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Abortion in Case of Down Disease in Fetus


Abortion has always been an ongoing issue for society as it touches upon one of the most disputable questions that are related to the nature of human life. The given procedure was practiced even in the ancient world; however, the evolution of science and the appearance of the medical procedure aimed at the ending of the pregnancy, several ethical concerns appeared. People split into two main parties that proclaimed the necessity of the given procedure and also emphasized its immoral character. Vigorous debates related to the issue evidence its great topicality but do not contribute to the creation of a certain universal decision. For this reason, analyzing the given topic, one should also adhere to his/her vision of the problem and elaborate on his/her specific approach and perspective on the procedure of abortion.

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Case description

The given case is also devoted to the above-mentioned issue. Jessica and Marco are a married couple who moved from Mexico city aiming to start a new life and improve their living conditions. At the moment they are working hard to earn money enough to rent an apartment and move from their aunt. However, they face another important problem. Jessica is pregnant; however, a fetus shows signs of serious diseases. A child might appear without limbs and suffer from Down disease as the chance is rather high (25%). In this regard, Dr. Wilson insists on the termination of pregnancy to avoid complications and not to make a child suffer from ethical considerations. Yet, a couple is not sure what they should do and whether it is ethical to follow the doctors advice.

Ethical theories

Analyzing the given case, it is possible to outline several important facts that should be mentioned. First, being an ethical concern, its appropriate solution should rest on a certain theory that could contribute to the acquisition of a certain decision. For this reason, the theory based on human properties and the moral agency should be considered.

Human properties

According to the first theory, a fetus could be considered a living being as it could be characterized by the presence of all organs and parts of a body peculiar to a developing organism (Jaworska & Tannenbaum, 2013). Moreover, it also has the same systems and processes that are peculiar to any human being. For this reason, the decision to terminate a pregnancy and use the procedure of abortion could be considered as a homicide. Additionally, adhering to the given theory, Marco and Jessica will accept the decision to save a child no matter how difficult his/her life would be.

Moral agencies

Therefore, the theory based on moral agency tends to consider the moral aspect of the decision to save or terminate the pregnancy (Liao, 2008). There are several important concerns. One realizes the fact that if a fetus is taken as a living being, it should be protected by any means. The moral prohibits murder and proclaims the life of a person to be the greatest value that should be appreciated. However, there is another perspective on the given question. It is obvious that parents are responsible for a child and should take care of him/her. Yet, it also means that this very child should not be deprived of the opportunities every healthy individual has. In other words, he/she should be able to live and enjoy life without parents as they will not be able to take care of him/her forever. In the given case, Marco and Jessica will not be able to give birth to a healthy person. An individual who does not have limbs is doomed to suffer from ethical, moral, and other concerns. Being a disabled person, he/she will not be able to enjoy numerous activities and play with counterparts, go for a date, or use some other facilities. Moreover, there is a great chance for the development of Down disease. In case a child suffers from it, the quality of his/her life will deteriorate significantly. Under these conditions, the adherence to the theory that is based on the moral agency could result in the decision to terminate the pregnancy for a would-be individual not to suffer from various ethical concerns.


Investigating the case, it is possible to say that Jessica and Marco should explore the second theory that emphasizes the moral aspect of the case and states the fact that an individual should be provided with an opportunity to enjoy all activities that are available for people. Moreover, Down disease will not give him/her a chance to become a member of society and realize his/her potential. In this regard, the couple could be suggested to terminate the pregnancy not to give birth to a child who will suffer from pain and great psychological pressure. Parents should be responsible for the life of a child, and it is for them to guarantee that he/she will be able to survive in this cruel world and continue his/her existence without their assistance or interference.


Liao, M. (2008). The basis of human moral status. Web.

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Jaworska, A. & Tannenbaum, J. (2013). The grounds of moral status. Web.

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