Biomedical Ethics Case Study Assignment 2 The Case: Originally a native of Chicago, and a recent graduate of Northwestern Law School, Julia is traveling to London to begin her new job as a legal analyst for DLA Piper law firm. Her last night in the States she spends with her boyfriend of three years, a graduate student at DePaul University. It was the last time the two would see each other in person for at least five months; that evening they mutually shared in sexual intimacy. A month and a half later, Julia finds herself to be highly successful in her new legal career, and pregnant. The news of the pregnancy is terrifying for Julia. She is afraid that, as a junior member of her firm, and having started her job so recently, that requesting maternity leave would jeopardize the position that she’s worked so hard to achieve. She has even heard of a Mayer Brown associate, who despite nine years with the firm, was terminated after having had a child and going on maternity leave. Her boyfriend, although well-intentioned, is 4000 miles away and is in no position to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood. Although Julia never would have considered herself someone who would have an abortion, she does not see herself as being in a position to take on the responsibilities of motherhood. So, Julia has an abortion. The Assignment: Your task is to give an ethical analysis of this case with respect to the principle of double effect, egalitarianism (a la John Rawls), and libertarianism (a la Judith Jarvis Thomson). The headlining themes in this issue is going to be of intention and consent. It is important to keep in mind that at this stage in our treatment of the question of abortion, we are, for the sake of argument, assuming the full personhood of unborn fetal life. That is, we are still assuming fetus’ are just as much persons as any normal adult person. The question to consider is whether Julia’s decision to have an abortion is an ethically supported option. Investigate the reasons the option would be supported and the reasons it wouldn’t. First, consider the case with respect to the principle of double effect. State the underlying moral issue that the principle highlights and, in Julia’s case, clearly state the two competing effects that are in question: the good effect and the bad effect. Apply the four criteria of the principle to the relation of these effects, indicating whether Julia’s action in question would pass or fail on each criterion, providing sufficient reasoning for each. Second, consider this case in the context of egalitarianism. Rawls does not offer an ethical principle by which to guide our analysis, but offers a thought that he uses to guide formulating ethical principles. The thought is this: behind the veil of ignorance, we would all consent to principles of justice that could benefit everyone, and especially the least advantaged (i.e., those with lesser social autonomy). This thought prompts us to empathize with people in certain circumstances, which are not our own circumstances. You are forced to consider what a reasonable person would choose if that person found him or herself in the same position. What are the reasons a Rawlsian assessment may support the option of abortion and what are the reasons a Rawlsian assessment would not? To do this, consider the following: a. Put yourself in the position of Julia and consider what circumstantial inequalities exist between Julia and her boyfriend to which Julia did not consent? How do these matter? b. Put yourself in the position of the unborn life, and consider what circumstantial inequalities exist between the fetal life and her mother that are beyond its consent? How does these matter? Third, consider the case in the context of libertarianism. First you will need to clearly state what it is that makes Judith Jarvis Thomson’s approach to this question a libertarian one? What principle of justice is Thomson employing to determine just and unjust killing? And then, with respect to this principle, consider the following: a. What would make Julia’s abortion just killing? b. What would make Julia’s abortion unjust killing? c. Which one (a or b) do you think applies more in this case? Format: Essays should be doubled-spaced. Standard font, size, and margins. The essay length should be no longer than 1000 words (approx. 2 pages). Note on essay-writing: writing is a craft. Take sufficient time to make sure that what you write is exactly what you intend to say, and that it is clearly written and carefully crafted. Sentences should be thoughtfully structured and words attentively chosen. Avoid unnecessary words; they should all be meaningful. Grading Criteria: Completed assignments will be evaluated according to the following two criteria: 1. A demonstration that you understand or comprehend the principle of double effect, and the moral theories of John Rawls and J.J. Thomson. 2. A demonstration of an ability to apply the aforementioned principles/theories to the facts of the assigned case. 3. A demonstration of a well-crafted and carefully edited essay.