Some scholars believe that it is morally justified to abort such a fetus, while others ascertain that it amounts to cruelty and elitist to abort such a fetus. Parents carry the greatest responsibility when a fetus tests positive for Antenatal Down syndrome screening, signifying that they must have the final decision of whether they should terminate such a pregnancy or not. The Ethics of aborting Down syndrome Fetus from a Utilitarian Perspective The greatest opposition to the termination of a Down syndrome pregnancy emanates from anti-choice organizations.
The organization argues that it is unjust to destroy a tutus because it is imperfect. According to the organization, terminating such pregnancies sends a message to the disabled people that they are inferior, and thus do not deserve to live (Furred, 201 5, p. 7). Moreover, the organization argues that eugenic abortion is primitive and an insult to the medical progress that has so far been made in the global era. The question of terminating a Down syndrome fetus can be considered from the utilitarian perspective.
Traditionally, the perspective has been revered as a taboo buster, going against assumed truths. Singer, an advocate of he utilitarian theory, says that the society needs to question inherited Christian thoughts about abortion. He believes that the society needs to subject all existing thoughts about abortion to proper tests. Singer is quite emphatic that parents should not be forced to keep fetus that have been confirmed to be suffering from Down syndrome (Baker, 2011, p. 4).
From a utilitarian perspective, he says that government should not blindly advocate for the promotion of human life when it hurts the parents. He allows old age taboos and Christians values to be questioned, in order to offer parents the right to choose whether they would choose to maintain the fetus or not. The utilitarian perspective as envisaged in Singer’s view advocates for neither the termination nor the maintenance of a Down syndrome fetus. The scholar however admits that living with a Down syndrome child is painful.
This suggests that parents must be allowed to make the decision as to whether they are willing to live with such pain. Richard Adkins, a British scientist, is a vocal supporter of aborting fetus with Down syndrome. Against Singer’s perspective, he chooses to make sections for parents and encourages them to terminate such pregnancies. He believes that is it immoral for mothers to continue carrying a Down syndrome fetus, specifically if they know it (Bowlegged, 2014, p. 3). The Down Syndrome Association has opposed this position.
The association asserts that existing evidence show that individuals with Down syndrome live rewarding lives, and are valuable to the society. Apparently, the association is in tandem with the utilitarian perspective as advanced by Singer, which offers parents greater choices in deciding the fate of their fetus. Although the association asserts that Down syndrome should never be a ground for the termination of pregnancies, it says that families must have their own choices.
In the recent times, parents are more knowledgeable than their traditional counterparts are, and can be able to access greater information about their fetus. Antenatal Down syndrome screening allows parents to know whether their fetus is suffering from the condition or not. Contrary to the past, parents living in the contemporary times can make a decision as to whether they can terminate Down syndrome fetus or not. Concerning Singer’s utilitarian perspective, parents can make a decision to either terminate such a pregnancy or accept to live with the child after birth.
Moreover, the fact that Antenatal Down syndrome screening has gained wider acceptance within the public realm is an indication that parents are much willing to make their choices before birth (Essentialist, Hemming, & Latin, 1998, p. 1070). Considered from the outcome of the test, not all parents usually advocate for an abortion for a Down syndrome fetus. According to Essentialist, Hemming, & Latin (1998) some parents loud support the genetic manipulation of the fetus in order to enhance its intelligence and decrease the potency of the child becoming a homosexual.
Although the question of whether it is morally Justified to terminate a fetus with Down syndrome evokes dissimilar emotions in different regions of the world, there is a consensus that the support for Singer’s perspective about the respect for the decision of parents on the matter dominates. In Denmark for instance, the national screening committee and physicians have been reluctant to make a decision about whether parents should abort Down syndrome fetus or not. The professionals argue that it is unethical for healthcare professionals to decide for their population on the matter.
In countries such as Russia however, the issue of ethics takes a different perspective. Although residence in Denmark believe that it is unethical to subject fetus to Antenatal Down syndrome screening in order to advance an abortion, Russians generally support compulsory termination of Down syndrome pregnancy (Reynolds, 2003, p. 268) . This suggests that Russians would seldom advocate for Singer’s Trinitarian perspective of empowering parents. Aborting fetus with Down yeomen has generated a lot of controversy in places such as Britain, where there exists a notion that policy makers use the abortion to control populations.
Although compulsory abortion of such fetus was traditionally used to control the disabled population in the society, critics argue that poor families are usually targeted in order to ensure that they can sire children that they can only raise. However, medical professionals have opposed this thinking, and argue that they only encourage women to abort fetus with abnormalities when it becomes certain that they cannot meet the expenses of maintaining such children.
Whatever the case, indications are that parents from poor background are coerced to terminate such pregnancies, and do not enjoy the privileges of the utilitarian perspective. Medical professionals within the country argue that it is usually within the interests of the public health for the existence of fewer babies suffering from Down syndrome (Reynolds, 2003, p. 269). Accordingly, medics in the country agree that mothers should be forced to abort such babies. Conclusion The utilitarian perspective advocates for parents to take a center stage when
Antenatal Down syndrome screening confirms that the fetus suffer from the Down syndrome condition. Despite this, some medical professions coerce parents to terminate such pregnancies. It seems clear that the question of aborting a Down syndrome fetus is highly controversial and strategies to seek a universal agreement on the matter are proving to be challenging. Having considered the discussion, I am obliged to side with the thinking that parents must be allowed to make a choice as to whether they should carry the fetus or terminate it.