Fetal Abnormality Analysis

Fetal Abnormality Analysis

Fetal Abnormality Analysis

The fetal abnormality case study is a life-like situation and places the minds of all those involved into deep thinking and reflection about their spiritual needs and positions. Spirituality is an essential aspect of effective care delivery as demonstrated by the individuals involved in the case (Baldacchino, 2017). The issue of fetal removal or abortion due to deformities requires nurses and healthcare providers to understand the complex situation and address the prevailing based on the intrinsic human value and dignity. The purpose of this reflective essay is to explore the different moral theories and views by those in the case and offer recommendations based on an appropriate theory.

Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons & Theory of Moral Status

The Christian view of nature of human persons arises from the concept of “Imago Dei”, which is Latin and translates to “God’s image.” The concept advances that God created mankind in his image and likeness as a symbol of human connection to God. Although the concept does not mean that God is human, it suggests that mankind is created from his image with spiritual and moral values and intellectual principles. With this view, humanity is sacred and of immense significance. The belief of the sanctity of humans acknowledges that human life is important and should be protected, cherished and cared for in life. Christians believe that humans have an obligation to act morally and live a moral life that include recognition of the sacredness of life and ensuring that no termination of life occurs (Müller, 2020). Since God created the universe morally good from the beginning, humans must live based on His plan and design.

Compared to different moral status models discussed in literature, the Christian view of nature of human beings is most compatible with the theory based on human properties. The model advances that human beings have full moral stats and values since they possess distinct properties. The implication is that one needs only to be acknowledged or recognized as human to possess values and moral status (Baldacchino, 2017). The theory relates to intrinsic human value and dignity as it demonstrates that human persons, irrespective of their attributes and abilities, contributes to society and have a social standing. The theory emphasizes the need to treat human persons equally since all are born free and should have autonomy in making effective decisions when they have the capacity.

Theories Being Used by Different Individuals in the Case Study

The case study on demonstrates the dilemma that parents and other stakeholders can face when making decisions to address the issue. The fetus to be born will have deformities and potential to have Down syndrome. Jessica, the expectant mother, Marco, her husband, Maria who is Jessica’s aunt and Dr. Wilson, all use different theories to determine the moral status of the fetus. Jessica seem to use two theories, that include cognitive properties, sentience, relationship and moral agency. The cognitive properties model advances that one attains moral status if they possess ability to reason and have cognitive functioning while the sentience theory asserts that moral status arises from the presence of feeling pain as a reflection of bad or evil and pleasure to mirror goodness (White, 2020). The relationship model suggests that moral status is dependent in relationship.

On its part, the moral agency theory is categorical that any human person with the capacity to make moral decisions possesses moral status. Jessica is torn among these theories since the information given to the family by the physician is significant and unexpected (Müller, 2020). The fetus will have physical and possible psychological disabilities that will affect the child’s life, wellbeing, and interactions in the family. Jessica is also in a dilemma due to moral conviction that while life is sacred and gift from God, the child to be born will suffer due to its conditions. However, she understands that life should be cherished and cared for since it comes as a gift from God.

On his part, Marco demonstrates relational theory since he asserts that he shall support any decision that Jessica makes. Marco initially holds back giving the outcomes of the scan and prognosis of the fetus to Jessica since he was concerned about her emotional health. The relationship model emphasizes the importance of relationship among individuals. In this case, Jessica and Marco have a marriage as the rational reason to interact as “fellow bearers of moral status” and he is willing to support whatever decision that she makes about the fetus.

Doctor Wilson believes in the cognitive properties model and theory based on sentience. The cognitive model advances that individuals who possess basic communication ability, and reason can determine a human being’s moral status. The theory of sentience suggests that any person with the capacity to feel pleasure or pain possess human values and moral status (White, 2020). These theoretical models support Dr. Wilson’s application of scientific evidence that the fetus will have physical and mental disability that will lead to the child’s poor quality of life which shall affect the family’s quality of living. On her part, Maria ascribes to the moral agency theory as she emphasizes on the need for Jessica to carry the pregnancy as life is God’s gift. The theory emphasizes the needs for individuals to make morally sound decisions since they have moral status.

Theories Determining or Influence Each of their Recommended Actions

Each of the moral theories has logical explanations on if human persons have moral status. According to White, these theories offer benefits derived from them that include cognitive, sentience, relational and holistic approach to situations. The various theories that each person uses in the case study holds significance influence in their decisions (Müller, 2020). For instance, Jessica’s decision over the fetus’s moral status is impacted by the theories that the other individuals use. Jessica seems to be in dilemma as the situation implores her to think about all the models yet she is the ultimate decision maker. Each person has their perspective based on their knowledge, expertise, human experience and religious beliefs. For instance, Maria uses moral agency theory because she believes that Jessica has a moral obligation before God as a mother to protect the sacred life of the fetus. On his part, Marco’s decision is based on his relationship with Jessica.

Theory Agreeing with and How It Determines or Influences the Recommendation for Action

In this situation, different individuals attempt to make decisions based on various theoretical models and consider several factors on moral values and status. I believe that each person experiences different events and make decisions based on prevailing circumstance. Imperatively, each of the theories presented in the case study is relevant to the respective individuals based on their values and beliefs. The theory that I agree most with is the moral agency model as it advances the need for individuals to consider the moral abilities of the fetus (White, 2020). While the fetus has life which is sacred and required protection, its survival is complex but should not be terminated despite the potential deformities. Jessica should make morally significant decision to ensure the best outcomes out of the present situation happens. She is the ultimate decision maker and must ensure that any action she takes will not harm her in the long-term, both physically and psychologically.


The case on fetal abnormality provides an avenue for individuals to demonstrate different moral theories and their effects on the recommended action. Jessica must make a decision that protects her physical and psychological health while understanding the Christian view on nature of persons in relation to the fetus. The different individuals in the case and the theories that they use show how humans have differing perspectives on a complex medical issue related to spirituality and moral values.


Baldacchino, D. (2017). Spirituality in the healthcare workplace. Religions, 8(12), 260.


Müller, S. (2020). Concepts and Dimensions of Human Dignity in the Christian Tradition.

Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society, 6(1), 22-55. oi:10.30965/23642807-00601003

White, N. H. (2020). Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision

making in health care. Grand Canyon University.

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