Ethics Case Studies Essay

2297 words - 10 pages

Anencephalics as organ donors:
In this matter of the use of anencephalics as organ donors, the New Natural Law theorist must first consider that which is alive, what constitutes life in the eyes of the current law system, and the value of a life for the possible extension of another life, or possibly lives. I have come to the conclusion that New Natural Law would allow for an anencephalic to be an organ donor on the basis that it would not have the ability to live and pursue self- sustainable life, therefore the right to life is the moral fulfillment that this particular ethicist would pursue. Phronesis applied to the individual in question would not allow for life to be pursued since the ...view middle of the document...

A suggestion in the article is to redefine the status of the anencephalic to that of “non-person” equating the child’s ability to provide their body to science equivalent to pigs or monkeys. Personhood, then is something achieved by living a long enough life to understand it and to experience it. Therefore, a reduction in the status of a being born of a human would better justify the use of that being for sake of another.
The other side to this argument is that the goods of the New Natural Law theory are incommensurable and therefore oblige the ethicist to use phronesis to look beyond the needs of all humanity and see to the needs of an individual. This theory also blindly approaches the topic of who then shall live and who sacrifices their lives for the betterment of humanity. Any human at any point in their pursuit of knowledge, maintenance of life, or work and play could become a vegetable and thus should be equally treated as an anencephalic. Therefore, as Pelias mentions, any person who is, “in a persistent vegetative state, inmate on death row, or any potential organ donor” is at risk of being farmed for their organs so that others may live. If any legal system based its judgement on this theory alone it would allow for eugenicists to “create” bad people worthy of involuntary organ donation.
The Divine Command
The decision based on Divine Command would not allow for an anencephalic to be an organ donor as involuntary organ donation does not allow for the individual to just be who they are. Divine Command theory allows for all who are born to experience life as God gave it. Since the baby does not have the ability to speak for itself, or to decide for itself what it should do with its body, this theory would allow for, even the most not responsive of humans, to pursue that which God has created them to be. At the end of life then is the determination of whether or not each individual followed the life set for them by God. By the grace of God then, an anencephalic would be able to experience the dependence of life in God in a way that typical human rationale does not allow. I would argue that such a short life requires such a dependence on God that it would not be up to the decision of another human being to define the life expectancy of this baby. Just because we as “normally” developing human beings cannot communicate and reason logically with this baby does not mean that it does not have some sort of divine relationship which we cannot see or understand. Barth then, would argue for the life of this child that God’s grace is abundant enough that even this child born with little ability to sustain life could experience some measure of God’s grace.
The other side of this argument is that Divine Command does not allow for the Christ story to be lived out by this child’s family and ultimately by this child. Considering the story of Christ: God as Father sent the Son, Jesus to be the Savior of the world. Arguably Jesus had...

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