Introduction

Baby K was an anencephalic child born in the US in 1992. The condition of the baby gave rise to numerous controversial issues until the matter had to be decided in court. The court did not take a moral position but asserted that the laws under Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act provide that a patient in critical condition should be offered medical services until he stabilizes.

Biomedical research in this field points out that pregnancies involving such conditions should be terminated before the actual birth of the child. According to Association (2008), the child in this condition does not have cognitive skills and experiences difficulties when breathing hence there is no reason to keep such pregnancies. In cases of birth, the life of such children could be terminated through euthanasia. Behavioral research asserts that life should be respected, and human beings should be treated with due care. Ethical dilemmas in this area could be caused by religious beliefs, the required codes of professional conduct, and the principles relating to the respect of life.

The ethics committee is made up with individuals believed to be of high integrity. The committee has been selected based on the individuals’ attitudes towards life and respect for human life. It is made up of individuals from different backgrounds. The committee is compound with individuals from various classes in the society. This well-distributed composition allows for larger participation of all societal individuals in this controversial debate.

The ethical dilemma emanates from the religious teachings relating to respect for life. All lives must be respected whether still in the womb or born. Ontario (2009) points out that this dilemma makes it hard to take a decision on whether to the life of an individual is in a critical condition or not. The committee would rely on recognition primed decision-making model that involves selection of choices from a wide range of responses. The model was selected based on its wide scope of choices. It allows for the contribution of various ideas relating to a given issue before the ultimate answer is settled on. This is the best ethical decision-making model because it allows for the collection of a wide range of view relating to a controversial issue in the society. The rationale used was based on the ability to select an answer from many other choices.

The religious-based dilemma could be resolved by weighing the actual matter at hand. For instance, baby K was in an extremely critical condition, and it it clear that she was not going to survive. Begley (2008) asserts that in such a case the life of the baby should be diligently terminated to avoid further suffering. The wide range of choices from the model provides that it would be preferable terminating the life of such individuals and avert continued suffering and extra costs.

The committee members report that they would resolve the dilemma by taking the best option. The clergy holds that life must be protected and could only be terminated by God because He is the maker of all living things. The other committee members hold that in cases of a critical condition life could be terminated in a dignified manner.

The final consensus resolution of the committee is that in cases of critical conditions, the life of such patients should be terminated, as this would help avert further sufferings. This would also help in the elimination of further costs relating to the treatment and care for patients. The committee held that as long as life is terminated diligently, it would be the fairest way of resolving the problem.

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