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Case Study And Moral Status

Case Study And Moral Status

Human beings’ Christian worldview is based on the concept of Imago Dei. In summary, this belief stems from the belief that God is the sole creator of the heavens and the Earth. He created a garden on Earth and populated it with living creatures. God then created man in his image, superior to all other creatures. Humans are unique in their ability to have a relationship with God, and their purpose is to labor in fulfilling God’s work. Humans aim to multiply and fill the Earth by following in the footsteps of God and acting as stewards for the Earth, cultivating and sustaining it (Ross, M. (2020)). Recognizing the Imago Dei in each human being indicates that we have a unique place in God’s plan. Because each human being was created in the image of God, they will be treated with dignity and honor (Shelly et al. (2006)).

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“Physically, psychologically, and spiritually integrated sexual, moral, and mortal beings created in God’s image to live in a relationship with God and others,” according to Shelly et al. (2006). Moral status can be viewed as an attribute bestowed upon a living body with the right to exist and dignity. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status. Human dignity is about a person’s worth or value, and dignity is a value that people have simply because they are humans (Sulmasy, D. P. (2012)). Humans’ moral status explains which types of beings or entities are valuable and have the right to be treated in a certain way; thus, discussing a being’s moral status is discussing the value of a being and why it has value. Each individual has morals, values, and ethics influenced by their culture, religion, upbringing, and life experiences. These things aid in the development of morals and a personal worldview. The following five theories of moral status are different perspectives on what makes a human person valuable, as noted in the topic two overview notes.

1. A theory based on human characteristics that bestow moral standing on all and only humans. To have full moral status, one only needs to be human. This is the only theory compatible with the Christian worldview, and the moral status of those living a God-centered life should not vary from person to person.

2, A cognitive properties theory holds that a person’s cognitive properties, such as awareness, perception, memory, understanding, and thinking, confer moral status on them.

3, According to moral agency theory, human beings are considered moral agents if they can make moral judgments about the rightness or wrongness of actions and have moral motives.

4, A sentience-based theory holds that consciousness in the form of feeling, particularly the ability to feel pain or pleasure, confers moral status on a human.

5, A relationship-based theory holds that human has moral status only if they have a relationship with others who value them. A being’s moral status can change depending on the other party.

In the case study “Fetal Abnormality,” a young couple learns that their baby has undergone an abnormal scan that revealed both physical abnormalities and the possibility of being born with Down syndrome. The scenario addresses those involved’s moral responsibility. Jessica, the mother; Marco, the father; Maria, the aunt; and Dr. Wilson, the physician. Each has a different moral reaction to the fetus’s worth and what should happen to the pregnancy. Jessica is torn between two theories to help her decide how to react to the news that her baby has disabilities that could significantly impact the life she had planned. For starters, her faith leads her to a moral status based on human characteristics and the belief that all human life is valuable. Second, on her doctor’s advice, she is considering the moral status theory of cognitive properties. She has been told that her child has severe physical and mental disabilities that will result in a lifetime of disability, leading her to believe that the fetus lacks awareness or the ability to think or understand. The conflict between these theories leaves her torn between action suggestions.

Marco bases his fetal moral status on the relationship theory. His feelings and sense of self-worth are deeply rooted in his marriage to his wife. He recognizes that his relationship with his wife is the most important to him, and he is willing to change his beliefs to support whatever his wife chooses.

Maria adheres to the Christian worldview and selects the theory based on human properties; according to her faith, the fetus’s moral status should remain constant regardless of the circumstances. She believes that each child is a gift from God, created in God’s image, and that despite the disabilities, the pregnancy should be continued for this child because the fetus is worthy of dignity, care, compassion, and love.

Dr. Wilson’s moral position on the fetus is based on science and what he believes would be a life of suffering for the child. He bases his recommendation to end Jessica’s pregnancy on two moral theories. First, his scientific background leads him to the Sentience theory, which states that the fetus lacks consciousness and thus cannot feel pain or pleasure, and second, he employs the cognitive properties theory. He considers the fetus to be unaware and incapable of thinking or understanding. These beliefs are what prompted him to advise terminating the pregnancy.

Abortion, in any circumstance, leads to heartbreaking decisions for everyone involved. My moral position holds that abortion is a decision for the mother, particularly in cases of severe fetal abnormalities that could result in a lifetime of disability and suffering. I find myself identifying with the cognitive properties-based theory. First, at this point in the pregnancy, the fetus has not developed those cognitive abilities and is not viable outside of the mother; second, due to the nature of the disabilities, I would agree with Dr. Wilson’s recommendation to terminate the pregnancy. I would, however, support Jessica and her family in any decision they make, offering compassion, understanding, and support for each person’s moral stance and beliefs. I hope that by sharing my perspective on the situation, I can provide the family with the information they need to make an informed decision about the pregnancy’s future.

Similar Post: Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing at Workplaces


Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing. worldview-for-nursing_ebook_2e.php

Ross, M. (2013). Imago Dei. Ligonier Ministries. Retrieved from

Sulmasy, D. P. (2012). The varieties of human dignity: a logical and conceptual analysis. Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy, 16(4), 937–944. doi: 10.1007/s11019- 012-9400-1


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Based on “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” and other required topic study materials, write a 750-1,000-word reflection that answers the following questions:

  1. What is the Christian view of the nature of human persons, and which theory of moral status is it compatible with? How is this related to intrinsic human value and dignity?

    Case Study And Moral Status

    Case Study And Moral Status

  2. Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the fetus’s moral status? What from the case study specifically leads you to believe they hold your chosen theory?
  3. How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?
  4. What theory do you agree with? Why? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?

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 in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.


Explanation of the Christian view of the nature of human persons and the theory of moral status that it is compatible with is clear, thorough, and explained with a deep understanding of their connection. The topic study materials support the explanation. 30%

The theory or theories that each person uses to determine the moral status of the fetus is explained clearly and draws insightful, relevant conclusions. Topic study materials and case study examples support the rationale for the choices made. 15%

The explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is clear and insightful. It demonstrates a deep understanding of the theory and its impact on a recommendation for action. The topic study materials support the explanation. 15%

Evaluation of which theory is preferable within the personal practice and how and would influence personal recommendations for action is clear, relevant, and insightful. 10%

The thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. The thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear.

A clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive claim distinctively and compellingly. All sources are authoritative.

The writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.

All format elements are correct.

Sources are completely and correctly documented, appropriate to the assignment and style, and the format is error-free.

Here is a link to the Khan video on Moral Status. It will help explain the five theories discussed in the lecture: 

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