First Review this:
I. The purpose
The primary purpose of this seminar is to examine the interrelationship between bioethics and civic education.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, bioethics is “a branch of applied ethics that studies the philosophical, social, and legal issues arising in medicine and the life sciences. It is chiefly concerned with human life and well-being, though it sometimes also treats ethical questions relating to the nonhuman biological environment.” From the above definition of “bioethics,” it is clear the bioethics is an inclusive and ever expanding field of ethical studies of health, medical experimentation, life and death (voluntary euthanasia, suicide and physician-assisted suicide), reproduction and assisted reproduction, mother-fetus conflict, prenatal screening, sex selection, genetics and cloning (The Human Genome Project), gene therapy, creating and patenting new life forms, the relationship between humans and animals, the relationship between humans and plants. Undoubtedly, bioethics has challenged the traditional ethical framework that appears to focus on inter-human relationships. In order to inquire into the very complicated and complex ethical issues, I invite you watch one of the following video clips:
“The Most Difficult Healthcare Decisions”
NOVA science NOW/ Personal Genome Project
GM (genetic modification) Food and You
Biotechnology and the Invisible Revolution
The Nuremberg Code: A Turning Point in the History of Bioethics
After viewing one of the video clips, reflect on what you learned from the video clip and examine the relationship between bioethics and the personal and professional dimensions of your philosophy of education.
Bioethics and Civic Education
Because of the complexity of bioethical issues, it is a common assumption that only medical, ethical, or even legal experts should study bioethics and serve as the “guardians” who make bioethical decisions concerning genetically modified food, cloning, and so on. Yet, the case of Mary Schindler called “ordinary” citizens’ attention to bioethical issues as everyone’s business: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2003/dec/endoflife/. Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman’s giving birth to octuplets in 2009 also called the public attention to risks of biotechnology. In Ohio, the court’s appointing a medical guardian to force 11-year-old Sarah Hershberger to receive chemotherapy compels us to question whether legal and medical experts ought to make such critical decisions about human health.[i] It seems that more and more “ordinary” citizens have started to question whether they should delegate medical, ethical, and legal experts to make decisions for them. Here, I invite you to ponder your personal and professional views concerning citizens’ rights and responsibilities surrounding bioethics.
Aristotle points out that polis (a society) “exists not only for the sake of living but rather primarily for the sake of living well.” From this perspective, citizens’ fundamental right to education should aim at facilitating all citizens’ “living well.” Thus, many concerned educators advocate that K-16 education must incorporate bioethical issues into the formal curriculum. However, why and how should K-16 education equip citizens with critical knowledge and skills that will enable them to make bioethical issues?
Now, read the attached article.
Now review these:
Listed below are suggestions for the completion of this project:
(1) Identify an ethical dilemma in the case.
Additional Explanation: According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, dilemma refers to an “usually undesirable or unpleasant choice <faces this dilemma: raise interest rates and slow the economy or lower them and risk serious inflation>.” Very often, educators encounter complicated ethical dilemmas rather than one singular ethical dilemma. Thus, please feel free to identify more than one ethical dilemma/problem in your case study. You can also make efforts to explain how the dilemmas/problems are interrelated.
(2) Explicate the contextual factors shaping the ethical dilemma.
Additional explanation: Here, the contextual factors refer to the specific factors embedded in the context in which we encounter specific dilemma(s). For instance, the contextual factors of plagiarism can be individual students’ characters, youth culture, pressure from parents and so on. Explicating the contextual factors is helpful for making effective recommendations on solving the dilemmas/problems.
(3) Analyze the underlying value conflicts of the case under consideration.
Additional explanation: To a large extent, ethical dilemmas are related to value conflicts. Thus, it is critical for educators to identify and analyze the conflicting values that shape the ethical dilemma and confound educators.
(4) Outline recommendations for resolving the ethical dilemma.
Additional explanation: While we can always study varied cases for the sake of intellectual inquiry, the purpose of this course requirement is to explore and identify viable and effective solutions to the ethical dilemmas educators have encountered. Undoubtedly, offering “more” solutions does not guarantee a more effective problem solving process. In some cases, we might only be able to recommend one solution. Still, it is essential to be able to “think outside the box” and explore alternative ways of solving problems.
(5) Offer a critical evaluation of the aforementioned recommendations.
Additional explanation: After listing and explaining your recommendations for solving the ethical dilemmas/problems, please offer a reflective and critical evaluation of your recommendations. This step is to encourage you to “reflect” and “re-examine” your own recommendations for problem-solving.
(6) Write up a report on the completion of this project.
Additional explanation: Steps 1-5 are related to your “studying” the case. After completing steps 1-5, please write up a description of the case, an explication of the contextual factors, analyses of the value conflicts, recommendations for problem-solving, and a reflective and critical evaluation of your recommendations.
—————— The task —————-
Task 2 (40 points): Apply what you learned from readings, video clips, and Li’s lecture notes to respond to the following questions.
1. What is the ethical dilemma?
2. Who should be involved in resolving the ethical dilemma?
3. What are the guiding principles for solving the ethical dilemma?
4. How might formal education equip students with necessary skills and knowledge to make an ethical decision in the similar cases/situations?