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Topic 3: Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Topic 3 DQ 1   Due Date: Wednesday 19-May-2021 at 11:59:59 PM   Maximum Points: 5.0

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Topic 3 DQ1: The Four Principles
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The four principles, especially in the context of bioethics in the United States, have often been critiqued for raising the principle of autonomy to the highest place, such that it trumps all other principles or values

  1. How would you rank the importance of each of the four principles? 
  2. How do you believe they would be ordered in the context of the Christian biblical narrative? Refer to the topic study materials in your response.

Resource Material Chapters 3: 


Hoehner, P. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-university/2020/practicing-dignity_an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care_1e.php 



Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

Celeste Houston

Grand Canyon University

PHI-413V-0504: Ethical and Spiritual Decision Making in Health Care

Dr. Howard Cassidy-Moffatt

May 16, 2021

Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

Human nature: the conglomeration of characteristics that together form what it means to be a human being (White, 2020). The Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons that every human being are a part of God’s creation and are made in likeness and image. This concept aligns with the common Latin phrase, Imago Dei, or image of God. This concept relates to the inherent value of human beings, being worthy of dignity and respect and having value and worth, regardless of abilities. The theory that is most aligned with Christian views is “The Theory Based on Human Properties”. This way of reasoning, intrinsically views human beings as having an inherent value apart from any external benefits or valuations (White, 2020). Christians believe humans are obligated to live and act morally. Recognizing and valuing human dignity as a reflection of God’s image. Alternatively, killing another human being by abortion, euthanasia and genocide are considered immoral and not of God, therefore, not of Christian views.

The case study of 30 year old Mexican immigrant Jessica and her husband Marcos, discusses an all too real life changing situation, that many Christians have faced. Initially, experiencing the joy of receiving a blessing of God, concluding as a parent’s nightmare. Jessica and Marco are faced with making a very difficult decision. They must decide whether to continue a pregnancy that’s determined to birth a fetus with a rare condition where the arms would not develop and who has a 25% chance of having Down syndrome. Having the scientific knowledge, he is able to deduce the probability of the fetus’s future. In doing so, the physician Dr Wilson reasons with, “The Theory based on Sentience”, to determine the fetus’s moral status. He has knowledge of the future pain, anguish and suffering this child will experience. Understanding how fragile this subject is, he gently informs Jessica of the prognosis, while painting a clear medical picture of the options. Giving birth to a child with no quality of life or having an abortion. While aunt Maria, who is adamantly pleading “The Theory Based on Human Properties”, for the life of the fetus. She regards the fetus as part of God’s plan, she cries “allow what God intends to take place”. Whether the fetus is born with disabilities or not, all human beings have an innate worth (White, 2020). But the ultimate decision belongs to Jessica and Marco. “Jessica is torn between her hope of a better socioeconomic position and increased independence”(GCU, 2020). She reasons the fate of the fetus through “The Theory Based on Human Properties”. She knows “that all life is sacred”, but she wants more financial security for her and her family. Whereas Marco, the pragmatic male species that he is, uses “The Theory Based on Cognitive Properties”. As the head of the house, financial concerns/ burdens is innately a huge concern for him. Although he will support Jessica’s decision, “Marco is finding it difficult not to view the pregnancy and the prospects of a disabled child as a burden and a barrier to their economic security and plans” (GCU, 2020).

Christians are opposed to abortion and deem all human beings worthy from conception onward (White, 2020). Yes, I believe human beings were made in the image and likeness of God. “God makes no mistakes” and “You can do all things through Christ which gives me strength”. The tools and the blueprint on how to raise this child has already been written in the bible. Also, God granting human beings the gift of choice is written in the bible. Now having the choice of fetal testing to determine birth defects, can be a blessing and a curse. I would have to reason with “The Theory Based on Cognitive Properties”. Becoming a new parent is stressful in itself. Adding the frustrations of finances, disabilities, and lack of independence can turn into bitterness, regret, disappointment and depression. In alignment with this thought, this theory influences my recommendation to end the pregnancy. Just because I chose the theory based on Cognitive Properties doesn’t mean I view the fetus as having no moral status. It means, I am grateful for having the choice. I am allowed the knowledge and the decision-making skills to make an informed decision that can both positively and negatively affect my family. Consider this, some one passing by informs you that tomorrow you will save a four-year old from dying after being struck by a vehicle. However, on your way home from that incident, you will be raped by 2 men and hospitalized for 1 month. Which reasoning would you use in assessing moral status of the four-year old and you?


Bogue, D and Hogan, M. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. In Grand Canyon University. (Ed.), Foundational Issues in Christian Spirituality and Ethics. https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-university/2020/practicing-dignity_an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care_1e.php

Grand Canyon University (GCU). (2020). Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

White, N. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. In Grand Canyon University. (Ed.), God, Humanity, and Human Dignity. https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-university/2020/practicing-dignity_an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care_1e.php

Topic 2 Rubric: Case Study on Moral Status

Content90Due Date: 16-May-2021 at 11:59:59 PM   
Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons and Compatible Theory of Moral StatusWhat is the Christian view of the nature of human persons, which theory of moral status is it compatible with? How is this related to the intrinsic human value and dignity?30Explanation 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 the relationship to intrinsic human value and dignity. Explanation is supported by topic study materials.
Determination of Moral StatusWhich theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? What from the case study specifically leads you to believe that they hold the theory you selected?20The theory or theories that are used by each person to determine the moral status of the fetus is explained clearly and draws insightful relevant conclusions. Rationale for choices made is clearly supported by topic study materials and case study examples.
Recommendation for ActionHow does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?20Explanation of how the theory determines or influences each of their recommendations for action is clear, insightful, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the theory and its impact on recommendation for action. Explanation is supported by topic study materials.
Personal Response to Case StudyWhat theory do you agree with? Why? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?20Evaluation of which theory is preferable within personal practice along with how that theory would influence personal recommendations for action is clear, relevant, and insightful.
Organization, Effectiveness, and Format10
Organization, Effectiveness, and Format5Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style)5Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error.
Total Percentage 100

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