Case Study on Moral Status

Christian View of Nature of Human Persons and Moral Theory Status

Moral status links ethics to the value allocated to animals, people, and the environment through a hierarchical structure. It explains why an individual would embrace one standard over another. McFarland (2020) observes that the nature of human beings was defined and created by God but was later distorted during the fall of Adam and Eve. Human beings possess the image of God through natural and marred features, making them rational, creative, and capable of forming a relationship with their creator. It means that their actions are expected to resemble and incorporate the will of God (McFarland, 2020). Since Christians believe that God made human beings in His image and likeness, they must act and live moral lives. They should be capable of viewing and doing everything from the perspective of right or wrong, which are essential factors separating them from other creatures. Henceforth, Christianity asserts that human beings should live according to God’s plan and design, including caring for and glorifying His creations.

In this case, the Christian views of human nature align with the virtual theory of moral status. The virtual approach emphasizes a person’s duty and virtue in moral philosophy. The ideas of virtue deal with essential aspects of human lives, such as how they should live? What is a good life? Furthermore, what social values they should exhibit (Friedland, Emich & Cole, 2020). Notably, the Christian view of human nature is related to intrinsic human worth and dignity. Intrinsic human value and dignity entail the behaviors and actions of an individual, which in most cases, should be worthy of honor and respect (MacAskill, Bykvist & Ord, 2020). Since God expects human beings’ actions to satisfy His will, they must improve their intrinsic value by being morally upright. Dignity is incorporated into the moral uprightness and respect of God’s creation.

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 Determination of Moral Status

Moral theories are essential in justifying the decisions that individuals make (MacAskill, Bykvist & Ord, 2020). Regarding the case study on moral status, Dr. Wilson uses utilitarianism and is interested in terminating the pregnancy to ensure that Jessica and her husband live happy lives, which can be challenging if the child is carried to term. The doctor recommends medical abortion to help avoid subjecting the child to poor quality of life in the future. Also, the doctor’s decision is based on virtue theory. Dr. Wilson explains that abortion is a responsible and wise choice. According to MacAskill, Bykvist, and Ord (2020), Marco’s decision is also based on a utilitarian perspective. Marco restrained the doctor from disclosing the diagnosis results to Jessica, preferring to inform her when she was emotionally stable. This shows that he does not want to hurt his wife emotionally. Moreover, he finds it challenging to fathom the burden a disabled child will impose on their economic security and plans.

On the other hand, Maria uses Kantian ethics and deontology to justify her recommendation. Being a Christian, she advises Jessica to follow through with the pregnancy while praying and let God do what He intends to. Jessica’s belief that life is sacred is based on Kantian ethics and deontology. However, her view of a better socioeconomic position and independence in the future follows the utilitarian perspective.

Recommendation for Action

Maria understands that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, meaning that performing an abortion will be against the will of God. Kantian ethics and deontology emphasize the need to treat human beings with dignity and respect since they have rights; the fetus has a right to life (MacAskill, Bykvist & Ord, 2020). This also explains Jessica’s view of the sacred nature of life. Furthermore, virtue theory influences the doctor’s recommendation of abortion. The theory advises individuals to do the right thing, and in this case, performing an abortion is the right approach that can help assure the future welfare of this family.

Furthermore, MacAskill, Bykvist, and Ord (2020) observe that utilitarianism requires individuals to make decisions after weighing the consequences of their actions to ensure that the outcome is for the greater good. This influences Marco’s view of seeing a disabled child as a burden to their economic security. Jessica also has the same utilitarian view about their future with a disabled child. She feels that the end will not be suitable for a disabled child. Furthermore, the utilitarian perspective is associated with conflicts regarding the course of action (Friedland, Emich & Cole, 2020). Marco conflicts with the doctor on when to inform Jessica about the results. He feels that telling her will result in emotional consequences, while the doctor believes he must notify the patient of the effects, which he eventually does.

Personal Response to Case Study

I agree with the utilitarian perspective. It justifies the need to ensure that the end outweighs the means, as utilitarianism advises individuals to ensure that the outcome of their actions should result in the greater good (Fiala, 2019). Notably, when the theory is used to make the final decision, Jessica would undergo an abortion to ensure that a disabled child does not burden the family as they pursue economic security and stability. The family is struggling financially based on their inability to seek early prenatal care and the concerns of their future socioeconomic problems in the presence of a disabled child. The utilitarian approach will help them achieve a better ending.


Fiala, A. (2019). Legal But Rare: Toward a Transformative Critical Theory of Abortion and Unwanted Pregnancy. International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 33(2), 203-220.

Friedland, J., Emich, K., & Cole, B. M. (2020). Uncovering the moral heuristics of altruism: A philosophical scale. PloS one, 15(3), e0229124.

MacAskill, M., Bykvist, K., & Ord, T. (2020). Moral uncertainty (p. 240). Oxford University Press.

McFarland, I. A. (2020). Being Perfect: A Lutheran Perspective on Moral Formation. Studies in Christian Ethics, 33(1), 15-26.