Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Case Study on Moral Status

Matters on abortion have raised issues since time immemorial, with some arguing in support of it while others being against it. According to Sofronas et al. (2018), medics are expected to fully understand the concept of moral status and its theories because we closely deal with human beings’ lives every day. In some situations, abortion is inevitable as carrying a risky pregnancy to full term may put the mother’s life at risk. But, in some scenarios like the one we discuss here, the issue becomes controversial. Though controversial, everyone needs to realize that aborting should solely rely on the mother’s decision if the option is presented to them. This paper discusses the moral status with a particular reference to the case study on Jessica’s experience.

Theory Compatible with the Christian View and Relation to human values/ Dignity

Human life, according to Christians, is sacred regardless of whichever stage of life one is at. Chuk (2018) says that abortions are unjustified as per Christian values as the bible states that God knows everyone before their conception in their mother’s womb. They interpret this as life having meaning from the point of conception onwards, and therefore, ending one’s life is morally wrong and a violation of human life and dignity. Chuk (2018) adds that every living being right from infancy has a God-given purpose that becomes more meaningful as they grow up. Christianity, therefore, disregards any possible reason to justify abortions as God is the one who gives life; thus, he should have the sole say to one’s right to live or not to.

The Christianity view aligns with the divine command theory. The theory views God as a supreme being and the creator of everything, which gives Him the power to decide on anyone’s life. According to Beckwith et al.’s (2020) views on moral status, the Christian views fall under human properties. They further explain that all human beings have values, a moral status, and dignity at any life stage. Therefore, this includes even an embryo in one’s womb. Therefore, this theory supports treasuring everyone’s life since we as humans don’t have the mandate to decide on one’s chance to live or die.

Theories used by Jessica, Marco, Maria and, Doctor Wilson


Jessica, in this case, is the moral agent. Moral agency is the ability to make an appropriate decision that is ethically right, Beckwith et al. (2020). Jessica seems to support the divine command theory, but her financial status makes it hard to rule out the abortion option. She has been availed various options on what they could do and is expected to decide that suits her despite everyone else’s opinions. Despite that, she seems to conflict with her Christian beliefs that don’t align with abortion, and her financial capabilities are not conducive to bringing up a disabled child.


Marco is seen to be weighing two options, keep the baby and risk financial constraints or not. He eventually concludes by letting Jessica decide what’s best and adds that he will support any decision she makes. He views the situation from a materialist’s perspective.


Maria, the aunt, is a Christian as she is seen praying and trying to reach the priest once she hears of the news on Jessica’s unborn child. She is in support of the divine command theory. Maria pleads with Jessica not to listen to the doctor’s opinion and carry the pregnancy to full term. She adds that it is God’s will, and she should allow it to take place as he plans. The theory supports that everyone has moral status and the right to life; therefore, Maria firmly upholds her beliefs as a Christian.

Dr. Wilson

The doctor lays out all available options to Jessica. However, he supports the option to abort as he views it as a wise choice scientifically. The doctor’s actions are in line with the theory of cognitive properties. According to Beckwith et al. (2020), the theory states that moral status relies on an individual’s cognitive abilities like communication and autonomy, among others. This fact, therefore, excludes infants from having a moral status as they lack the cognitive abilities that merit one a moral status. This theory makes it correct for the doctor to argue that abortion is the correct option in such a case.

How the theories influence their recommendation for action

In this case study, everyone has their own opinion on what Jessica should do. Everyone’s opinion comes from their stand and beliefs on moral status. Doctor Wilson’s approach with the cognitive theory makes him believe that abortion is the wisest decision Jessica should make to not deal with the hustle of raising a disabled child. On the other hand, Maria’s approach, based on her religion, conflicts with the doctor’s views. They both recommend different actions, but then it is up to Jessica herself to decide as she is the moral agent.

The theory I agree with and Why

I agree with the theory of cognitive properties. It is the right decision to make as the young couple is already struggling; therefore, bringing a disabled child into the family would be burdensome. What gives a human being a moral status is their power to act as a moral agent, Beth wick et al. (2020). Therefore, the lack of the concept of personhood, as Sofronas et al. (2018) would argue, doesn’t merit an infant a moral status. Therefore, these arguments make it suitable to abort the child and save the family from the risk of possible poverty and other issues like mental health problems arising from poor quality of life.

In conclusion, as medics, we should provide all options to patients openly and clearly for the patient to comprehend. However, we should not try to influence one to make a decision they didn’t plan to make. They should be allowed to do so themselves with zero interference. It is thus essential for medics (especially nurses as we have more contact with our patients, Sofronas et al. (2018)) to familiarize themselves with the moral status theories. Through this, nurses will understand where different people are coming from and respect their decisions.


Beckwith, F., & Thornton, A. K. (2020, July). Moral status and the architects of principalism. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 45, No. 4-5, pp. 504-520). US: Oxford University Press.


Sofronas, M., Wright, D. K., & Carnevale, F. A. (2018, October). Personhood: An evolutionary concept analysis for nursing ethics, theory, practice, and research. In Nursing forum (Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 406-415).


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics