Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Case Study: Fetal Abnormality

Jessica is a 30-year-old immigrant from Mexico City. She and her husband Marco have been in the U.S. for the last three years and have finally earned enough money to move out of their Aunt Maria’s home and into an apartment of their own. They are both hard workers. Jessica works 50 hours a week at a local restaurant and Marco has been contracting side jobs in construction. Six months before their move to an apartment, Jessica finds out she is pregnant.

Four months later, Jessica and Marco arrive at the county hospital, a large, public, nonteaching hospital. A preliminary ultrasound indicates a possible abnormality with the fetus. Further scans are conducted and it is determined that the fetus has a rare condition in which it has not developed any arms, and will not likely develop them. There is also a 25% chance that the fetus may have Down syndrome.Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Dr. Wilson, the primary attending physician, is seeing Jessica for the first time, since she and Marco did not receive earlier prenatal care over concerns about finances. Marco insists that Dr. Wilson refrain from telling Jessica the scan results, assuring him that he will tell his wife himself when she is emotionally ready for the news. While Marco and Dr. Wilson are talking in another room, Aunt Maria walks into the room with a distressed look on her face. She can tell that something is wrong and inquires of Dr. Wilson. After hearing of the diagnosis, she walks out of the room wailing loudly and praying aloud.

Marco and Dr. Wilson continue their discussion, and Dr. Wilson insists that he has an obligation to Jessica as his patient and that she has a right to know the diagnosis of the fetus. He furthermore is intent on discussing all relevant factors and options regarding the next step, including abortion. Marco insists on taking some time to think of how to break the news to Jessica, but Dr. Wilson, frustrated with the direction of the conversation, informs the husband that such a choice is not his to make. Dr. Wilson proceeds back across the hall, where he walks in on Aunt Maria awkwardly praying with Jessica and phoning the priest. At that point, Dr. Wilson gently but briefly informs Jessica of the diagnosis, and lays out the option for abortion as a responsible medical alternative, given the quality of life such a child would have. Jessica looks at him and struggles to hold back her tears.Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Jessica is torn between her hopes of a better socioeconomic position and increased independence, along with her conviction that all life is sacred. Marco will support Jessica in whatever decision she makes, but 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. Dr. Wilson lays out all of the options but clearly makes his view known that abortion is “scientifically” and medically a wise choice in this situation. Aunt Maria pleads with Jessica to follow through with the pregnancy and allow what “God intends” to take place, and urges Jessica to think of her responsibility as a mother.


The decision on which theory to use is based on individual morals and worldviews that are generally shaped by spirituality, religion, values, belief patterns, situations, experiences in life and culture. Under the same conditions, individuals will tend to respond differently according to their worldviews and morals.  In the health sector, the ability to identify and understand patients and colleague staff is very essential. It is through this understanding that healthcare providers can be able to understand and respect other peoples wishes irrespective of the differences which may exist between them, individuals will also be unbiased in their decisions and can be able to provide quality care that meets the individual needs of a patient. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Dr. Wilson and Scientism

It is evident that Dr. Wilson’s worldview is strongly influenced by scientism.  He uses facts to explain the positive results of the rare condition and the likelihood of the fetus has downs syndrome. Similarly, he uses facts to communicate the news to Marco and Jessica and the possible alternatives. The manner in which Dr. Wilson delivered the news did not include spirituality or religion in the discussion. However, he was sure to mention his personal opinion regarding the abortion which was a good option from a scientific and responsibly medical perspective.

Scientism tends to explain the reality of events in a systematic approach. It excludes cultural, religious and spiritual aspects in the examination and rationalization of facts. Besides, scientism does not provide an explanation for what happens past death (Hacker, 2015).  It is therefore considered the only informational source and ignores other sources of knowledge. This means that, through scientism, the actions of individuals can be influenced by the scientific use of facts through studies from science.

Maria and Christianity

            Maria has a Christianity worldview through her actions of praying for her family and making a phone call to the priest. Maria is also the first to object the opinion that abortion of the fetus is not a good option for Jessica and she ought not to do it. She does this by asking Jessica to give a careful thought of her individual responsibilities as a mother to the fetus growing insider her based on Gods plan.  Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

A Christian worldview tends to include God and the significance of faith and prayer as approaches to the car. Christianity also considers technology and science as gifts from God that should only benefit its creation (Shelly & Miller, 2009).  It includes aspects such as taking good care of the sick,  providing spiritual, social and emotional support to those in need since all humans were created in the image and likeness of God. As such, we have a duty to others, ourselves and to God, to make his purpose fulfilled.

