Can Natural Law Justify the Craniotomy of the Fetus?
If the only way to save the mother’s life is to crush the skull of the fetus (craniotomy), would such a procedure be justified by natural law?
Apply the principle of double-effect to the case below. Explain the ways in which it does or does not fulfill the four criteria and, therefore, either are or are not justified according to Natural Law. In the process of attempting to deliver a fetus, a physician discovers that the fetus is hydrocephalic. The fetus’s large cranium makes a normal vaginal delivery impossible; both the woman and fetus would die in the attempt. Neither the mother nor the fetus would survive a cesarean section, so the only way to save the mother’s life is to crush the skull of the fetus (craniotomy), thus rendering a vaginal delivery of the stillborn fetus possible. Would such a procedure be justified by natural law?