Human beings find themselves in a number of ethical dilemmas, during which it is difficult to make the right decision. Sometimes people find themselves making wrong decisions as a result of poor judgment, or even as a result of negligence.
These kinds of dilemmas occur often in healthcare, in which medical practitioner may get a request from a patient which is ethically wrong. This paper analyses an abortion request by a patient as an ethical issue, and also outlines the pros and cons of abortion.
Analysis of the issue facing Dr. Shelton
The stated request by a patient for the doctor help to her in procuring an abortion just because she is expecting a girl is a great ethical dilemma. First of all, it is morally wrong for the pregnant lady to kill her fetus just because it is female. It is also morally wrong for any doctor to help her procure an abortion on the basis of the child’s gender.
Secondly, the doctor is bound by professional ethics not to use her medical knowledge to kill anyone (Ruddick 1). Some people may argue that the fetus cannot be regarded as a person, but it is true that she is indeed a person. Let us now have a look at the implications of whatever decision the doctor makes.
Pros of abortions
In the case under scrutiny in this paper, there are a limited number of benefits that could accrue after procuring an abortion. This is because the health of the abortion is normally recommended is ethically recommended if the health of the child and/or mother is compromised (Ladock 1). In this case, however, the mother wants to procure an abortion due to the fact that the fetus is female.
Among the few benefits that may accrue to procuring an abortion in this case is the fact that the mother will not have to go through the financial stress of raising the female child after it is born. This is especially critical because the mother has clearly stated that she cannot afford to raise a girl.
Another argument for abortion is the fact that the health of a fetus, especially during early months, is solely dependent on that of the mother, and thus regarding the two as separate entities can be erroneous (Lowen 1).
The cons of abortion
If the doctor had decided to help the patient procure an abortion, the patient will possibly face a number of problems. First, abortion is associated with an increased risk of infection, which may lead to a condition known as sepsis, in which the patient’s bloodstream gets too many bacteria to an extent that it cannot function normally (Gordon 1).
The patient will also become susceptible to miscarriages in the future due to the abortion. In some cases, the patient may also die while procuring the abortion. Additionally, after an abortion, the person who has procured it may end up in depression, which may result in other psychological disorders. From this discussion, it is clear that the doctor was right to decline assisting the lady to procure an abortion.
From the discussion above, it is apparent that making the right decision in an ethical dilemma can be a daunting task. However, facts and implications of decisions can be considered by any shrewd person to arrive at the best decision. For this case, and considering the fact that the mother wants to abort due to the sex of the fetus, Dr. Shelton made the right decision.
Gordon, Glenn. “Abortion: the pros, the cons, and the inbetweens”. 2011. Web.
Ladock, Jason. “Pros and Cons of Abortion”. 2011. Web.
Lowen, Linda. “10 Arguments For Abortion and 10 Arguments Against Abortion”. 2011. Web.
Ruddick, William. “Medical Ethics”. 1998 – 2011. Web.