baby theresa

Good Essays
Raven Festge
Phil 1110
2-5-2014
Essay One, Baby Theresa
In March 1992 Theresa Ann Campo Pearson was born with anencephalia, a rare condition where the upper skull and brain cortex are missing. Although her brain stem can still produce breathing and a heartbeat, she could never have a conscious life. Most anencephalic babies are detected and aborted during early pregnancy because of the severity of their condition. The ones that are born, usually die within a few days. The parents of Theresa decided to volunteer her organs for transplant, because of the shortages of available organs, the physicians gave their consent to the procedure in hopes of saving other babies. Unfortunately the problem with this decision was that if the doctors waited until baby Theresa died naturally, the organs would not be usable due to deterioration. This case was then taken to court where the procedure was not allowed due to the law that states that you can’t take the organs from a donor until they die. Baby Theresa died nine days after her birth and it was too late for organ transplantation because her organs had deteriorated too much main issues, potential responses, and criticism that arose from this case can be understood through the articulation of associated ethical principles and theories.

Baby Theresa is evidently incapable of giving her own informed consent or personal autonomy, as a result the authorization is granted to her parents and physicians to make decisions on her behalf. They agree upon an organ transplant in hopes that her organs could be used to help other children in need. This sparked a great deal of controversy, raising a number of ethical questions by the public and other ethicists. In the parents and physicians’ perspective, they are solving the problem by taking a quality of life approach to the situation. Since Baby Theresa would not be able to lead a normal life, her existence holds little value and her healthy organs would do her no good. The

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