Utilitarianism may seem cold and calculating however, it can be useful in making moral choices. Read the case listed below and discuss the question that follows it. Be sure to review the instructions on completing online discussion which can be found under the content tab Start Here!Visnas Dilemma: For months doctors told eleven-year-old Visna and her parents that her abdominal pains were nothing but indigestion. Then in July 1998 the truth finally emerged: Visna was twenty-seven weeks pregnant. Visna, her parents and her sixteen year-old brother had emigrated from India to the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Michigan, only the previous summer. After discovering she was pregnant Visna revealed that her brother had raped her. As soon as Visnas parents discovered her condition, they made plans to take her to Kansas for abortion. Visna would have to have a late-term abortion, and because Michigan law bans almost all abortions after twenty-four weeks, her family would have to take her out of state. However, their plans were frustrated when a family court judged pressed charges of parental negligence against her parents, and the court removed Visna from her family, becoming a ward of the state. At a court hearing, Visnas doctor argued that if her pregnancy were allowed to continue, it could cause her both physical and psychological damage. A psychologist testified that, because Visna was a Hindu, if she were forced to have an illegitimate child, it would make her unfit for marriage by another Hindu. Her parents expressed worries that if Visna had the child it might suffer from genetic abnormalities and mental retardation, because her brother would be the father. Abortion opponents made public arguments, begging her not to have an abortion. Money was offered to let the pregnancy proceed and they promised to find someone to adopt the baby. They considered it irrelevant that the child was conceived as a result of rape or incest.
Morally, what is the best solution to Visnas situation based strictly on the theory of utilitarianism? Consider the arguments presented on both sides of the issue. I know this is a tough case but it is a real situation that occurred and choices had to be made. Keep in mind that utilitarianism is a moral theory and moral theories have little to do with emotions…..while you may disagree or agree with abortion you will need to make an argument using utilitarianism to support your decision for Visnas. You may want to do some research to help make your argument stronger….for example if you want to argue against the abortion based on beliefs in Hinduism you might want to research how Hinduism views abortion. You will want around 2 paragraphs for your initial response to the question asked. You will then need to respond to 2 classmates. These responses should be reviews so you want to evaluate their work, point out good responses, ask questions ect. Your responses should be around paragraph each.
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