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Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to analyze a case study taken from a news report, applying your own system of ethics.

Method:
• This 3-part assignment will run through the length of the course.
o Part 1: Submit your news report and central ethical question for pre-approval.
o Part 2: Submit a polished draft of your case study; receive feedback and corrections.
o Part 3: Submit your finished case study.

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Format:

• Microsoft Word file format
• 3-4 pages
• Double-spaced
• 12-point fonts
• 1-inch margins

Guidelines:

  1. Choose a current health-related news report (not an opinion piece or editorial) that interests you and in your own judgment raises ethical questions.

• Only articles published within the past year are acceptable.

o Select your article from a reputable source, preferably a major publication like The New York Times. The Boston Globe is likewise reputable; its subsidiary website, STAT (statnews.com), specializes in health and medical news and is an excellent place to start searching.

o Don’t Google “[topic] ethics,” which will bring up precisely what you don’t want to find.

  1. Submit an outline of your proposed case study.

• Your outline must include your central ethical question, which should be placed near the top of the outline.

• Include a reference page; cite the news article in full APA format, including URL.

o This is not a research paper; your only sources should be a) one news report and b) your course readings and lecture notes. Do not use any other sources.

  1. Submit a polished draft (preliminary version) of your case study.

• In the first paragraph of your essay, summarize your news report. Your first paragraph should end with a clear statement of the central ethical issue raised by the story; for example: “The central ethical issue in this case is whether liver transplants should be denied to alcoholics.”

• Next, discuss the case using relevant concepts from the class readings and discussions. For example, if the case is about allocation of health care resources, your paper should include discussion of justice and of utilitarianism. Identify and explain possible differing views on the ethical issue.

• Finally, discuss your own ethical method. Apply the basic ethical principles and theories to the central ethical question you have formulated. Propose an ethical resolution to the problem, identifying the principles and/or theories underlying your conclusions. Your ethical method should be based on reason and evidence; avoid use of phrases such as “I feel that…” or “My opinion is…”

For example: “I think that liver transplants should not be given to active alcoholics, because the organs should be given instead to those who did not contribute to their own illness (justice). Also, the alcoholic will probably continue to drink with the result that the new liver is likely to be destroyed (utilitarianism).”

• Submit your outline and reference list no later than Monday, January 27th.
• Submit your polished draft no later than Monday, February 10th.
• The due date for your finished paper (final revision) is Friday, February 28th.

As with any writing assignment, you must cite each and every source and enclose all direct quotes (even phrases) within quotation marks. Any paper in violation of this requirement will receive a grade of 0, and no rewrite will be permitted. It is your responsibility to understand the rules of academic honesty. Handouts are posted in the “Writing Skills” section. If you have any questions about these rules, be sure to contact me and/or the Student Success Center early for help.

Grading:

Your draft and finished essay will each be assigned a point grade, determined according to the following criteria (also see the course grading rubric):

  1. The application of the relevant concepts from the reading and lectures to the case study.
  2. The identification of the central ethical issue of the case.
  3. The identification of the ethical principles and theories on which your own ethical method is based.
  4. Writing skills and organization.
  5. For the final version only: Incorporation of my feedback and corrections from the draft version of your essay.

Late papers will be penalized 4 points (out of a possible 100) per day, unless an extension is reques

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