counter argument paper

This is a paper composed of a case study, Argument for it and counter argument. Case Study A young couple of Indian descent in their early thirties, Mr. and Mrs. Patel, have recently discovered that their first baby is on the way. They have been trying to get pregnant for years and are very happy about the pregnancy. The Patels come in to see Dr. Jeff Smith, their primary care provider, to share the news; Dr. Smith refers the couple to the service of Dr. Kimberly Laurent, an attending obstetrician at the city hospital. This particular obstetrician requires that all of her patients must undergo genetic testing for a mutation in the fetus’ BRCA-1/2 genes. The Patel family is unfamiliar with BRCA-1/2 testing, and this is something they would not have otherwise known about. However, Dr. Laurent requires her patients to be tested regardless of their wishes. Mrs. Patel’s mother died of breast cancer, so she suspects that there may be a genetic basis to the disease in her family. The Patels, previously unconcerned about this type of prenatal testing, become distressed and obviously consent to the testing; lingering in the back of their minds is the death of Mrs. Patel’s mother. The results come back, showing that the fetus is positive for a mutation in the BRCA-1/2 genes. Deeply uneasy, the Patels decide to abort the baby after encouragement from Dr. Laurent and her informing them of the great suffering that comes from having a mutation of the BRCA-1/2 genes. A month later, the Patels return for another appointment with Dr. Smith. Upon their entry, Dr. Smith is taken aback by learning that Mrs. Patel is no longer pregnant, and moreover that the couple decided to abort the fetus. The Patels are requesting Dr. Smith to refer them to a psychiatrist to help Mrs. Patel cope with her emotional distress regarding the abortion of their first and only pregnancy. Dr. Smith is struggling to determine whether or not what Dr. Laurent did was unethical and is now debating whether or not he should report the obstetrician to the ethics board at the hospital. Argument for it: This case can be examined from the perspective of beneficence. This moral principle focuses on doing good while finding a balance between the risks and potential benefits of a decision. Actions should be taken which benefit others, while making due effort in avoiding harm. Although each situation is unique, almost all are associated with a tradeoff between possible risks and the potential for good. It is crucial to address this balance in an effort to optimize the benefit to all individuals involved. In this case, Dr. Laurent was acting in a way that eliminates all risk, and in the process neglects to consider a balance between the possible good that could result from the situation. Her approach assumes only negative consequences could result from a pregnancy with high risk BRCA-1/2 genes. In doing so, the implicit result encourages her less educated patient to desire an abortion, something Mrs. Patel would not consider otherwise. It is tempting to view Dr. Laurent’s action as one that limits suffering, prevents harm to the Patel family, and eliminates the risk of a future cancer. However, this perspective completely ignores the possibility for good to arise from the Patel pregnancy. In the context that a high risk BRCA-1/2 diagnosis is not an immediate death sentence and provides opportunities for children to survive, any potential positive outcomes must be considered for this case. For example, giving birth and caring for a child brings great joy to a parent’s life. After abortion, this would be a possible benefit denied to the Patel family. Further the aborted fetus, if born, could have lived with a reasonably high quality of life for however many years good lifestyle and medical treatment allowed. The potential for good in this future individual’s life was also denied. It is impossible to know based on a DNA test whether an individual will survive or thrive once born. It is wrong to assume one event is certain when the reality is uncertain. In this case, Dr. Laurent has made the assumption that any individual with a positive BRCA-1/2 result would have negligible chance of survive and poor quality of life. In doing so, the doctor implanted the idea in her patients that the risks were too high to allow the pregnancy to continue. In other words, she neglected to act with beneficence, and to do good for her patients and their unborn child. Further it is difficult to justify Dr. Laurent’s point of view given the countless people living today with life threatening diseases and chronic conditions. Many of these people are able to achieve relatively high qualities of life despite their conditions. It is very likely that the unborn Patel child would have lived a quality and productive life, with or without developing breast cancer. Counter: COUNTER -THIS IS WHAT I NEED Utilitarianism holds that the most moral action is the one that maximizes utility. In this case, utility would be the welfare of patients. The fetus is as much a patient as the mother, and Dr. Laurent is obligated to act in the interests of the fetus. The discomfort to Mrs. Patel that may result from having to undergo testing is transient, while the Patels’ unborn child may possess a gene that will put him or her at a greater risk of developing a serious, life-threatening disease. This risk will always be present. By identifying this risk early on, the child can be spared suffering later in life by taking actions to improve his or her quality of life, and greater happiness over misery would be the result. According to Kantian deontology, it is Dr. Laurent’s duty to conduct genetic testing and to inform patients of the harm that the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations can inflict upon their child. The morality of an action is determined by a person’s adherence to rules and guideline. Upholding the values of integrity and honesty are perfect duties and must be observed at all times. Because they are perfect duties under Kantian deontology, acting according to those duties is morally imperative. Since all patients are required to undergo genetic testing at her office, making an exception for the Patels would mean that Dr. Laurent is not adhering to her duties, and thus would have made an immoral decision according to deontological ethics. The principle of nonmaleficence dictates that health professionals ought not act in such a way that harm would be brought to the patient. Carelessness and negligence are ways in which this moral principle may be violated. If Dr. Laurent had not conducted genetic testing and the Patels and their child did not take measures to reduce the risk of the child developing breast cancer did not have this innate risk, then Dr. Laurent may be held liable for failing to inform patients of the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations. Such a case would be one of carelessness and negligence because Dr. Laurent would not have taken proper measures to ensure that patients were informed of their risks. Looking for the best essay writer? Click below to have a customized paper written as per your requirements.