurely so that it does not result in the birth of a child. The termination of a pregnancy can either be done medically or surgically. Although most women seek abortion services in cases of unplanned pregnancies, abortion can also be performed due to medical reasons such as when a pregnancy places the life of the mother at risk or if there is a likelihood of the child being born with severe disabilities. According to research, 61% of unplanned pregnancies end in abortion which translates to 73 million abortions every year (Singh et al, 2018). Cases of unsafe abortions are also very common especially in developing countries and research shows that every year 7 million women suffer complications due to abortion which include death (Singh et al, 2018). This paper aims to discuss the personal and communal ethical factors involved in choosing a moral position in the abortion debate. It will also evaluate the ethical positions of the abortion debate using Kantian ethics and present an annotated bibliography of five sources related to abortion.

Personal and communal ethical factors involved in determining the moral position of either side in the abortion debate

The main question in the abortion debate is whether it is morally right to terminate a pregnancy before the child is due for birth. In the abortion debate, people use various ethical factors to choose their moral position. One of these ethical factors is the status of the fetus. There is no one answer to the question of whether the fetus is a person or not and answers vary with personal views (Hendricks, 2019). While some people argue that a fetus becomes a person at conception, others argue that it becomes a person when the first fetal movement can be felt and yet others when the fetus is born. The viewpoint that a person holds on the status of a fetus will determine their moral position in the debate.

Another ethical factor is whether a person considers abortion as murder or healthcare. This depends on whether one views a fetus as part of the body of the pregnant person or a separate person with rights (Svenaeus, 2018). If the fetus is part of another person’s body, then terminating it can be seen as healthcare. A person’s view of whether abortion is murder or healthcare will determine their position in the moral debate. Another communal ethical factor is religious and spiritual beliefs. People have different spiritual and religious beliefs concerning pregnancy and birth. Religious factors are also dependent on the question of when life begins.

Using Kantian Ethics to evaluate the ethical positions in the abortion debate

According to Kantian ethics, there is nothing in the world that can be considered good without limitation except goodwill. In the universalizability test, Kantian ethics considers a good action as one that can be applied to all people without contradiction (Baron, 2018). In an argument against abortion, Kantian ethics would argue since we were all once fetuses and would not have liked to be aborted, abortion is immoral. It fails the universalizability test of “being applied to all people without contradiction”. Still, in the argument against abortion, Kantian ethics through the Supreme Principle of the Doctrine of Virtue would argue that one should make the same ethical judgment for similar situations regardless of the people involved (Baron, 2018). Abortion fails to observe this principle and is therefore immoral.

In an argument in defense of abortion, the main principle of Kantian ethics that applies is the principle that persons should not be treated as mere means. However with “persons” Kant is clear that these are individuals of rational nature (Baron, 2018). This means that this principle does not apply to human fetuses and embryos. Kant’s philosophy provides insights that could be used to argue that human fetuses and embryos are not persons because they lack rational thoughts and sentience capacity. Conception does not, therefore, mark the beginning of a person’s life and so abortion can be argued to be right in this case.

Annotated bibliography

Bernstein, C. Z., & Manata, P. (2019, March). Moral responsibility and the wrongness of abortion. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 243-262). US: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/jmp/article-abstract/44/2/243/5381979

In this article, the authors explore the concept of moral responsibility and the role that it plays in the abortion debate. The key point that the authors discuss is “moral responsibility” which is the extent to which a person deserves an award or punishment for an action that is per their moral obligations. The controversy presented in this paper is whether fetuses have moral statuses or whether mothers are morally responsible for their pregnancies. According to the authors, “mothers who are morally responsible for their pregnancies have an obligation to assist unlike those who are not morally responsible. However, for mothers who are not sufficiently morally responsible, their rights to body integrity still stand”. While I agree with the authors that the welfare of the mother should be used to determine whether or not an abortion is wrong, I think that considering the welfare of the mother alone is not sufficient. One thing is clear from this article, that the mother is responsible for her pregnancy and she, therefore, has a voice in the decision concerning abortion.

