PHI 110     CRN 18918 BIOMEDICAL ETHICS              


FALL 2017


Announcement September 1, 2017


This course is 15 weeks of work and thinking, thinking , thinking.   Are you ready! Fun, work, opportunities, work, rewards, work. 9 to 12 hours of work per week!!!!

Explore new perspectives!

Expect challenges to your cherished beliefs!

A Survivor Course!

Yes indeed , welcome to the course.

You are about to enter into an experience. Part of it will be about learning about a branch of Philosophy titled: Ethics and the basic issues  and principles that have been associated with thinking about ethics and moral dilemmas for over two thousand years. Another part of the experience will be learning about me and your classmates and their views on many important ethical issues and moral dilemmas. Perhaps, the most important part of the experience will be what you shall learn about yourself and what you are capable of doing and what you are capable of learning and how critically you can think about important and very basic questions and issues that have perplexed humans around this planet for millennia!!!!

If you haven't introduced yourself yet, be sure to do that soon in the DISCUSSION BOARD area (forum) for this.  Tell us some interesting information about yourself and if you have a social network site to share. Check back to that area until you have "met" everyone.

The "Official" first day of class will be a few days after orientation begins. However, the first module, the ORIENTATION and TRAINING MODULE 0, is unlocked even before the start of the semester, and you should start on the "Icebreaker" assignments as soon as possible. Look over the modules in the course if you want to do so but PLEASE refrain from any actual studying or intense reading until the scheduled dates for the modules.

Go through the steps of the orientation and training as part of getting started and learning the basic setup, navigations schema and requirements.

Check and Print out the CALENDAR   or SCHEDULE ! 

Keep your mind open, and be prepared for a challenging and thought-provoking course. If you are the curious type, and if you like to think, I believe you will enjoy this course a great deal. Curiosity may have killed a cat somewhere or other once upon a time but curiosity is near the origin of philosophical thought in humankind

CURIOSITY, WONDER and CRITICAL THOUGHT are hallmarks of a Philosophical disposition.

Whether on the ground in an ordinary classroom or online in the virtual classroom in cyberspace, this course involves a lot of work: reading, thinking, writing, thinking, writing, reflecting, writing, questioning, writing, interacting with the instructor and fellow classmates. Most will find that all the work is worth expending because of the value derived from that expenditure. Some of the labor involved might be a bit uncomfortable, disquieting and perhaps, painful. But remember:  NO PAIN: NO GAIN!!

This experience is designed to provide you with opportunities to experience value. One of those values is learning, knowledge is another, skill development is a third but FUN is also included as a valued goal.

One of the oldest people to have ever taken a class with me taught me this:

A mind is like a parachute:

it must open to work correctly !!!

Please keep your mind open!

Open to learning and to having some fun

Well now that you have been welcomed, on with the work. Please begin by going through all the Course Information documents that follow this one.

If you have never taken an online course you should take a suitability test if you have not done so already. If you have doubts about whether or not you are suited for an online course, you might want to go to the sites below and read about online courses and take the tests to determine how prepared you are to take online courses.

Self Evaluation for Potential Online Students

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This is a survey course. You will learn "the basics" - vocabulary, concepts, and the theories associated with Ethics and Biomedical Ethics and you will have the opportunity to discuss many topics with other students and with me. Finally, you will be encouraged to learn a bit about how to DO Philosophy.

To provide an idea of what we shall be covering, here is a listing of the modules in this course.

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Ethical Traditions

Chapter 3 The Moral Climate of Health Care

Chapter 4 Professionalism, Elitism and Health Care

Chapter 5 Ethics and Nursing

Chapter 6 Patient's rights, truth and Consent

Chapter 7 Human Experimentation

Chapter 8 Abortion

Chapter 9 Severely Impaired Newborns, Futility and Infanticide

Chapter 10 Care of the Dying

Chapter 11 Deliberate Termination of Life and Physician Assisted Suicide

Chapter 12 Genetics: Intervention, Control and Research

Chapter 13 Reproduction: Assistance and Control issues

Chapter 14 Ethnicity, Race and Gender issues

Chapter 15 HIV and AIDS: Related Issues

Chapter 16 The Allocation of Resources: Scarcity and Triage

Chapter 17 A Claim of a Right to Health Care

After the first few modules we will start applying the basic principles. With each topic or issue we cover, you will be expected to apply ethical principles and reasoning to ethical problems or dilemmas related to or constituting those issues. Do NOT expect to understand those principles when you first read about them . The meaning of those principles and concepts will become clearer as the course proceeds.

