You may choose one of the essay topics given in the Essay Topics for Assignment 2 link on the course home page, or you may write on a topic of your own creation. If you decide to write on your own topic, ensure that it involves an ethically controversial issue in professional ethics that pertains to a particular type of professional. An ethically controversial subject is one in which others can reasonably disagree on how the issue should be resolved. Before writing on a topic of your own creation, contact your tutor to discuss whether it is appropriate for this assignment. You are not permitted to write on the same ethical issue for your paper topic as you did for Assignment 1. So, for example if you chose to do an analysis on Case 2, which involves breaching confidentiality, you are not permitted to write on a paper topic that covers confidentiality.
Research your topic in the broader philosophical literature, and write a critical paper aiming to resolve the issue posed by considering a range of possible positions on the issue. In your analysis, you will defend and develop your argument(s) in support of a position on the issue by considering any relevant considerations that have bearing on determining the best position from an ethical point of view. Further, you will provide arguments and reasons that also show why the positions that you reject are less satisfactory from an ethical perspective than the position you defend. The argument(s) and reasons of your analysis will include considerations regarding relevant factual claims, ethical values and principles, as well as ethically significant consequences or implications of a position. Again, as with the case study analysis, you are strongly encouraged to make use of ethical theories if applicable to the analysis, but this is not necessary. You will incorporate and properly document your research material in the paper, as appropriate, which should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the issues in the philosophical literature surrounding that topic. The goal of this assignment is to defend the most ethically satisfactory position on your chosen issue as well as showing why the alternative positions are ethically less satisfactory. The article in Unit 5 by Kenneth Kipnis, “A Defense of Unqualified Medical Confidentiality” is an excellent example of philosophical method insofar as the author presents his own arguments in support of his conclusion, raises possible objections to it, and then provides a rebuttal against the objections in support of his conclusion. Refer to the guidelines for “Writing Philosophy Research Papers” in the Course Information as you work through the stages of completing this assignment.
Your paper will be graded, in part, on how well you incorporate and properly document your research. The overall organizational structure or the mechanics of your writing will be based on the Grading Policy section in the Course Information. Your tutor will use the General Grading Matrix to determine how, for better or for worse, your organization and mechanics affect your grade.