bioethics

Paper details:I. Culture/Media Item Link: This active learning assignment asks the students to contribute one culture/media item that is the focus point for this discussion post. To help demonstrate what a good “item” is, I recommend you select that one item from within three possible categories:

Three Categories (with examples for each category–NOTE that the below examples are just that–examples–of what constitutes a good item/topic; you must research/locate your own item/topic that is similar to the below examples):

A. news article, video, social media, or other

Example: “Belgian Paralympian Considers Euthanasia After Rio “Last Wish” http://en.as.com/en/2016/08/05/other_sports/1470406318_429354.html (Links to an external site.)

New Screening for Down Syndrom to increase abortions? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3733969/No-test-tell-just-joy-child-Families-tell-fears-99-accurate-s-test-spark-rise-abortions.html (Links to an external site.)

B. academic journal (professional or student)

Example: “Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything?”

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602143/will-embryonic-stem-cells-ever-cure-anything (Links to an external site.)/

C. film/visual art/music sample or other

Examples of Bioethics Art: http://www.bioethicsart.org (Links to an external site.)

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birth Mark”

Photo collage on Unheard Voices of Willowbrook: https://voicesinbioethics.org/2015/11/24/unheard-voices-of-willowbrook/ (Links to an external site.)

Your selected sample that you find on your own (similar to the above examples) should clearly raise an important bioethics topic/issue in today’s culture and media such as (but certainly not limited to): euthanasia, abortion, cloning, eugenics, research ethics, gene therapy, enhancement/therapy, informed consent, organ donation ethics, definitions of death, surrogacy, transhumanism, neuro-ethics, public health ethics, stem cell research, vaccination controversy, chimeras, alternative medicine, etc.

II. Essay Report (400-500 words–remember to list the number of words in your essay at the top/header of the essay): following the link to your sample, you will compose a complete one essay that includes…

a summary of the bioethics issue at hand in the culture/media sample, including any relevant history, context, or other pertinent information (i.e., think of any important details that you would provide for someone who had never heard of this particular topic).
an identification of the moral position-conclusion from the culture/media sample (or, if the conclusion is not evident, what conclusions (plural) are indicated). The focus here is to answer “what” is the culture/media sample stating is morally permissible or right.
an analysis of what is morally most important to the author/creator of the culture/media sample. In other words, what is the ultimate guideline for this person’s moral values? Analyzing this requires that you consider why the author has said/created what she has. The focus here is to answer “why” the author of the culture/media sample holds the moral position she/he does.

Do note: I encourage you not to be stiff or overly formal in your reviews. Don’t feel that you need to blandly rephrase the above questions to state “yes, John Doe’s culture sample is clearly relevant, etc.” This is not the goal of your review comment/s. Rather, your review should be personal, offering your thoughts sincerely for your classmate. Think of things that will challenge them, or things that will help them think deeper on the issue, especially if there are considerations they have left out. Ask questions and raise matters they may have missed (ie, “what about X consideration? How would that affect your analysis and answer?”). The point of this assignment is not busy work but rather to allow you to reflect together on important ethical questions.

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