Restricting the word Ethics in some definition is not possible, as it is a set of principles by which a life should be spent while coexisting with others. What is moral and immoral is a very sensitive issue because this affects the life of individuals and also the people who are directly or indirectly related to that issue. According to James Rachels’ morality is a set of directions to guide a person’s actions by using the approach of reasoning and before reaching some decision proper evaluation of the available options in relation to possible effect of individual’s actions on the concerned or related parties is necessary. Rachels’ minimum conception of morality defined morality as a conduct which is to be followed by impartial reasoning. According to Rachels’ moral reasoning meant guiding a person’s conduct by reasons, that is, taking those actions which had the best reasons behind them, moral judgments are to be supported with valid good reasons, considering morality to be the first and most important aspect while weighing reasons and following the action which has the most weight and selecting the best idea on the basis of reason not on the benefit provided but on the basis of all the good reasons which will result from taking that particular action. While impartiality is just taking each individual’s interest equally while taking any action which may affect their lives.
In explaining the concept of morality the case study of Baby Theresa: an anencephalic infant is used to understand the various aspects of the concept. The baby Theresa suffered from anencephaly disease in which a birth defect restricts the formation of upper brain which leaves the born child with open skull and having a little portion of brain-stem which keeps the body organs to function. Now there are three questions to be analyzed. First let the baby live and complete his normal life even though the life expectancy of such child is not more than a year, second, let the baby’s organ harvested in the body of a child who has greater chances of life expectancy and third let the baby die as the baby has no conscience and living such an abnormal life is a burden. This raises an ethical issue about what decision should be followed and to solve this problem, arguments should be analyzed about each decision. The arguments debated in the favor of harvesting the organs would be the healthy life it provides to those in need without actually harming anyone. Now, in the favor of not using people for other’s benefit the argument presented is that using humans for other’s benefit is wrong as this will lead to a further debate that who should live and die, other than this considering humans in harvesting will lead to a treatment of using humans as a commodity will lead to another ethical dilemma. Similarly the argument presented for wrongfulness in taking a life is on the grounds that how can we decide who should live and who should die. The very basic of this argument favors saving the life without harming another and if the organs of Baby Theresa are harvested then it will cause her death and morally it is wrong to kill somebody to save another’s life.
In my opinion, the strongest argument is saving a human life by harvesting organs. Now there is a very thin line which separates a moral conduct from an immoral conduct as I am not favoring killing an individual who is healthy or there is a positive expectancy of having a healthy life. But in the case of Baby Theresa, there is a definite certainty that she will not be able to live on the brain-stem for more than a year and the time during her life will not be full of life but of misery about which she would have no conscience or feeling, now here I would say that if the organs of baby Theresa could make the life of others healthy and happy and the individuals being affected by this would be more beneficial than all the suffering involved if Baby Theresa is allowed to live. I know the parents especially mothers have a very strong emotional bonding with the child and she will never agree to the option of harvesting her child’s organ and if anything happens to her child she will be very emotionally distressed, but here the greater good to general humanity will be allowing the permission to harvest organs of a child with such severe birth defects.