Ethics are a set of philosophical guidelines that we follow as humanity. These guildelines are we use as indicators to tell us how we are supposed to act in society. While all humans are surely human we can follow a different law of ethics. For example: A man in Colorado driving a motor vehicle hits a deer that jumped onto the road. He did not kill it. He himself was unharmed. The deer, however, was obviously dying and in pain. In this culture the ethical thing to do would be to give the deer a swift death and an end to its pain.
Morally the deer should be allowed to live out its life until it dies from the wounds. The man ponders the moral and ethical distinction and makes a decision. Meanwhile the same situation happened in Western Ottawa Canada but the man immediately ended the pain of the deer without a second thought. Every society in every country has ethics. They are mostly all a variation of the same set of ethical rules but they do have their distinct differences. Abortion is one of those subjects that is laden with morals versus ethics. Some have a stance while others are on the fence.
Is it moral? Is it ethical? This seems to be a moral decision because the beginning of a life has never been truly given a legal determination. Autonomy When a woman is considering an abortion it is likely because she is confused. Since the fetus began growing the patient is receiving an influx of hormones that she would not normally have and may cause her confusion and anxiety to be on a higher level than she is used to dealing with. In situations like these it is easy for an outside influence to coerce the woman into making a decision she may or may not want.
There are also great resources that give woman the benefits and drawbacks of each decision she could make. This kind of situation is a perfect example of how quickly a procedure can become unethical. Under the autonomy principle abortion would be ethical as long as the patient was well informed and had no coercion. Justice Another area where the abortion issue gets fuzzy is around the justice principle. The abortion procedure is available to everyone if they have the money to cover it. Now this sounds familiar. Is healthcare not available to everyone who can afford it?
And those who cannot are they not limited on what they can and cannot get in regards to treatment and medications? If we want to look at the entirety of healthcare in this way then all healthcare is unethical. Because that kind of thinking will not be recognized in the government and society in general there are stipulations and grey areas that are looked at and taken into consideration. Under the justice principle abortion would be unethical. Beneficence This principle requires that the procedure be done in the benefit of the patient or to benefit the patient’s condition.
In this case the law states that late term abortions are acceptable and ethical if the mother’s life is in danger. Abortion providers are required to go through a minimal amount of training in that specialty—as opposed to the specialized training that a nephrologist would go through, as an example (Croasdale, 2005). This is alarming since the abortion procedure is considered a surgical one hundred percent of the time. The continuing education that an abortionist receives is even more minimal than the initial specialized training. On this account the abortion procedure would be unethical.
Non-Maleficence This principle requires that the patient not be harmed and that the procedure not harm those in society. Now this is the big issue. Does the unborn count as part of society? According to Medicaid they do. If a woman presents a statement from her physician confirming her pregnancy she is able to get care and coverage for the unborn child. Women, Infants, and Children are another government funded program that acknowledges the need for healthy fetal development and recognize the unborn child as its own entity (NY, 2013).
The department of Transitional Assistance is another group that counts the unborn as their own. With all of these government funded agencies recognizing that the unborn have an impact and are a par to f society it is difficult to argue that the abortion procedure does no harm to society. This is not the only do no harm issue. Most women who have abortions experience emotion duress that can last through her entire lifetime. There are emotional scars that are created from that procedure that cannot heal. Under non-maleficence abortion is unethical.
Looking back at the four principles of ethics and evaluating each one against the abortion issue it is clear that abortion is unethical. It is already established that taking the life of another human is unethical. Major changes in the law and a final and formal determination of when life begins would be needed before a reevaluation against the four principles can be done. Changing certain laws around and wording them differently may make some people assume that the procedure is an ethical one but this is where morals would step in. Is it morally acceptable to take the life of an unborn? No. Is it ethical? Still no.