Medical Ethics PHIL 148 @ Binghamton University, Sum 11

Syllabus

Topics

Course Description
Course Goals
Form of Course
Privacy
Readings
Grading
Weekly Progress Reports
A Note on WordPress
A Further Note
Plagiarism
Comments/Questions

Course Description

Bioethics is concerned with the intersection of medical theory, practice, and policy. This course introduces students to the methods of bioethics by engaging them with the controversies that arise from such topics as assisted suicide and euthanasia, assisted reproduction and abortion, and the problems of justice and health care access. By examining various controversies, students will learn how to use philosophical moral theories to make sense of moral quandaries that arise in a field that regularly deals with the boundaries between health and sickness, function and dysfunction, and life and death. At the same time, students will examine how these moral quandaries raise questions about the effectiveness of philosophical moral theories. Return to Topics

Course Goals

This course has three goals:

  1. Introduce you to the areas and methods of medical ethics
  2. Teach you how to think and develop your opinions into complete arguments
  3. Teach you to reason and structure discussions independently.

To do all this, we will focus on a few different areas of medical ethics, covering them from different directions: theoretical concepts, current events, case studies, and in depth debate. The ultimate goal of the course is for each student to develop and consider multiple perspectives on controversial issues. Return to Topics

Form of Course

This course is designed around the concept of student-led collaborative learning. This means that there is heavy emphasis on student participation. In fact, your entire grade is derived from publicly displayed material. Appropriately then, you are mostly graded on two components: starting a discussion and contributing to a discussion. Assignments are arranged around these two components.

Discussions take different forms depending on the day. There are four types of class days: Reading Days, News Days, Case Study Days, and Debate Days. On Reading Days, all students will be responsible for commenting on the week’s readings, the day’s lecture, and taking a brief quiz. On the remaining three types of days, certain students will be selected to be Group Leaders (on a rotating basis). These students will have additional responsibilities, which will vary according to the type of day, on top of the standard discussion.

Students may be arranged into one, two, or more groups (depending on enrollment), These groups will be assigned at the end of the first week of class.

For more details on the form of the course, see the Grading section and the Learning Packet

Return to Topics

Privacy

Please note that the main course site is public.  This means that your work is openly accessible from the web.  You are writing not just for me, not just for your classmates, but also for a potential larger audience.  Think of your work here as a public presentation of your thoughts and opinions.  Keep this in mind when you are editing and revising. Return to Topics

Readings

All assigned readings are available online here and are accessible once you are a member of the site.  They can also be accessed by clicking the "Readings" button in the menu along the top of the site, beneath the course title banner.

Suggested Readings

  • A Rulebook for Arguments, 4th edition
    Anthony Weston
    ISBN-10: 0872209547
    ISBN-13: 978-0872209541
  • The Elements of Style, 4th edition
    William Strunk Jr.; E.B. White
    ISBN-10: 020530902X
    ISBN-13: 978-0205309023

Return to Topics

Grading

All grades are posted on the course's Blackboard site within 36 hours of the conclusion of the assignment.

Reading Days [15%]

Marginalia [8%]

  • Comment on at least one paragraph of three of the week’s readings.
    DUE: Every Monday by Midnight EST
  • Respond to at least two other students on the week’s readings
    DUE: Every Tuesday by 3:00 pm EST
  • Respond to those who respond to you.
    DUE: Every Tuesday by Midnight EST

Lecture Discussion [5%]

  • Comment (by asking a question or making a remark) on the week’s lecture post.
    DUE: Every Monday by Noon EST

Quizzes [2%]

  • Take the week’s quiz and email the number right to the instructor.
    DUE: Every Tuesday by Midnight EST

Go to Learning Packet for more details

Case Study Days [23%]

Group Leaders [10%]

  • All students will be assigned a specific ethical perspective (deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics, etc.). The day’s Group Leaders will each post an analysis of the Case Study, arguing for a specific conclusion from the assigned ethical perspective.
    DUE: Every Wednesday by 10:00 am EST
    WORD COUNT: 300-500 words

Case Study Discussion [13%]

  • From their assigned ethical perspective, each student should discuss the Group Leaders’ posts. Discussion can include agreement, critique, raising of problematic issues involved with the case study, etc.
    First Post DUE: Every Wednesday by Midnight EST

Discussion ENDS: Every Friday at Midnight EST

Go to the Learning Packet for more details

News Days [28%]

Group Leaders [15%]

