July 13, 2019
Ethical principles of bioethics can be used for responding to Ginny’s situation. The newborn is suffering from the disease of epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic disease involving the blistering and sloughing off of the skin and mucous membranes. The doctors suggested that there is no cure for the disease and the child will continue to suffer. The lining of Ginny’s mouth is severely damaged that is preventing her from drinking. I think that the bioethics suggests that the right decision is to act in the best interest of the newborn. The decision of ending the life of Ginny can be justified by applying the popular case of Baby Doe. The Baby Doe Rule suggested choosing what is in the best interest of the child, based on family’s considerations CITATION Phi092 \l 1033 (Pecorino).
The video reveals the treatment adopted for the severely damaged newborns. Treating such children only prolongs their misery as there is no permanent cure. Solomoon Smith was born prematurely and was damaged. The doctors can keep him alive but only that will allow him to live a retarded life. Throughout his life he would be dependent on machines and would be unable to walk. The mother has asked the doctors to use every technology to keep her son alive. In such situation it would be unethical to end the life of Solomon because the bioethics suggests taking consent from the parents. A non-concequetionalist theory of ethics supports the decision of keeping the baby alive. It states that the value of rightness or wrongness depends on the actions not the outcomes CITATION Phi092 \l 1033 (Pecorino).
The infant of Mrs. Roth was severely deformed and was unable to develop legs, skull or face. Mrs. Roth was upset with the condition of the child so she mixed a lethal dose with the tranquilizer that caused her death. She also accepted that she had killed her child. I think there must be laws against this kind of infanticides because it is unethical to kill a child like this. According to the non-concequetioanlist view it is immoral to kill anyone irrespective of the outcomes. Allowing such kind of killings will promote negative culture as more parents will kill unwanted child. The utilitarian rule states that the ethical action to choose the decision that is in the best interest for the greatest number of people. By killing infants like Mrs. Roth a larger population will be influenced to kill their unwanted infants illegally.
The video reveals that many infants are born in severely deformed manner. Killing such kids is ethical according to the consequential and non-consequential views. The outcome of such act is ethical according to the utilitarian approach because the newborn will get relief from the pain and suffering. Jeremy Bentham states that, “the action is the best that produces the greatest good for the greatest number” CITATION Phi092 \l 1033 (Pecorino). According to this view it is ethical to kill the deformed baby like Solomon because it will lead to the greatest good for the parents and the medical staff.
The act of Mr. McKay is unethical and illegal because he intentionally killed the baby irrespective of the hospital’s policy. Dr. McKay smashed the infant?s head against the floor several times, splattering the wall and floor with brain tissue and blood. The ethical principle of distributive justice suggests that every individual has equal rights to live in the world. The act of Mr. McKay can be considered as unethical because it sets wrong example for the society according to the Utilitarian philosophy. Taking my position as a bioethical advisor I would suggest better alternatives such as discussing the matter with hospital authorities and findings better treatment. Even killing through dosage was better that than brutal act.
The video reveals that there are children who are born with Down’s Syndrome and spend their lifetime in the retarded condition. They are unable to walk or participate in life like normal human beings. I think adopting proper methods for ending lives if such children is ethical because treatment only prolong pain and suffering. The ethical principles of consequentialism stresses on the outcomes. This reflects that the outcomes of ending the lives of newborn is better who are about to live a miserable life. This decision can be supported by Utilitarian philosophy.
Medical futility case brings parents to a situation where they need to choose between what is ethical right or wrong. The video depicts that in many states it is legal to kill newborns or infants where there are no chances of recovery from treatment. According to the deontological approach it would be unethical to kill a child because every individual have certain obligations to perform. It would be wrong to kill a child because it is against humanity.
I think that the decision of killing or saving a severely damaged newborn depends on the moral philosophy chosen by the defender. There is need for using these philosophies and ethical principles for finding better solution for dealing with such cases.
The material and exercises in the module allowed me to understand different viewpoints about this critical issues of ending the lives of severely deformed infants. These materials are linked to my life because I personally encountered such case when my aunt gave birth to a newborn who was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome. It allowed me change my way of thinking because I always used to think it is unethical to kill an infant irrespective of the disease.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Pecorino, Philip A. Medical Ethics . The City University of New York , 2009.
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