Marco and Materialism

Marco has a materialistic worldview since he is more concerned about his wife Jessica and is ready to support any decisions that she makes with regards to the growing fetus. Additional concerns of Marco are economic security and his future plans for his wife. Therefore, Marco considers that having a child who is disabled is not only a burden but also a barrier to their future plans. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

The materialistic worldview tends to view material things and objects as the only which matter. Material well-being and progress are regarded as the most purposeful and valued in life. It, therefore, does not include issues in religion or spirituality and anything else which happens to individuals after death but relates individual life experiences and reality to issues within the laws of nature (Kim, et a., 2017).



Jessica and the modern western worldview

Jessica seems to have a blended worldview regarding the fetus moral status. From one aspect, Jessica appears to have thoughts that are similar to Marco’s on how their progress. Independence and the socio-economic ladder would be hindered. This worldview aligns with that of materialism that focuses more on material property and progress as compared to spirituality and religion. At the same time, Jessica agrees with Maria that all life is sacred and this aligns with the Christian worldview. It can also be argued that Jessica’s worldview is strongly influenced by dualism, scientism and biblical values which give rise to conflict between evil and good. Dualism is also influenced by truth-lies and failure-success.Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

 How Each Theory Determines/Influences Recommendation for Action   

Dr. Wilson and Scientism

            Basing on the concepts outlined, the actions of Dr. Wilson are evident of scientism. First, he provided facts on the abnormalities the fetus had and the quality of life that it had. He further mentioned abortion from a scientific background as a medical option. Despite the fact that several alternatives may exist, his choice of abortion is based on the fact that it is medically and scientifically the best (Hacker, 2015). As it can be noted, scientism eliminated all the cultural, spiritual and religious aspects that were similarly not addressed by Dr. Wilson in his explanation. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Maria and Christianity

Based on the Christianity concepts listed, Marias Christian worldview is expressed through prayer and having a strong belief in the plan of God. This worldview considers the fetus as a human being with a purpose to fulfill in God’s plan. Therefore, as parents to the fetus, Jessica and Marco have a responsibility to care, nurture, provide and love irrespective of the presence or absence of any abnormalities. As a human being, the fetus was created in God’s love and image and therefore has the right to life, grow and accomplish Gods plan. Irrespective of the abnormalities that can be detected through technology and science, the Christian worldview insists that, only God can determine a fetus path and whether or not it can be born with abnormalities (Shelly & Miller, 2009).  However, the advancements in science and technology can later be used to promote its life and quality of health. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

Marco and Materialism

In using the concepts of materialism to determine the fetus moral status and recommend an appropriate course of action, it should be considered that the fetus has no spirit or conscious and is an impediment to, Marco and Jessica when it comes to economic security and plans in the future. Due to the fact that materialism focuses more on material property and growth and positive change in socio-economic status, the fetus would be a hindrance to life’s progress of Marco and Jessica (Kim, et a.,2017).

Jessica and the Modern Western Worldview

Basically, each one of the aforementioned worldviews plays a significant role in determining the decision that Jessica will make with regards to the fetus. Materialism will influence her to opt for an abortion, dualism, and Christianity will influence her to carry the pregnancy to term and accomplish her roles as a loving, compassionate and caring mother to the fetus. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

The Theory I Agree With and How It Would Determine/influence Recommendations for Action

            I personally believe in a blended worldview that considers different courses of action for different dilemmas in life. There is no single worldview that tends to be correct such that, it can be used in all situations in life. Everyone is unique with a totally different purpose to fulfill. This means that everyone is entitled to a lie full of meaning that will satisfy his/her needs and promotes an overall well-being. A blended worldview requires that everyone should act within their ability to care for others from a physical, emotional and spiritual perspective and remain open-minded to accommodate each other’s ideas when presented with difficult situations in life. I also agree with scientism since it acknowledges facts that can scientifically be used to make responsible decisions. However, there are chances that facts may be misinterpreted occasionally.

In such gaps, I embrace Christianity worldview as emphasizes on having faith in God, doing what is right and good for everyone. In this context, a Christian worldview would help to embrace faith in good health and survival after birth since it is a Christian duty to care, love and nurture.Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper


Everyone has a special theory/worldview in life which often presents well when faced with a dilemma. It is essential to identify and have a personal understanding of the personal worldview which influences the decisions we often make or perceive reality.  This understanding tends to promote open-mindedness in our career as nurses such that, we can make decisions that are: unbiased, ethical, compassionate and holistically benefit patients to live purposeful lives in society.


Hacker, P. M. S. (2015). Philosophy and scientism: What cognitive neuroscience can, and what it cannot explain. Scientism: The new orthodoxy, 97-115.

HLT 310V Case Study: Fetal Abnormality. (n.d.). Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ.

Kim, H., Callan, M. J., Gheorghiu, A. I., & Matthews, W. J. (2017). Social comparison, personal relative deprivation, and materialism. British Journal of Social Psychology56(2), 373-392.

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2009). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. InterVarsity Press. Moral Status Case Study Sample Paper

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