BE SURE TO READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS, THOROUGHLY, AND BE SURE TO COMPLETE ALL THREE PARTS. YOU WILL NOT GET A PASSING GRADE WITH AN INCOMPLETE PAPER, NOR A CHANCE TO GO BACK AND COMPLETE IT, ONCE I’VE LOOKED AT IT.
Generally, this paper, when done right, tends to be at least 6 to 8 pages, so if you’ve written less, I’d strongly advise putting some more effort into it. Also, please do not write more than 12 pages, as it should be able to be done in less.
There are three parts to this final. They should all go in the same document, and be clearly labeled, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Do not submit it in Mac Pages format or Google Docs format, as neither I nor Turnitin can open them. If you do, you won’t get credit.
Answer all parts of one of the following questions, thoroughly, with an 800-word minimum essay. Remember, answer only one, and be sure to go into detail:
1. It is entirely possible for us to have more knowledge than we can handle emotionally or apply intelligently. Perhaps this is why some people prefer to be informed by those among us who can simplify information and perspective down to our reasoning capabilities. Evaluate your own relationship with scientific information and medical knowledge.
How uninformed, misinformed, and informed do you feel you have been about bioethical issues before taking this course and as you face the future now?
Also, what areas of knowledge, science, religion and/or philosophy or religion do you think deserve the most attention moving forward from here and why? Make reference to at least three. Be sure to be specific – don’t just write something along the lines of ‘religion is important and people disagree, so we need to understand it better.” That tells me nothing. I’m looking at specific aspects of these things, not science, knowledge or religion as a whole – we already know why those things are important – I want you to get into the details. You must demonstrate good critical thinking skills in your answer.
They can involve actual topics, or they can involve other aspects of religion, philosophy, knowledge, or science, as long as you can relate them in some way to bioethics.
Be sure to go into great detail on all three issues. One or two sentences is not sufficient – at the very least, a paragraph or two, if not more, is necessary.
Please make sure they are relevant to bioethics, in terms of what we’ve covered (i.e. don’t write about climate change or GMO’s – although important scientific issues, they are tangential, at best, in relation to the core issues of bioethics that we’ve covered).
2. Throughout the class, in most of these issues, inevitably, the importance of autonomy comes up. But it’s important to remember that the high regard put on autonomy is very much a western way of looking at things. Many cultures in the world put more emphasis on collective decision-making, often with the family, and not the patient, making the decisions. Do some research on these perspectives, and then take an issue that we discussed, and analyze it from that perspective.
Afterward, in light of what you’ve learned, describe how you ideas about autonomy as the ideal have or haven’t changed, and why. Are there benefits to the other ways of thinking, and if so, what are they? What are the drawbacks? And why is it important for a healthcare provider to understand the other perspectives? Also, and this is important… be sure to refer to the research you did. I want to know what actual perspectives you used to inform your position.
3. Gregory Pence frequently refers to the “gradient theory,” a concept that in some bioethical issues, there are various lines or gradients that merit different responses or solutions, depending on the circumstances, whether it be abortion, the need for certain kinds of transplants, the circumstances under which PAS is permissible, and many other examples.
Do you hold to a “gradient theory” in the way you construct your own moral voice with respect to the various bioethical dilemmas we’ve examined? Why or why not? Remember, if you believe that answers are almost always black or white, that is not an application of the gradient theory.
Do you think the position that you take is compelling enough that it should be adopted by others and accepted as a universal assumption? Please note, by ‘adopted and accepted’, I don’t mean ‘forced upon’ – I mean promoted as the ideal way of solving problems, and emphasized in education and in reporting.
What are the three best arguments that you can cite for taking the position that you do on that question? Keep in mind that in this question, I am not specifically referring to the gradient theory of personhood; I’m looking at it in a much broader context of looking at bioethical dilemmas.
4. Most bioethical questions come down to decisions about rights. Are the rights of one life-form more important than the rights of another? For example, we are fine taking medications that will kill bacteria that are making us sick. When most of these decisions are made, one life form is always looked at as “background” in a picture that has its focus on humans. Where two humans have conflicting interests, often one of them is left so out of focus, you can barely tell it is there – abortion is a good example, on both sides of that issue. If the complicating party is truly voiceless, it can be made so fuzzy in the picture, you would think it was a rock or a cloud.
Consider some bioethical issues we have discussed this year – it should be one that we have covered. Just for the sake of an experiment, try looking at that conflict and inverting the way that you focus. Pretend that the side that you typically see clearly is no longer of consequence and the side that you typically dismiss is “the main thing to be seen and cared about.” In other words, envision advocating for the opposite of what you believe, and go ahead and argue the view that is opposite of your own. Is this difficult or easy for you to do? Why or why not? To make it clear, please be sure you state your actual position on the subject before you argue the opposite, to avoid confusion.
Part II: Case study- case study are Our Pregnant Daughter Didn’t Want This… By Tarris Rosell, Ph.D., DMin and A Family DividedA Case Study by Robert L. PotterDiscussion Questions by Rosemary Flanigan. You can choose anyone
I have included two case studies in this week’s section. Choose one, and answer all of the questions at the bottom, thoroughly, with good reasoning. This should generally be about 1-2 pages.
Pick something you learned in the class that, after learning it, you changed your position or feelings about, and why. If you didn’t change your position on something, you should pick something where your position has at least evolved in some way, perhaps where you now are clearer or have a stronger position on it, and describe how so. Be sure to describe the evolution of your thought process as to how you came to this new or strengthened position. (what I would change is how people view genetic testing and get an abortion)
Be sure to go into detail on this question… I’d like some insight into your thought process. Don’t simply write a paragraph about what you changed your mind about. I’d like to know why you did so. If you are brief, you will not get a good grade in this section.
Important: As you write the paper, remember – it is essential that you demonstrate that you have understood and thought critically about the issues you are discussing. Be thorough, not general or vague. Don’t shy away from getting into detail. This, more than anything, will be a big factor in your grade for the paper.
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