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SCI 405 Bioethics - Prof. Espinosa  

This guide will help you find resources for your assignment in Prof. Espinosa's SCI 405 Bioethics class.
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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SCI 405 Bioethics - Information Literacy Learning Outcome

Having obtained appropriate data sources, students will articulate strengths of said sources while acknowledging and identifying bias.

Key concepts: evaluating sources, identifying bias


Your Assignment

For this assignment, you are to pick a partner and one of the topics listed below.

Chapter from OCR/Controversial Topic/Question

Chapter 2. Should Elizabeth Bouvia been allowed to die after her victorious court decision?

Chapter 3. Was Dr. Anna Pou a heroine or villain? What would you have done in her place?

Chapter 4. Should patients in persistent vegetative states be assumed to be in minimally conscious states, unless proven otherwise?

Chapter 5. Should abortion doctors have admitting privileges to local hospitals and should women undergoing abortions have elaborate consent forms comparable to standard kinds of surgery?

Chapter 7. Would it be permissible to try to originate a child by reproductive cloning?

Chapter 8. Is it permissible to not operate on a Downs baby if it is permissible to abort a Down fetus in the 2nd trimester?

Chapter 9. Do primates still need to be used in psychological and medical research?

Chapter 10. Should medical research in developing countries be held to the same standard as medical research in America? 

Chapter 13. Should one baby ever be used to help another?

Chapter 16. In taking pre-symptomatic tests, is the truth ever too toxic for some people to handle?

Chapter 17. Are some methods immoral for stopping the global spread of HIV?

Chapter 18. Will the Affordable Care Act bankrupt some states and future generations?

Chapter 19. Is all medical enhancement cheating, in one form or another? 


Debate Assignment

Guidelines for Debate Bowl


We will be following the guidelines of a debate bowl.

A debate bowl is NOT a debate.

The idea behind the debate bowl is for a team to present their analysis of a question
about the ethical dilemma at the core of the case being discussed, offering support for
their position but also considering the validity of other positions.

The goal is to present the depth and difficulty of the ethical situation.

More points are awarded for teams that demonstrate a more collaborative stance.

A team is made up of two persons.

Each team will present in front of the class and be graded by both the professor and
peers based on thoughtful analysis, flow of the presentation, grammatical errors, and
credible sources.

Everyone on the team must contribute. Some teams may divide up the cases so that
individuals are responsible for a certain number of cases-in which one person would
present; other teams ask that each member of the team become responsible for a
different aspect of all cases-in which cases all members would speak. Therefore, each
team must outline its presentation when it begins-that is, the team should explain who
will be discussing which aspect(s) of the case and why.

Successful analysis will include a clear and detailed understanding of the facts of a
case. Researching the topic or incident is necessary. If a team introduces a specific
fact not contained in the case, the team should cite the source (e.g. "according to a
2011 article in the National Geographic...").

During a presentation, a team should make sure it introduces the case and identifies the
central moral question. After presenting a position, a team should explain how others
may have different points of view. Empathize with this position even if your team
disagrees with it. A team should ask, "Why is this case hard?" If it doesn't seem hard, it
is a good sign a team is not probing deeply enough. The cases are supposed to
challenge world views.

When researching cases, a team shouldn't think of it as an opportunity to gather
resources to support the position it already holds rather to question all assumptions by
gathering arguments from different perspectives. Get inside the arguments of those
who oppose the position. What motivates them? What are their core beliefs and
arguments? These questions will help reach a solid reassessment of a team's own

Part of each team's task is to communicate reasoning effectively to their audience who
have different viewpoints and life experiences.
A good strategy is to explain ethical reasoning in terms everyone can understand. If
referring to "deontology," for example, make sure the reference is accurate.

Remember that...

Each team is to provide two to three reasons of each of the opposing viewpoints.

The teams are expected to explain one to two associated ethical principle with the
ethical question. If no ethical principles are associated it with it, teams should include
cases outside the OCR that demonstrates the ethical dilemma.

They will present the opposing stances in the given ethical question to the class and
lead in a short discussion.


Final Paper Rubric

Rubric for Final Paper


Rubric for Final Presentation


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