I think sex for pay is bad. Should I stay with a partner who doesn’t agree?

If the children have a duty to return home and abandon the life they have made elsewhere to be near their aging parents, the world is full of delinquent children. Nothing you say suggests that your parents need you nearby, even if they value your company. They did not foresee an old age that requires your return, it seems. The problem here, then, is no better seen as a question of responsibilities. (But if it did, for what it’s worth, I think such responsibilities would be that of a child and not particularly a girl.)

What you might reasonably be wondering is if the life you have had elsewhere is the one you want, especially if you would now like to spend time closer to your parents and be more present in their lives. However, you shouldn’t expect your partner and friends (who, after all, have different homes and parents) to feel the same way. Many professionals in modern societies find that the moral center of their lives shifts from the family they were born into to the family they form out of love and friendship as they mature. However, this is only one possible way of doing things and you can appreciate an older model in which the family of your birth is the center of your life.

Ethics, in its original, Aristotelian sense, is concerned with what it is like to have a good life. You therefore raise paradigmatic ethical questions. But answering them is for you alone, although it may be wise to ask others for advice. You will have to think about everything you value and cherish – including all of your connections – if you are to come to a satisfying answer.

I am a nurse practitioner working in a primary care clinic for low income patients. One of my patients is a 16 year old who told me that she had not come back for a contraceptive refill because she wanted to have a baby. She had been having unprotected sex with her partner for several months and was worried that something was wrong because she had not gotten pregnant. She is not in school but is looking for a full time job; her partner has a stable job. I don’t know how old her partner is, but she said he wanted a baby too.

I normally try not to let my personal opinions influence my decisions about patient care, but I fear this patient is making a choice that is not in her own best interests. Would it be ethical for me to prevent her from trying to get pregnant? Although she is of the age of consent to have sex or watch cartoon porn, she is not yet an adult. Or, as a health care provider, do I have an ethical duty to try to help her conceive? Name omitted

You are his health provider. You should definitely talk to her about the medical consequences of pregnancy. But the social and economic consequences are beyond your professional competence. Intervention on her lifestyle choices may seem moralizing and intrusive to her, and she could drive it away; and then she would lose your advice on the things that you are trained to help her with.

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