  • The day’s Group Leaders will each post a link to a news article. Accompanying the link, should be an analysis of the article linking it to at least one assigned reading for the week. Topics will be assigned at the start of the semester.
    DUE: Every Thursday by 10:00 am EST
    WORD COUNT: 400-600 words

News Discussion [13%]

  • All students should contribute at least one post to a discussion of one or more of the news article analyses posted. Discussion can include agreement, critique, problematic issues, a related new article with analysis, etc.
    First Posts DUE: Every Thursday by Midnight EST

Discussion ENDS: Every Saturday at Midnight EST

Go to the Learning Packet for more details

Debate Days [34%]

Group Leaders [20%]

  • The day’s Group Leaders will each post a position arguing for one side of an assigned debate question.
    Position DUE: Every Friday by Noon EST
    Position WORD COUNT: 600-800 words
  • After all of the Group Leaders in a given group have posted their Positions Posts, each should post a Response Post critiquing another Group Leader’s Position.
    Response DUE: Every Friday by Midnight EST
    Response WORD COUNT: 400-600 words

Debate Discussion [14%]

  • All students should post at least once, adding to an existing discussion, asking a question of clarification, or attempting to argue a point.
    First Post DUE: Every Friday by Midnight EST

Discussion ENDS: Every Sunday at Midnight EST

Go to the Learning Packet for more details

Extra Credit: Twitter [+5%]

  • Use Twitter to tweet thoughts and information, ask questions, and collaborate with others in a more casual forum. All tweets should include the hashtag #phil148. Twitter participation is based on 7 days a week (Mon to Sun).

Go to the Learning Packet for more details

Make Ups: Summaries

  • For each assignment missed, the student may make up the day’s work without penalty by writing a summary of the group’s work for the missed day. Student must inform the instructor of the absence prior to the day of the absence. Make ups without penalty will not be given for absences without notice or days when the student is assigned to be a Group Leader.
    DUE: Day after missed assignment by Midnight EST or as decided by instructor.

Go to the Learning Packet for more details

Final Grade Distribution

  • Discussion [45%]
  • Group Leader Assignments [45%]
  • Marginalia [8%]
  • Quizzes [2%]
  • Extra Credit [+5%]

Return to Topics

Weekly Progress Reports

Each week on Monday, I will email every student a short progress report detailing individual strengths, weakness, and current grade based on the previous weeks work. Please feel free to use these reports as a springboard for questions about how to improve your engagement with the class.  Return to Topics

A Note on WordPress

Because this class is conducted entirely through a WordPress blog, you are responsible for being familiar with all of the tools that you will be using. Instructions are provided for every tool you will need to be familiar with (i.e. posting and commenting). Unfamiliarity with the tools is not an acceptable excuse for lateness when turning in assignments or for any other problems that may arise. If the site is down or the tools are not available or working, it is your responsibility to email me any assignments that are due that day by the time they are due. Be careful when composing your assignments in the site. Drafts of posts are saved regularly by the site, but drafts of comments are not. If there is a problem and you lose the work, you will not have a chance to make up the assignment for credit.

During the first week of class we will practice using all the different parts of the site. Hopefully, this will prevent any problems during the actual assignments. Return to Topics

A Further Note

Always backup your work. It is your responsibility to preserve your work somewhere other than your computer, in case of a crash, etc. I suggest using a jump drive, external hard drive, another computer, email, Google Docs, other programs, or multiple items from the above list. Return to Topics

Plagiarism

All students must adhere in their posts to the University’s plagiarism policy, which is listed in full here. By taking this course, the student agrees to adhere to the University’s Honesty Code. Any and all violations of the Honesty Code will be referred to the Harpur College Academic Honesty Committee and the referred student will fail the course. All graded assignments should be worked on by the student submitting the work and no one else, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the syllabus. Since this is a collaborative class, it can be difficult to tell where the line is sometime. When in doubt make it explicitly clear where you are drawing on the work of others. And cutting and pasting other student’s work is never acceptable. Return to Topics

Reading Days [15%]

Marginalia [8%]

Initial: Comment on at least one paragraph of each of the week’s readings.

DUE: Every Monday by Midnight EST

Response: Respond to at least two other students on one of the week’s readings

DUE: Every Tuesday by 3:00 pm EST

Respond to those who respond to you.

DUE: Every Tuesday by Midnight EST

Lecture Discussion [5%]

Comment (by asking a question or making a remark) on the week’s lecture post.

DUE: Every Monday by Noon EST

Quizzes [2%]

Take the week’s quiz and email the confirmation to the instructor.

DUE: Every Tuesday by Midnight EST

See Learning Packet for more details.

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  1. where can i find the lecture note?


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