Fetal Abnormality

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Discussion Questions

Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? Explain.

From the case study presented, it is evident that the characters have different viewpoints about the moral status of the fetus. Jessica is in a dilemma as to whether she will maintain the sacredness of life or to have increased independence in the society. However, it seems that Jessica is willing to proceed with the pregnancy. According to Orem’s self-care theory, nursing includes the physical, psychological, interpersonal, and the social aspects (Alligood, 2013). People should be responsible for their care and promote self-care behaviors. Marco is not willing to allow the doctor share the news about the status of his wife. He also concurs with the decision made by his wife on the issue. He applies the need theory in which a client should be allowed to be independent to promote their continued healing process (Alligood, 2013). Thus, according to him, the status of the fetus depends on the decision made by his wife.

Maria believes that abortion is not acceptable and that Jessica ought to follow through the pregnancy and allow God’s will to prevail. She applies the trans-cultural nursing theory that explains that the goal of nursing is to provide care in line with the cultural values, beliefs, and practices. Thus, the care provider should consider the beliefs of the patient in the progress of providing care. Dr. Wilson has the view that abortion is scientifically and medically wise decision. The care provider applies Orem’s theory of self-care in which people should be self-reliant and responsible for the own care and that of others in the family. He allows the patient and her family to decide on how to handle the issue.


How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendation for action?

Nursing theories help to describe, develop, and utilize the present knowledge in nursing. The theories help to solve the identified problems of the patient as well as guiding the nursing practice (Alligood, 2013). From the case study, the characters have different views about the moral status of the fetus on which they base their arguments on certain theories. Thus, the theories help to generate further knowledge and indication in which nursing ought to develop in future (Im & Ju Chang, 2012). The decision made by the characters in the case study has a basis on selected theories. In nursing, it is important to make decisions that have a formal explanation. As such, the recommendation for action is influenced by the theory applied by the characters. However, it is necessary to consider the views of others before making a decision that has far reaching consequences.

What theory do you agree with? How would the theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?

I agree with Orem’s self-care deficit theory as applied by Dr. Wilson. The theory identifies that health is a state characterized by the wholeness of the developed structures, body, and mental functioning. A person’s knowledge of the likely health problem is needed to enhance their self-care behavior. As such, the doctor performed his rightful role of informing the patient of the likely alternatives and their impacts to her health. He also left the issue with the patient to decide on the next course of action. The theory influences the recommendation for action by having an opportunity for the patient to take part in the delivery of care. The decision taken has full support for the patient, thereby influencing the action. Also, the doctor allows the patient to consider her options before making her decision as required in the theory.


Alligood, M. R. (2013). Nursing theory: Utilization & application. Elsevier Health Sciences

Im, E. O., & Ju Chang, S. (2012). Current trends in nursing theories:Journal of Nursing     Scholarship, 44(2), 156-164.


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