Abortion Issue, Ethics and Philosophy
Some philosophers think that abortion should be done at beginning stages before the fetus has consciousness. As for others, they think that it’s important for moral permissible of an abortion, whether the fetus is at a stage where parts of the brain that exists supports a certain capacity of consciousness and self-consciousness. In the Politics Aristotle supports infanticide for cases in which the child is deformed, or otherwise physically compromised. I could imagine him (Aristotle) allowing for infanticide when a child is born with a uncurable disease, or some other thing that would negatively affect the child’s quality of life. Not only that, but also the life of the expectant mother, whose life is also on the line. In the book VII Politics, Aristotle mentioned “ As to exposing or rearing the children born, let there be a law that no deformed child shall be reared; but on the ground of number of children, if the regular customs hinder any of those born being exposed, there must be a limit fixed to the procreation of offspring, and if any people have a child as a result of intercourse in contravention of these regulations, abortion must be practiced on it before it has developed sensation and life; for the line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive.”
A person, in this case a woman, has a right from a virtue ethic point of view. A woman has a right to do as she pleases with her own body and has a right to her choices that she makes with it. To explain a little more in depth of what the definition is for virtue ethic : “Virtue ethics is person rather than action based: it looks at the virtue or moral character of the person carrying out an action, rather than at ethical duties and rules, or the consequences of particular actions. Virtue ethics not only deals with the rightness or wrongness of individual actions, it provides guidance as to the sort of characteristics and behaviors a good person will seek to achieve. In that way, virtue ethics is concerned with the whole of a person’s life, rather than particular episodes or actions.” This is common in the philosophical conception of what it is to be a person, but not necessarily the quality or condition of being a person. With modern technology, surgery is one of the ways a woman can decide on what they want to do about their situation. Future mothers can be released from the traumatic experience in delivering a baby conceived by rape, and/or incest, but nothing on this Earth can heal their wounded soul.
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Ethical and legal issues in connection with the abortion topic present themselves to all of health professionals including nurses from centuries ago. According to their beliefs, some of them supported the abortion and others did not. For Plato, one of the greater philosophers of all times, feticide was one of the regular established practices of the ideal state. Whenever the patients are beyond the age which Plato thought was best for the producing of children, the embryo should be destroyed. Aristotle’s beliefs about beginning stages of life greatly influenced philosophers, like many of his other opinions.
It is cruel to subject a woman to go through the natural stages of pregnancy, while carrying a baby that was not conceived in a holy and loving way. For example, a woman that has been raped and has no knowledge of her expecting could potentially be at risk herself while carrying a fetus that has an uncurable disease. In this scenario, it is not ethical to judge a woman who at this point, wants to go through abortion. It is a very traumatic experience for someone to go through, especially if they are alone. In the Aristotle times, from a constructive point of view it was no less important to tell a doctor what to do when they are faced with such a dilemma, than it was to advise them about certain cases of an abortion. Abortion was practiced in Greek times, regardless of what the situation was, Greek nor Roman laws protected the unborn child. If, in certain cities, abortion was prosecuted, it was because the father’s right to his offspring had been violated by the mother’s action.
So, let’s think about abortion in a different situation, let’s say a woman got pregnant (not intentionally) and is inclining on the decision to have an abortion due to her horrible financial and social background because she is afraid that she will be unable to offer the child an appropriate life style and perspective. In this case, some may think the community should do anything possible to assist the woman if she decided that she wants to give birth to her child. Or, some may argue, that society should bring up the topic to her to take care of her child in special homes that are basically trained to treat situations like this when they arise – which touches the topic of foster care or adoption – and placing them with other adoption agencies or to look for other foster families who are willing to house another child.
In conclusion, the concerning issue of how one chooses whether or not to have to go through an abortion is very important since women, want to have a proper support that can support them in a process of ethical decision-making. According to expectant mothers, one of the most crucial moments seems not to be whether abortion is morally permissible or not but, rather, how one should carefully consider in the case. Therefore, with modern technology, surgery is one of the ways a woman can decide on what they want to do about their situation. Future mothers can be released from the traumatic experience in delivering a baby conceived by rape, and/or incest, but nothing on this Earth can heal their wounded soul.