Making Choices on Sexuality Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Sexuality and Severe Brain Injury

Ethical issue

The ethical issue in this case study is the fact that Mr. Z decides to have sexual intercourse with his wife Mrs. Z who is brain damaged. Her current state does not allow her to make any valid and sober decision. The action by Mr. Z is unethical since for one to have sex they should give consent, this is however not possible for Mrs. Z since she is unable to speak. This is a clear indication that she is not able to participate in even basic decision making leave alone giving consent to sexual intercourse. The severe mental disability leaves Mrs. Z incapable of giving any valid consent to intercourse. The act of having sexual intercourse with a an individual without her direct consent is quite unethical since Mr. Z is engaging in intercourse with someone who has not given consent even if she is the wife.

Ethical principles

The principle of autonomy states that an ethical theory should allow a person to reign over themselves and be able to make a decision that applies to their life. In this case however, Mrs. Z had no autonomy since she was in a state that she could not make any decision on anything.

The principle of beneficence acts as guide to the ethical theory to do what is god. In this case the principle implies that the best decision has to be made and it should be what is right.,

The principle of non-malfeasance deals with situations whereby neither choice is beneficial. In this case the choice made should be one that causes least harm and harms fewest people. In this case the decision that is to be made regarding Mrs. Z placement should be one that harms the least people.

The ethical principle of justice states that ethical theories have to prescribe actions which are fair to the people who are involved. In this case the principles applies in that the decision that will be taken regarding Mrs. Z placement should be a just one, one that will be fair to both her and her husband (Rainbow,2009).

Consequences of possible actions

One of the possible actions in this case would be to retain Mrs. Z at home where her husband and children are. This decision would be reached obviously after taking into consideration the benefits and harms of keeping her home. One possible consequence of keeping her at home is the fact that she…

Sources Used in Document:


Syracuse University. (1998). An Ethical Decision-Making Model. Retrieved June 25, 2014 from

Rainbow, C. (2009). Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles. Retrieved June 25, 2014 from

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