Ethical Decision-Making: the Grey Area When Pregnancy and Medical Conditions Collide

Topics: Abortion, Medicine, Ethics Pages: 8 (2899 words) Published: May 1, 2011
Investigation of four case studies linked on the common ground of pregnancy, medical conditions affecting the fetus or mother and the decision to terminate pregnancy have been explored through various perspectives and avenues. The application of ethics throughout one’s daily life is essential; ensuring ethics of the highest standards are in place when dealing with the health, well-being and quality of an individual life are vital to render humanity. Discussed are concepts involving the quality of care an ethical doctor should provide, bioethical principals, ethics of abortion and a survey depicting results concerning doctor ethicality. Ethical and legal dilemmas concerning doctor and patient decisions are discussed in depth and compared to medical ethical values and laws. Analyzed are laws and terms applicable amidst such a discerning decision with many factors contributing to such a delicate situation. Thesis:

Medicine and technology have advanced significantly in recent years; analyses of medical ethics and specific circumstances have led to questionable practice and dubious ethical dilemmas.

The decision to terminate a pregnancy, in most cases, can be attributed to the use of pre-natal diagnosis. Amniocentesis is used to indicate a fetal abnormality and the likelihood of severe handicap, in which case a mother may choose to terminate the pregnancy. This issue is not the issue at hand, however, this particular issue lies within cultures striving for a male dominated population using a medical procedure to discover the sex of an unborn child and aborting female fetus’. Discussed in detail will be specific events and laws regarding the abuse of amniocentesis. Along the same lines of antenatal diagnosis will be the case study involving six twin pregnancies discordant for fetal cardiac disease (Malhotra, Menahem, Shekleton, & Gillam, 2009). Medicine and technology have advanced significantly in recent years leading to the analysis of medical ethics and specific circumstances presenting dubious ethical dilemmas. Also discussed will be the case study of Mary who was in remission of cancer and wished to become pregnant (Emanuel, & Powderly, 1994). Contrary to the case studies mentioned above, the dilemma here is not the fetus life, but it is the health of the mother. Along the same lines of this dilemma is a case in which attorneys are currently seeking to employ rigid protocols and safer medications related to the Epilepsy drug, Topamax or Topiramate (Monheit, 2011). Many factors influence the ethical decision and legal means of care when pregnancy and medical conditions coincide. The word “ethics” can be applied in many different aspects throughout life. Success at any rate is greatly contributed to a decision placed upon a person in an unusual circumstance where specific rules do not apply. The American Heritage Dictionary has defined ethics as: “The study of general nature of morals and of specific moral choices; moral philosophy; and the rules or standards governing the conduct of the members of a profession.” Specifically discussed will be the ethics, principals, values and morals physicians are expected to use when caring for patients in any case and more specifically cases involving pregnancy and medical conditions. In medical cases, bioethical principals are described as the following: autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and justice. Decision-making concerning medical and ethical considerations will be explored in depth. Paralleled with ethical obligation are equally important litigation procedures. Discussed will be laws enacted to protect the human right of choice as well as the right for a pregnant woman to work. The controversy involving fetal rights will be grazed. The main dilemma will not be focused on the legality of abortion itself, but on the decision to set limits when it comes to pregnancy and medical conditions. This decision should be reached after assessing...
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