Problems of bioethics (abortion)


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References: Ramon Agapay ,ETHICS for the FILIPINOS

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Problems of bioethics (abortion)

  2. 2. What is ABORTION? • It is the intentional expulsion of a fetus which cannot survive by itself outside of the womb of the mother. • In some countries, it is not only legalized but is encouraged by subsidizing it with taxpayer’s money. • In the Philippines, ABORTION is considered a CRIME.
  3. 3. When is abortion legal (in some countries)? • Abortion for the sake of the mother’s health including her mental health. • Abortion in which pregnancy is a result of a crime such as rape. • Abortion where the child of the pregnancy would have an “unacceptable quality of life” such as the cases where the child would have serious physical handicaps, serious genetic problems, serious mental defects. • Abortion of social reasons including: poverty, mother unable to cope with a child (or another child), mother being too young to cope with a child. • Abortion as a matter of government policy as a way of regulating population size, as a way of regulating groups within a population, as a way of improving the population.
  4. 4. Ethicists and theologians consider two kinds/types of abortion: •INDIRECT OR THERAPEUTIC ABORTION •DIRECT OR SELECTIVE ABORTION
  5. 5. INDIRECT OR THERAPEUTIC ABORTION • Performed for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. • Morally permissible • Does not imply that the mother’s life is preferred over that of the child. • The moral dilemma is either to let both die or to save the mother.
  6. 6. INDIRECT OR THERAPEUTIC ABORTION • For instance, the unencephatic fetus cannot survive and cannot fully develop into a conscious human life. Thus, it is justifiable to abort it rather than have it endanger the life of the mother.
  7. 7. Exception to Therapeutic Abortion: • Aborting a fetus because it is afflicted by some kind of genetic disease, or possesses the risk of it. The fetus, and not the mother is the patient. “Killing the patient is no therapy whatsoever”. What could/should be done is to avoid conception insofar as genetic disease is foreseeable . The only moral remedy is for immediate treatment after the delivery of the child.
  8. 8. DIRECT OR SELECTIVE ABORTION • Expulsion of the fetus by the wishful wishes of the parents for purpose other than saving the life of the mother. • Abortion is resorted to: as a means of limiting the number of children, as a political ploy to control population growth, as a means of eliminating an “unwanted” baby for social or economic reasons. • Immoral • Violative of the natural rights of the child to live
  10. 10. PRO-LIFE • Pro-life advocates adhere to the principle which calls for the protection and preservation of human life in all its forms. • Argues that a human fetus is a human being with a right to live, making abortion morally the same as murder.
  11. 11. PRO-LIFE Fr. P.J. Talty writes: First, life is present from the moment of conception, and secondly, that life will develop into a human being, unless it is crushed out of existence. In other words there is already a human being there in its first stages of development, like a tiny rose-bud that will one day open into a beautiful bloom. Life is there from the first moment. It is not just a piece of tissue, or a growth; it is a living thing, with a distinct life of its own. Anyone who destroys it, destroys the human being that is to be. A Christian writer of the 2nd century had already expressed this very clearly in these words: “It makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who is to become a man is already a man”.
  12. 12. PRO-CHOICE • Pro-choice advocates maintain that the mother, being a human being, and not merely a machine of procreation, has the right and the freedom to decide when to continue or terminate pregnancy. • The State has no authority to prohibit abortion, since this belongs to the domain of the parents, especially the woman, as a matter of human right.
  13. 13. PRO-CHOICE • Pro-choice proponents do not deny the value of life. Towards its promotion, they insist that there are other situations which may justify abortion other than that of saving the life of the mother. One such situation is the socio-economic capability of parents, especially of single parents. Thus, accordingly, the ultimate decision whether a pregnancy should be continued or discontinued should belong to the woman and/or parents as a matter of personal right.
  14. 14. PRO-CHOICE • It contradicts reason to allow persons to be reckless with their sexual activities and give them besides the “right” to judge whether the offspring deserves to live or to die. • In this extreme situation, the parent/parents would be the criminal, the judge, and the executioner, and the child has no fighting chance to survive.
  15. 15. MY OWN POINT OF VIEW • I would definitely favor PRO-LIFE. Why? It is because of these points: – Abortion is not just a matter that concerns a human being and their conscience, but something that concerns a human being and God. – The right to life underlies all other human rights - if we protect those rights we should protect the right to life as well. – Parents have an obligation to their unborn children - it is wrong for them to escape it. – The unborn child is the most helpless form of humanity, even more in need of protection than the poor tenant farmer or the mental patient.