Wade in the s.
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- Ethics of Abortion.
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The debate elicited discord in every aspect of life, from the world of science, to the religious realm, to the center of political battlefields, and even within our own homes. It was believed that there would never again be such an ethical plight to consume not only America, but the world- until now.
It is with the research, development, and implementation of Stem Cell Research with an emphasis on embryonic , that the ethical conundrum of abortion has finally met its match at permanently seizing th In our society we have taken on this second view of the meaning, rather than abortion being a spontaneous act, it is a deliberate procedure sought by the mother that removes an embryo or fetus Good Essays words However, abortion is unjust and immoral because it results in the taking of an innocent human life for the convenience of another human life.
If life in the womb is human, then to end that life for the benefit of another is seriously wrong and unjust. Humans have the inherent right to choose many things in life from the simplest choices of everyday life to the more complex choices that can affect one for a lifetime Abortion is categorized as a bioethical issue because it relates to the morals of biomedical advances, policies and research.
Abortion is a difficult subject that can involve personal morals and beliefs, legality and religious values. The issue is often viewed from either the side of pro-life, which places emphasis on the fetus and its right to life or pro-choice, which emphasizes the rights of the mother to decide the appropriate action Roth, Good Essays words 6. Wade, in This court case has divided the country into two factions: pro-choice and pro-life.
Pro-life advocates argue that abortions are murder and extreme levels of child abuse. While pro-choice advocates believe abortions are a justifiable means to end pregnancies. An importance on what defines a human is very important Good Essays words 2. The main controversy is should abortion remain legalized. Before we get into the many sides of abortion we must first define abortion. This can be done by almost anyone from the mother herself to back alley abortions and even to abortions by clinics set up especially for this purpose Abortion Ethics Essay.
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Essay Preview. Most women seeking terminations have to travel to England or Scotland, at their own expense. There are irreconcilable conflicts between what might be called the fundamentalist approach to the issue of abortion, which sees life as starting at conception, and what might be called the sceptical view, by which life begins when we attribute enough value to it to warrant its protection.
Furthermore, a woman may decline medical intervention that would preserve the life of her fetus, and is free to let nature take its course, even where this may cause the death of her fetus. The common law tradition is essentially liberal. The case of St George's Healthcare NHS Trust v S , 14 decided in , was a landmark case involving reproductive autonomy in another context: that of the pregnant woman's freedom to decline invasive treatment. The Court of Appeal upheld the common law rule that competent adults can refuse medical advice and intervention, despite being pregnant.
Ms S was compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act because she was refusing hospitalisation for pre-eclampsia. She was then forced into an unwanted caesarean, purporting to be authorised by a court order, which was made without any notice to her. She later recovered very substantial damages for trespass. The Court of Appeal stressed the importance of protecting individual autonomy, regardless of sex:. Her right is not reduced or diminished merely because her decision to exercise it may appear morally repugnant. These were interesting arguments for a National Health NHS trust, which presumably carries out abortions for fetal abnormality and other reasons, to pursue.
If such arguments had been upheld on appeal, they would have had momentous implications for abortion law. St George's was refused leave to appeal by the Court of Appeal, and initially began proceedings for leave to appeal in the House of Lords. These were abandoned before the House of Lords had made a final decision on whether to grant leave. Another interesting feature of the case is that Ms S's detention and forced treatment were prompted by concerns that she was refusing treatment for a disorder of pregnancy, pre-eclampsia.
This could have killed her and her fetus, had it deteriorated into full-blown eclampsia. The irony is that Ms S could have sought a late abortion, on the ground that the continuation of her pregnancy posed the risk of grave and irreparable injury to her health and a serious risk to her life grounds 2 and 3, referred to above.
Ethics of abortion: the arguments for and against.
She was not seeking a late termination, but if she had, her situation would have been covered by the Abortion Act. That she wanted to let nature take its course was certainly eccentric, but ethically less troubling if you dislike the idea of late termination than if she had sought a late abortion.
Many people attribute a higher value to fetal life when fetuses reach viability. Thus, some people are troubled at the idea of, or opposed to, late terminations, whilst regarding early terminations as unproblematic or at any rate less problematic. The majority are done for fetal abnormality in what were otherwise wanted pregnancies; a minority are done to save the woman's life, or to prevent grave permanent damage to her health. The question is, again, how to assess when life begins, in an ethical sense. On any view, this is arbitrary. In the United States' constitutional jurisprudence, access to abortion is a constitutionally protected right.
Subsequent to fetal viability, the state may regulate and even prohibit abortion as a means of promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life. However, a woman remains constitutionally entitled to an abortion post-viability, where this is necessary to preserve her life or her health. Otherwise, every time someone needed a life-saving transplant, we could justify killing someone else to provide the needed organ.
They ask rhetorically: What is it about the passage through the vagina that makes such a difference? Of course, if you can only envisage a vagina instead of a woman giving birth, you may have difficulty acknowledging the critical role that a woman plays in giving birth, and why in turn society views birth as the critical moment. This is, as much as anything, a mark of respect for women's role in giving birth. To a blunt lawyer, this is incongruous in the extreme. Presumably so, because the idea of a patient who is not a person is bizarre. But in legal terms, as I have said earlier, the pregnant woman is only one person.
Whom do doctors advise? Who takes the treatment decisions? The woman. But is the fetus really a second patient? If it were such, one might expect doctors would have to open up a separate file for the fetus, which is not customary as far as I know in maternity hospitals. There are conceptual difficulties to do with attributing personhood to an entity which is invisible, inaccessible, physically contained in and attached to the woman, which entirely lacks capacity, and which cannot interact with others at all, prior to birth.
In everyday life, such an idea, if given legal effect, would lead to some strange outcomes. One can make a case for saying that a pregnant woman is entitled to be regarded as two persons, not as a means of subordinating her interests and autonomy, but rather to enhance it. I have problems with this argument, however, and it doesn't work in terms of abortion. Quite simply, one could say that, given the increased needs which pregnancy brings, the pregnant woman is entitled to call for special care and treatment for herself and for her fetus. In theory, the pregnant woman could act as the fetus's proxy, with sole authority to advocate on its behalf, and to determine what happens to it.
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In other words, state control of pregnant women. An illustration of the coercion to which this can give rise, is provided by certain US states. In South Carolina and California, drug-addicted pregnant women attending antenatal clinics have been arrested and charged with criminal offences, after they tested positive for drugs whilst pregnant. Pregnant women attending for antenatal care were tested for drugs without their knowledge and, if the tests were positive, the women were arrested and taken into custody by the police.
An appeal to the US Supreme Court, in a case called Ferguson v City of Charleston , recently succeeded: the Supreme Court decided in March that covert drug-testing was unconstitutional. The South Carolina Supreme Court gave a ruling in , in a case concerning another drug-addicted pregnant woman, Whitner v State. He was born healthy, but a test showed prenatal exposure to cocaine.
After this ruling, the Attorney-General's office in South Carolina announced that anyone who had, or who took part in, a post-viability abortion could be prosecuted for murder and receive the death penalty. Following the decision a pregnant woman in South Carolina was arrested because she was pregnant and used alcohol. A woman who suffered a miscarriage was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse. Even rape is not recognised as a legal basis for abortion, though this could be the subject of a challenge before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
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