Based on “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” and the required topic study materials, write a 750-1,000-word reflection that answers the following questions: Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials. While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. Purchase the answer to view it

Reflection on the Ethical Dilemma in the “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality”


The “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” presents a complex ethical dilemma that revolves around the decision of a young couple who are faced with the news that their unborn child has a severe abnormality. The couple is confronted with the difficult decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy or continue with it, knowing that the baby may not survive past birth. This reflection aims to discuss the ethical dilemma presented in the case study and explore various ethical principles and theories that can be applied to this situation.

Ethical Dilemma

The central ethical dilemma in this case study revolves around the conflicting values of the couple. The husband, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, believes that it is their moral duty to bring the child into the world and trust in God’s plan, while the wife, Mrs. Lawson, fears the potential suffering that the baby may endure and wishes to terminate the pregnancy. This clash of values creates a challenging decision for the couple, as they must carefully consider both the potential harm to the baby and the emotional and physical toll it may take on them.

Ethical Principles and Theories

Several ethical principles and theories can be applied to analyze the ethical dilemma presented in the case study. The first principle that can be considered is beneficence, which emphasizes the obligation to promote the well-being of others. In this context, the question arises: What course of action will result in the best outcome for the baby and the family as a whole? Mr. Lawson’s belief in a higher purpose may be seen as a manifestation of beneficence, as he believes that the baby’s life should be protected and cherished.

On the other hand, the principle of non-maleficence also comes into play. Non-maleficence requires the avoidance of causing harm or doing wrong, suggesting that the potential suffering and poor quality of life the baby may experience could be considered an ethical concern. Mrs. Lawson’s perspective reflects this principle, as she fears the suffering that the baby may endure and believes that terminating the pregnancy would prevent harm to both the baby and the family.

Additionally, the principle of autonomy is worth considering in this ethical dilemma. Autonomy is the respect for an individual’s right to make decisions about their own life. In this case, the autonomy of both Mr. and Mrs. Lawson is at stake. While Mr. Lawson wants to continue the pregnancy, Mrs. Lawson desires to terminate it. Both individuals have the right to make choices about their own bodies and should be respected in their decisions.

Another ethical theory that can shed light on this case study is the theory of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics emphasizes the development of moral virtues and character traits that lead to ethical decision-making. In this case, Mr. Lawson’s commitment to his religious beliefs and his desire to trust in God’s plan can be seen as virtuous. Mrs. Lawson’s concern for the potential suffering of the baby and her wish to protect it from pain can also be considered virtuous. Both individuals possess virtues that influence their decision-making, making it essential to take these virtues into account when evaluating their choices.

Personal Perspective and Conclusion

From a personal perspective, this ethical dilemma is undoubtedly a complex and emotionally charged situation. As an observer, it is crucial to recognize the weight of the decision faced by the couple and the multiple ethical factors that need to be considered. The principle of beneficence reminds us of the importance of promoting well-being and the potential for a meaningful life for the baby if given a chance to live. However, the principle of non-maleficence highlights the concern for the suffering and poor quality of life that the baby may experience.

The principle of autonomy further emphasizes the significance of respecting the rights of both individuals to make decisions about their own bodies. Finally, the theory of virtue ethics reminds us that the virtues possessed by Mr. and Mrs. Lawson shape their decision-making process and should be taken into consideration when evaluating their choices.

Ultimately, there is no clear-cut answer or solution to this ethical dilemma. The decision about whether to terminate the pregnancy or continue with it is deeply personal and unique to the couple. It is essential to approach this situation with compassion, understanding, and a recognition of the complexity involved in making such a life-altering decision. By considering various ethical principles and theories, we can gain a deeper understanding of the factors at play and appreciate the complexity of the situation faced by the couple in the case study.