This course is designed with a great appreciation for the wisdom of an ancient Chinese expression.

I hear: I forget.

I see: I remember.

I do : then I understand.

So, you will be expected to attempt to do a little philosophical thinking so that you will understand what philosophy is really all about, what it involves and what it takes to do this sort of thinking.

This point or lesson is really quite simple. If you needed someone to bake a cake for you or repair the carburetor on your automobile, which of the following people would you ask?

a. someone who said : "I heard a lecture on how to do that once."

b. someone who said: " I saw that done once on a tv show and I recorded it on my vcr."

c. someone who said: " I have done that before successfully and I understand how to do it ."

I don't know your answer but I would choose person (c). And so to learn about Philosophy I shall ask you to attempt it yourselves. It could be a lot of un. Lots of people I know really like to get into debates and into questions. Not too many like to give reasons for their positions but that is what Philosophy is about. So you will be expected to learn how to take a position on some issue in BIOMEDICAL ETHICS and to support your position using ethical principles and reasoning.

The course is also, however, whatever you make it. As you complete the module assignments you will have many opportunities to make decisions which will influence the nature and scope of your learning activities. The more energy you put into the course, the more benefit you will derive from it.

Do you want to have a "sneak preview" of how you may do in this course? Rate yourself on a 1 (low) to 10 (High) scale on these 3 questions:

1. How interested are you in learning about ethics and medical ethics? _____

2. How important is it for you to learn this material? _____

3. Based on past experience, how well do you expect to do in the course? _____

Add the three scores together.  Then see below








If your total is 15 - 19, you will probably do OK.

If you scored 20 - 25, you are likely to do better than average.

If you scored 26 or above, I expect you will do exceptionally well in this course.

If you scored 0 - 15, that doesn't mean you are doomed! But ask yourself "Why am I taking this course?", and if you can't come up with a pretty good answer, you may find yourself putting in too little effort to achieve well. (Rating scale thanks to William Pelz)

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Attendance:  More than one week of absences will result in a lower final grade.  More than two weeks of absences will result in a final grade of “F”.  You MUST participate in the discussion board forums at least three days of every seven days in a week form Monday to Sunday.  If not that is an absence.

No activity in the discussion board for a continuous period of 14 days will result in a final grade of F for excessive absences.

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CALENDAR:  The CALENDAR  for this semester is here>>  CALENDAR  

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TEXTBOOK:   There is ONLY ONE required and it is FREE.


 It is an Online Textbook   NONE to buy!  the REQUIRED TEXTBOOK is FREE and on two websites located here:

Primary site:

Secondary Site:

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There will be 14 written assignments.  TOTAL 42 of 100 total points


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CHECK  ON YOUR GRADE by clicking here

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GRADING REQUIREMENTS:     will you be evaluated?

Good question! Here is the answer and in a good bit of detail. First though, you should know that although all of this looks very imposing and somewhat daunting, the course is no harder than its counterpart that occurs in the regular classroom. This course should actually turn out to be quite a bit of fun, if you are interested in thinking about things in new ways. In this online medium all the information is being given to you at the beginning and it may seem to be a bit too much, but once you get a chance to look it over and reflect , you should see that it really is not that dissimilar to the standard classroom.

1. Class Participation/Discussion: 14 modules @ 3 points each= 42%

2. Written Assignments -Questions/Essays: 14 modules @ 3 points each= 42%

3. Case Studies: 16%

BONUS WORK: Final Culminating Survey and Essay: 5%

TOTAL: 105 %

Below you will learn how the grades will be determined and how you can earn the highest possible grade or number of points for each assignment and activity in the course.