Bhattacharyya, S. (2021). THE ETHICS OF ABORTION: ANALYSING THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO ABORT A PREGNANCY. International Journal of Modern Agriculture, 10(2), 278-286. Retrieved from http://modern-journals.com/index.php/ijma/article/view/749

In this paper, the authors aim to construct a defense of abortion that would make it moral for a mother to carry out an abortion even if the personhood of the fetus were to be considered. The main point that the authors discuss in this paper is “the right of the mother to abortion”. This paper raises the controversy of whether or not abortion should depend only on the right of the mother. According to the authors, “even if a fetus were to be considered a person, the human dignity of the mother is enough to make it morally right for a mother to pursue abortion”. While I agree with the authors, I feel that the human dignity of the mother should not be the only factor considered because in cases that a fetus is considered a person, they also have human dignity. One thing I have understood from this article is that the human dignity of the mother plays a major role in the abortion debate.

Hendricks, P. (2019). Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is Immoral: the impairment argument. Bioethics, 33(2), 245-253. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bioe.12533

In this article, the author makes an argument that abortion is immoral even when the fetus is not considered a person. One key point that is discussed in this article is “the ethics of fetal alcohol syndrome” where the author argues that a pregnant mother’s alcohol consumption affects the baby. Another key point discussed is “the impairment argument” where the author argues that if causing a fetus impairment through alcohol consumption is immoral, then killing the fetus can also be considered immoral. According to the author, “the ethics of abortion should not be entirely dependent on whether the fetus is a person”. I agree with the author in this case because if a fetus can suffer impairments due to the actions of the mother, then the action to abort it would affect it too. It is certain from the paper, based on the impairment argument, that whether a fetus is a person or not, killing it would be morally wrong.

Singh, S., Remez, L., Sedgh, G., Kwok, L., & Onda, T. (2018). Abortion worldwide 2017: uneven progress and unequal access. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-worldwide-2017?utm_source=Master%2BList&utm_campaign=

In this article, the authors discuss the abortion statistics for the year 2017. The authors assess “abortion incidence” in developing and developed nations. According to the authors, “61% of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion every year worldwide (P. 5)”. Another key point that the authors describe is “abortion safety”. According to their assessment, “most women in developing countries practice unsafe abortion whereby 40% of them (equivalent to 7 million women) develop complications that require medical attention (P. 10)”. I agree with the authors because women in developing countries face challenges such as lack of awareness and financial constraints that prevent them from seeking the right medical attention required to carry out safe abortions. This article is important as it provides statistical evidence on the prevalence of abortion that will help build a strong introduction for my final research project.

Svenaeus, F. (2018). Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 21(1), 77-87. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11019-017-9786-x

In this article, the author explores ways through which phenomenology could guide a person’s view of whether abortion is right or wrong. The key point that the author discusses in this paper is “phenomenology in the context of medicine”. Phenomenology in the context of medicine views the human body as a lived body. The controversy raised in this article is how well to define “a person”. The author of this article provides good reasons for performing an abortion by arguing that “a person is understood as a creature that has self-consciousness, language, memory, and ability to plan actions”. This, therefore, means that the fetus cannot be argued to have full personhood considering that even some children who are born take 4-5 years to achieve full personhood. I do not agree with the authors especially on their criteria of determining personhood. If this were the case, it would also mean that killing small children is also right as long as they have not attained full personhood. One thing from the article is certain, that people who argue in support of abortion often argue on the status of a fetus; presenting evidence to rule out a fetus as a person.

References

Baron, M. W. (2018). Kantian ethics almost without apology. Cornell University Press. Retrieved from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7591/9781501720895/html

Bernstein, C. Z., & Manata, P. (2019, March). Moral responsibility and the wrongness of abortion. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 243-262). US: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/jmp/article-abstract/44/2/243/5381979

Bhattacharyya, S. (2021). THE ETHICS OF ABORTION: ANALYSING THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO ABORT A PREGNANCY. International Journal of Modern Agriculture, 10(2), 278-286. Retrieved from http://modern-journals.com/index.php/ijma/article/view/749

Hendricks, P. (2019). Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is Immoral: the impairment argument. Bioethics, 33(2), 245-253. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bioe.12533

Singh, S., Remez, L., Sedgh, G., Kwok, L., & Onda, T. (2018). Abortion worldwide 2017: uneven progress and unequal access. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-worldwide-2017?utm_source=Master%2BList&utm_campaign=

Svenaeus, F. (2018). Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 21(1), 77-87. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11019-017-9786-x