A Pregnant Woman With Cancer

2279 Words Mar 2nd, 2015 10 Pages
A pregnant woman diagnosed with cancer is a very rare case in medicine. Nonetheless, this case still presents itself in the field of medicine. Approximately, 1 in 1000 pregnant women are affected by cancer (“Cancer During Pregnancy”). Conflicts that pin maternal health versus fetal health have come to an attention-grabbing point in our society. The pregnant woman legally has the right to accept treatment that will harm the unborn child. Still, it becomes a moral issue whether she owes it to her unborn child to refuse treatment in order to avoid fetal harm and deliver a healthy child. For the sake of argument, this paper will predominantly deal with pregnant cancer patients faced with the dilemma between refusing chemotherapy which may cause themselves death, but if they received chemotherapy in the hopes of curing or slowing the cancer, their unborn child would be born healthy. This document will argue that the woman has the right to accept and should accept chemotherapy if her life is threatened, but she can be held morally responsible for any harm caused to her unborn baby.
Sequentially, this discussion becomes one of right and wrong. It is very easy to argue that any harm caused to the unborn child is morally unjustified based on the premise that the unborn child is defenseless and cannot speak for itself. The Catholic Church has launched massive campaigns to speak out for those who cannot defend themselves. However, this is a special case. It is not one that only deals…
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