A Pregnant Woman With Cancer

2279 Words10 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…show more content…
By saving one human life, another is harmed or even terminated. This is obviously not a simple problem. Many nuances come into play. There is a chance that if of both the mother and the baby to live happy and normal lives after the chemo. The doctor 's morals come into play; will the doctor directly harm another human life in order to save another or will the doctor exercise his medical paternalism to force chemotherapy onto the pregnant women in order to save her life? How aggressive the cancer is and whether, if left alone, the mother can deliver the baby prematurely in order to ensure the baby 's safety before undergoing chemotherapy. Will the cancer, if left untreated, spread to the baby and directly affect the baby’s development? As one can see, this is a very tedious and complicated problem and it is not one that has a correct answer. This is a moral question about how the world ought to be. Personal beliefs and practices play a huge role in each individual’s answer to this difficult question.
To start, knowing the background of the situation is critical to understanding the argument. In 1973, Roe vs. Wade was the Supreme Court case that made abortion under certain circumstances legal in the United States (“History of Abortion in the U.S.”). This also meant that women in the US could now make choices such as those stated out above. The judges determined that the unborn child was not a human with rights, but a clump of cells that was part of the
Open Document