Abortion has been a topic of discussion for a long time due to the controversial views about it. Many philosophers and thinkers have been arguing the reasonableness of abortion, and they still cannot find one common conclusion that would allow to justify or to prohibit such an act. Marino (2010) considers the different points of view and designs a situation from which one can conclude that abortion can be allowed under certain circumstances due to a person’s right to life.
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Marino (2010) argues that even though the fetus can be considered a person, it does not mean that abortion is impermissible as opponents of abortion require an individual to take responsibility for the unborn child. A scenario in which a person wakes up attached to an unconscious violinist who has a fatal kidney ailment is shown in the chapter. The violinist can survive only if the individual does not leave a bed for the next nine months and stays attached to the violinist; otherwise, the violinist will die (Marino, 2010). It is fair to notice that the person should not be obliged to agree to such terms; however, considering that each human has the right to life, the person who can save the violinist may be morally obliged. Considering an individual’s right to life, no one can decide what happens to the body expect the person itself.
Therefore, there is another situation in which a mother’s life is in danger due to pregnancy; hence, she has an equal right to life. Even though many arguments lead to the opinion that murder is intolerable, the mother’s self-defence position should also be considered.
One can conclude that the mother has a right to decide what to do with her body, as she is a person with rights. Even though she carries a home for another person, she owns the womb, which gives her the right to decide. Consequently, an unborn child’s right to life cannot outweigh the mother’s right to life. He concludes that the right to life is accurate if there is a reason to be killed unjustly. However, in the case with the violinist, killing him can be justified due to the person’s individual rights.
Abortion can be considered as an unjust killing if the fetus is treated as a person with equal rights. Marino (2010) also presents a case of an unplanned pregnancy, stating that the person cannot be protected from external circumstances that can occur. Different situations are shown in which abortion should not be justified. By looking at the case where the person needs to spend only one hour in bed for the violinist to save his life, unplugging him can be considered as an immoral action. However, a sinful act cannot be called unjustified as the person can be self-centred and callous. Therefore, the person is not obliged to stay connected to the violinist no matter how much time needs to be dedicated to saving violinist life.
The important notice is that Marino understands the varieties of opinions and how they can be argued. He does not deny a potential situation in which abortion seems to be an immoral act. For instance, if an individual has taken all the precautions against not having a child, they may refuse to have a child if that implies a large responsibility that the person is not ready to carry. Therefore, Marino recognizes a variety of situations and standpoints from which abortion can be looked at, and encourages following a common sense.
Marino, G. (2010). Ethics (Modern library classics). Web.
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