FINAL GRADE:  Grading Scale for the Final Grade: Here are the cutoffs for course grades:


Total points

Letter Grade

90 – 100


87 – 89


80 – 86


77 – 79


70 – 76


67 – 69


60 –66




 CHECK  ON YOUR GRADE by clicking here<<<<:

Hints on how to achieve a high grade:

1. Log on at least 3-7 times a week for about 2 hours each time. Post on a MINIMUM of 3 different days each week. This fosters INTERACTION with classmates.

2. Post a response to each lead discussion item

3. Post your discussion questions for all modules within the first 2 days of the Virtual Seminar

4. Post a Student Led Discussion item. Do a good job of maintaining quality in the discussions you lead.

5. Make high quality contributions to the Discussions.   Criteria for High Quality contributions to the Virtual Seminar Discussions are below.

6. Make sure your written assignments reveal your knowledge of the textbook, participation in the discussions, and understanding of the issues. Use reasoning and evidence to support your positions.  Answer all parts of the assignment..

Everything you need to know about how to succeed in this course!   -this is in part based on the work of William Pelz, SUNY-Herkimer CC

1. Expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week on this course!

2. I expect you to log-on a minimum of three times per week on different days, and contribute to the discussions each time you log-on. Each time you logon you should participate in the discussions for that week and in any thread you are leading and at least 3 additional discussion threads. If you do not post at least one document, no log-on is recorded, and no credit is given for attendance. For attendance purposes, make sure you post every time you log on to the course.

3. Make sure your written assignments meet the all of the requirements.

4. Very important - post your discussion questions in the Student-led discussion area as soon as possible once the module is open.

5. Do a good job of maintaining quality in the discussions you lead. Lead by example and by command! In other words, use good grammar, not 'Internet Slang'. If other students are not participating in your discussion threads, find out why and do something about it.

6. Make frequent high quality contributions to the Student-led discussions. It is probable that if you are an active participant in the discussions lead by other students, they will actively participate in yours.

Note: Submissions to a Student-led discussion after the module end date are welcome, but they are not included in the evaluation of your course activities.


1. The questions you ask in the Student-led discussions should be thoughtfully developed and carefully worded. These questions should address issues and/or concepts from the reading that you find particularly important. I will use the following 5 criteria to evaluate your questions:

a. Relevance - your question must be relevant to the material in the unit of study.

b. Importance - your question must address a significant issue in the chapter.

c. Thought-provoking - your question must require high-level thought, not a simple "look-up" in the textbook.

d. Originality - you must not ask a question that is essentially the same as a question posed by another student.

e. Timely - Your question must be posted early in the Module so that the other students have an opportunity to respond and you have time to facilitate a good discussion thread.

2. Your responses to questions posed by me and by the other students will be evaluated, and quality points awarded, based in part on the following 6 criteria:

a. Is your answer correct?

b. Is your answer thorough?

c. Is your answer focused - to the point?

d. Is your answer well-organized?

e. Is your answer well-written?

f. Is your answer original?

Note: Only responses that demonstrate Social Presence, Cognitive Presence, and/or Teaching Presence will be awarded quality points. See below for more information.

In this course, each student is responsible for leading at least one discussion thread within in each module-not within each discussion topc. The quality of your discussion thread can be influenced by the feedback you give to the students who post to it. Three things determine the quality of a discussion thread:

1. The quality of the initial discussion question you ask. I have given some specific guidelines above. I will quality points to your question. The better your question is, the more points it will receive. Note: If you do not submit your question on time (that is, within the first 2 days that the module is active) no points will be awarded.

2. The quality of the response posts. Some students will make thoughtful and informative posts to your discussion, and some will give minimal responses. I grade the quality of the posts, and that grade influences your grade in the course. However, you should provide feedback to students too. If a student posts a high-quality response, you should tell them. And, if a student posts a low quality response, you should tell them.

3. The depth of the discussion thread. Discussion "depth" is determined by how many indents there are. If you ask a question, and a student answers, that is a "level 1" discussion. If you reply to the student - now it's a "level 2" discussion. If the student gets back to you - now it's "level 3". If another student joins in and responds to the students last post - now it's "level 4". The more indents - the "deeper" the discussion thread. Of course, if the posts are low quality, depth is meaningless.


