moral issues on birth deformities
Post on 18-Apr-2015
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Moral Issues on Moral Issues on Birth Birth DeformitiesDeformities
Mark Joseph M. AbacaMark Joseph M. Abaca
Meaning and common Meaning and common causes of birth causes of birth deformities deformities Birth deformities: are defects, malformations, or abnormalities of a child which are present at birth.
Types of deformitiesTypes of deformities
Genetic deformities (hereditary)
Congenital deformities (non hereditary)
Trisomy 21Trisomy 21aka Down’s Syndrome
The child affected with Down’s syndrome is born mentally retarded and with various physical deformities
a. A broad skull (big-headed newborn)
b. A large tonguec. An upward slant of the eyelids
Spina bifidaSpina bifidaThe newborn with this type of deformity has the following features:
a. An opening in the spine b. A bulging sac resulting from the
protrusion of the membrane covering of the spinal cor
c. Spinal fluid and nerve tissue contained in the swelling protuberanced. Paralysis below the waist e. No control of bladder and bowel
“water in the head”
It is a defective condition characterized by the accumulation of fluid within the ventricles or between the membranes of the brain.
some bones of the skull are not completely formed, thus leaving an opening through which the brain material swells out forming a sac or bag
Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia
This deformity refers to the closing of the esophagus.
The defective baby will simply throw up everything that it takes it.
Duodenal atresiaDuodenal atresia
In this condition, the duodenum—the upper part of the small intestines—is closed off; hence, food cannot pass through and be digested.
Should a malformed child be given only ordinary care, or should extraordinary medical treatment be given to save its life?
Should it be given no medical attention at all, and be simply allowed to to die?
Should it be killed in a merciful way?
This pertains not only to the medical information and understanding about the extent of a particular birth defect, but also to the moral issue involved and the high cost of expenses incurred, should the final decision involve surgery or caring for a deformed baby for the rest of its life.
Application of Ethical Application of Ethical TheoriesTheories
•Roman Catholic View
•Ross’s Ethical Principle
•Moral Logic of Joseph Fletcher
Roman Catholic StandEven the most terribly malformed
baby is a human person.This does not necessarily mean
that extraordinary medical measures should be used to save the defective baby’s life.
Ordinary care would suffice.Its is immoral to deliberately kill
the malformed baby or to cause the death by act of omission.
Kantian PrincipleMalformed baby is a person, then
it possesses an inherent dignity and worth.
But aside from being defective, it lacks the capacity to reason and to express its will which, for Kant, are the bases of human dignity.
Ross’s Ethical Principle
The duty to have a deformed baby be operated on, the cost of which
is tremendous and burdensome
to the family
The duty to let the malformed child die in a painless and quiet way
Joseph FletcherDoes not only favor the expulsion of
terribly malformed fetus and the decision to terminate a “subhuman life in extremis” in old age, but also endorses the merciful and painless killing of horribly deformed babies and of terminal ill patients.
Allowing a malformed baby to die by withholding support while advocating the termination of the same kind of deformity in utero is not only inconsistent and illogical but hypocritical a well.
When a newborn is seriously incapacitated, the human harm prevented and suffering relieved by putting an end to its life justifies any painless act of omission.
“the greatest happiness for the greatest member”
Advocates on easy and painless death for terribly malformed babies
PragmatismA practical, matter-of-fact way of
approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.
Usefulness, practicality, workability and beneficiality
Whenever the child’s deformities are so serious and severe that all medical measures are unnecessary and usefulness, except to prolong, if not excerbate, the malformed baby’s suffering and misery, the most realistic and practical decision to be made is to put its life to a speedy and painless end.