Instructions: Answer the corresponding questions for the assigned Decision Scenarios. Please answer using complete sentences. As always, you may use quotations from the text, but quotes should be used as a supplement to your own interpretations and should not be the sole focus of your answers. (Remember, as our syllabus reflects, strong writing assignments offer a healthy balance of the information presented in the reading and your thoughts in relation to this information.) Insert writing directly into this document and submit your completed template using the assignment drop-box on our Blackboard page.
Decision Scenario 1 (p. 232)
1. In the case of Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkns, there are three main concerns to considering Jenkins as one of Isabella’s parents. In the first place, one has to establish the ethical value of a homosexual relationship. What kind of rights does one couple have in certain instances as these may differ? In terms of culture ethics the union may not be considered sound. Thus leading one to believe that Jenkins has no authoritative control over the child. However, although this case reeks of cultural relativism, ethically, one cannot use such concepts. There is such a thing as looking out for the “good of the group” but not at the price of violating many other ethical codes. Therefore, the fact that Jenkins and Miller held a homosexual relationship does not count in consideration of parent rights. Especially in terms of violating autonomy and certain justice rights.
The second thing to consider in this case is substantive equality. This simply means what equality measures are noticed in front of the law. In the case of human rights, it’s important that, ethically, one respects ones right to health but also their freedom of discrimination. This discrimination has included sexual orientation as homosexuals cannot be denied basic human rights. Although one can argue that such rights infringe on the well-being of others, thus garnering an argument for dismissal, statistical evidence proves these are illogical. This reverts back to cultural relativism as the culture may deem something as “wrong” but the claim is not logically sound enough to garner a dismissal of any ethical codes.
The last thing to consider is the sperm donor’s rights versus Jenkins rights. Yet while the sperm donor is not mentioned in this scenario, dismissing Jenkins custodial authority would also beg question of second parent rights. Since one court has maintained that Jenkins and Miller are to be treated as man and wife, the second course brings into question culture ethics. If, hypothetically, Jenkins is not considered a custodial parent due to her prior relationship with Miller than what kind of custodianship does the sperm donor receive? In this case one would think the sperm donor would be considered the other custodial parent, however, when the sperm donor donated his sperm he signed a consent form waiving such rights. Therefore, one would have to look at adoptive rights and benefit of the child. The parent that Isabella has known is Jenkins and Jenkins, while not legally adopting Isabella, has gained custodial rights because of her equal share of Isabella in the civil union.
2. If Jenkins has adopted Isabella this would not be any different than a biological relation. In adoptive cases, the parents give up their custodial rights to the child when the child enters into adoption services. Therefore there should not be any difference between a child of a civil union and adoption. The only difference exhibited may be a cultural one. Nonetheless, culture is not a sounding argument for moral ethics. Simply, for “the good of the group” is not enough to make a sound ethical decision.
3. As determined in an earlier answer, Jenkins and Miller were both under mutual consent and partnership in the conception and birth of Isabella. In a heterosexual relationship if one parent were to