What is a low quality post? A low quality does not teach us anything, or contribute anything positive or substantial to the discussion. Examples of low quality responses: any response which is biased, prejudicial, off topic, or is unsubstantiated / any response which is carelessly typed, poorly thought-out, grammatically incorrect or confusing / any response which is disrespectful of another student or any other person, etc.

What is a high quality post? A high quality response teaches us something, or adds something positive and/or substantial to the discussion. It contains information from the textbook or another valid source, or applies a concept from the text or a legitimate website in a meaningful way, or facilitates understanding of the course material. The best posts not only introduce new ideas or knowledge, but help us relate it to what we are studying in the module.

In each of the chapter discussion, I will evaluate the quality of your responses (see the grading criteria below). You will be able to see your scores. Your grade in each module for the discussions will be determined by the total performance in all the discussion forums for that module.

Discussions are the heart and soul of this course. There are areas in each module where you are supposed to lead and/or participate in discussions. For example, in the Student Led Discussions, every student is required to ask one question in at least one discussion forum in the module and then to lead the discussion on that question. The question you ask should require thoughtful responses, and should address important and/or controversial issues introduced in the text. No two questions should be the same issue - so read the other questions before posting your own. The sooner you post your question the better - but you must post within the first two days that the section is open or you will not be awarded any quality points for your question. Additionally, when another student responds to your question, you should respond back to them. Your job is to facilitate the discussion in your discussion thread, so you should probe for additional information and ask additional questions in order to fully explore the topic you have asked about. See the suggestions under "Teaching Presence" below for suggestions on how to facilitate a discussion.

After you post your question, you are required to respond to no fewer than three other student questions. You may respond to as many questions as you want to - but three is the minimum. You are expected to be an active participant in all discussion forums and to lead only one thread within one forum in each module.

The Student Led Discussions are the major learning activities in this course. I will evaluate your participation carefully. You must demonstrate knowledge of the material - not just your opinions. Each contribution you make to any of the discussion threads should add something of value to the discussion.

There are three response categories that I consider valuable (discussed below), and when your response fits into one or more of these categories, I will award points to your submission. At the conclusion of each module, I will grade your discussion performance based on the number of points you have earned. There are no fixed cut-offs for each grade. I will decide the grade requirements for each discussion separately, based on the overall quality of the questions and responses posted by all of the participants. Your best strategy is to submit your question early, and post as many high quality responses as you can in each discussion. Then, if you are not earning discussion grades that are as high as you would like, you will know that you must work harder in future modules. Please note, the number of quality points I award for your discussion questions and responses is not negotiable.

Response Categories [based on Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2002)]

Not all of your discussion posts will earn points. Only those that fall into one (or more) of the following three categories will be graded:

1. Social Presence is the ability of participants in an online course to project their personal characteristics into the online community of learning - to present themselves as "real people." There are at least three forms of social presence:

· Affective - The expression of emotion, feelings, and mood

· Interactive - Evidence that you are reading, attending, understanding, thinking about other's responses

· Cohesive - Responses that build and sustain a sense of 'belongingness', group commitment, ore common goals and objectives

It is important to establish a community of learning in an online course. One way to facilitate this is to provide social reinforcement to your fellow students. When you agree or disagree with what another student writes, you are providing such feedback. When you respond with an expression of emotion, that can also demonstrate social presence. Responses which provide this type of feedback will receive points, depending on the quality, extent, and frequency they occur. For example, a student who says "I agree" may get a point the first time, but no points subsequently.

The 'Criteria' tables below list a few general characteristics of possible discussion submissions. It is the responsibility of the professor to subjectively evaluate each discussion response and award quality points accordingly. Remember: the number of quality points I award to each discussion post is not negotiable. I retain the right to determine the value of each submission.


Social Presence - Criteria


The post projects your personal characteristics into the community of learning - presents yourself as a "real person."

· Affective - The expression of emotion, feelings, and mood

· