Ethical Analysis of Baby Theresa

1119 words 5 pages
Ethical Analysis of Baby Theresa

Baby Theresa is a very unique case. Theresa Ann Campo Pearson was an infant born in Florida 1992, with Anencephaly, which is where the two most important parts of the brain are missing, the cerebrum and cerebellum, as well as the top of the skull. Without these parts of the brain she would never have had higher brain functions or consciousness. However, there is still a brain stem connected so all the autonomic functions are still working, such as having a heart beat and breathing. Anencephaly is known as one of the worst congenital disorders, thus these cases are usually detected during pregnancy and aborted. If not aborted, half are stillborn or if born alive, they usually die within a few days. In
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Ross then went on to explain that, “a Prima Facie Duty can be overridden by another Prima Facie Duty that in a particular set of circumstances is more stringent.” With that being said, the duty of justice and the duty of beneficence can both be applied here because the Judge should have respected the parents’ religion and wishes, in their time of distress, to make their own personal decisions with their daughter by making other beings in the world conditions better. Also, the “it’s wrong to kill an innocent person” argument can be debated as well. Yes, I agree, it is wrong to kill a person to save another person, but there are exceptions, like what even makes a person, a person? Should Baby Theresa be considered a person? Research shows that all people have minds and all minds are capable of conscious mental activity, which Baby Theresa did not any thoughts or feelings, she was basically just breathing, so she should not have been considered as a person by these terms. Indeed, many infants could have benefitted from Baby Theresa’s organs, leading me to believe that the Utilitarianism theory was the correct approach to take for this case. In fact, when Jeremy Bentham created the Utilitarianism theory, he also made a point to focus on the consequences as much as the positive outcomes, which was called the Hedonistic Calculus. The Hedonistic Calculus is like a


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