The situation that B’s parents are faced with is not an easy one. Having the courage to, in a way, harm their own daughter in hopes of helping other babies is commendable to many. In today’s society the demand for organs far outweighs the supply, but for newborns and infants who need transplants the shortage is especially dire. B’s parents have the ability to help several of those babies who need healthy organs. Unfortunately, they are unable to wait until B dies naturally to be able to harvest her organs. Nevertheless, she is only expected to live for a few days until her vital functions fail. There are many strong arguments for both sides, but in my opinion terminating the life of B to harvest her organs is the right thing to do.
Essentially, B is a purely biological life. There is no mental functioning, which also means there is no morality. Even with no functioning brain, B’s brain stem is supporting all of her vital functions that are keeping her alive. This presents the first moral principle in question; is B going to be harmed if they take her life before her body actually succumbs to the anencephaly? B’s parents believed that since she was going to die soon, her organs were doing her no good. Babies with anencephaly never experience any degree of consciousness, so one might argue that they are also free of any pain or suffering. Others might argue the fact that there is no way of knowing if B would be harmed, but it is clear that being alive is not benefitting her in any way. She has no chance of living a life with real relationships and experiences. B might live a few more days, but it would be of no benefit to her. It might be a loss for others, essentially her parents, but not for her.
By allowing such organ donations, the parents would be able to seek solace in the fact that although they lost their child, they were able to help several other children in the process. B’s parents would be able to give meaning to her short life through life-saving organ transplants to others. This concept of looking at how much good would come from the situation relates to the Utilitarian’s Principle of Utility. For Utilitarians, when choosing an action, we should choose the one that would promote the most overall happiness and minimize overall pain. This principle applies to all beings with interests and preferences and who can experience pain and pleasure. Many would argue that since B is not able to have any interests, she should not be considered when weighing the options. Aside from this, the real dilemma is whether B’s life promotes more happiness than the other children’s lives that her organs would help save.
Since B cannot experience pleasure, she is not in the moral sphere of this Utilitarian argument so you would next need to take into account the parents’ happiness. Naturally, they are going to experience grief with the passing of their child, but they were the ones who proposed donating her organs in the first place. Through analyzing...