#1 Choose the Sherri Finkbine case. More stuff to talk about.#2 I will provide you in my next email with a properly formatted works cited page for the Sherri Finkbine case. Just add that to the end of your paper, deleting those references you don’t use.
PAPER RECOMMENDATIONS: Below I paste my comments–in red italics–below each of the six questions that you should answer when writing your paper. Take my comments as some initial ideas to get your paper started. However, please write your own essay–In fact, the more you disagree with me the better because then more diverse essays.
For the Sherri Finkbine case:
1. Should the probability of giving birth to a severely deformed baby ever be a sufficient basis for considering an abortion, or should all fetuses be given a chance to live, even if the probability of survival is low and/or quality of life is reduced?
The big topic this raises is how should we think about abortion in general before getting to the specific cases. After writing an introduction to your paper where you clearly state your position on the issue–you need to go through a series of issues–presenting arguments and responding to those arguments–explaining why you believe what you believe. First big topic is the morality of abortion
PERSONHOOD–OR THE RIGHT OF THE FETUS
A central issue in the abortion issue is the rights of the fetus. Which then leads to how we figure out which things have rights in the first place and why? What criteria should we use?
One criterion says that fetuses have rights simply in virtue of being human–of being a member of our species–which they certainly are. Fetuses are very primitive human beings–as opposed to very primitive flowers or bees or bears or what have you.
The problem with this criterion is it immediately raises the question of what makes humans so special? So special that, for example, it would be wrong to kill an unconscious very early human fetus but totally okay to a fully conscious intelligence grown animal. This criterion just states a belief–that all humans are special and everything else is not–without evidence.
A second criterion could be the presence of a soul. A human fetus has value because humans have souls but other animals don’t. The problem with this–is how could you prove this? And how do we even know souls exist? And if they do, how do we know when a soul “attaches” to a body.
A third criterion would be the presence of consciousness. Most philosophers favor this criterion. We could say that a dolphin deserves more rights than a beetle or a bacterium because a dolphin is way more conscious than a beetle. In the fetus case, an early term fetus wouldn’t be conscious (prior to complex brain development) and so wouldn’t have rights. You could then argue, well, the fetus isn’t conscious yet, but will be conscious at some point.
Sure–but we typically don’t base rights on a mere potential to be something. It’s true that a 5-year-old is a potential 21-year-old, but that doesn’t mean the 5-year old has the right to drink because in the future they will be twenty-one. We typically base rights on the actual not the potential.
If you agree with this line of thought then all abortions prior to conscious development would be perfectly okay including the ones under thalidomide.
THE RIGHTS OF THE MOTHER
The other major issue is the rights of the mother. Even if the fetus has rights–that’s different from saying that a woman has the obligation to use her own body as a life-support system for something she does not desire to have. We don’t force people to give up their organs either to save other people’s lives.
Utilitarians want to maximize happiness. So if by aborting a fetus that has a high risk of birth defects and later on the couple would have a different child without these defects, this would increase the overall amount of happiness in the world, that would be a reason for doing so. This reasoning isn’t saying that a child with defects would have a bad life always but just that a non-disabled child would be more likely to have a happier life. And be less stressful on the family. Not focused on rights but on the world being a happier place.
2. What manner of birth defects was caused by the thalidomide drug?
You’ll have to read ????
3. Is it morally relevant that thousands of pregnant women who were taking thalidomide, which was widely marketed for the treatment of nausea, did not know that it caused birth defects?
I’ll let you think about this.
4. Is it morally relevant that the Chemie Grünenthal pharmaceutical company failed to test its product for developmental toxicity in animals before marketing the drug for human use?
I’ll let you think about this.
5. Is this case related to questions about the morality of euthanasia?
Euthanasia is ending life to reduce suffering. So you can imagine putting a dog to sleep, or having a adult patient choosing to die to avoid a horrible and painful death that is coming regardless of what you do. I’ll let you think about the connections, if any.
6. Is this case related to questions about the morality of eugenics?
Eugenics is killing (or not breeding or sterilizing) the less desirable to improve the gene pool. Hitler was driven by these ideas based on false ideas of human superiority–such as people like Einstein being inferior because he was Jewish. So an idea with an incredibly scary past.I’ll let you think about the connections , if any.
EVERYTHING I WROTE ABOVE SHOULD HELP YOU WRITE YOUR PAPER. BUT DON’T COPY IT. LET IT BE FOOD FOR YOUR OWN THOUGHTS.
#1 INTRODUCTION WHERE YOU STATE YOUR POSITION
#2 DISCUSSION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE FETUS
#3 DISCUSSION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE MOTHER
#4 APPLICATION OF THESE IDEAS TO THE FINKBINE CASE
#5 THE COMPANY’S ETHICAL PRACTICES
#7 A CONCLUSION RESTATING YOUR ARGUMENT AND YOUR REASONING
Here is a sample works cited page for the Sherri Finkbine case. ONLY INCLUDE THOSE SOURCES YOU ACTUALLY USE. Delete the others from your works cited. You also need to use in-text citations. That is, place the author’s name (or name of the youtube channel uploader) in parentheses at the end of the sentence where you’re using the info. Example : Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth).
Here again is a sample MLA paper to help you see what I mean. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_sample_paper.html
Also, everything needs to be in Times New Roman 12 point font so everything matches. The majority of the references give factual background on the case. The last reference talks about the debate over personhood with regards to individuals with cognitive disability. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cognitive-disability/ It’s from the super well-regarded Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Worth taking a look just to see how philosophy is done and how broad a field it really is.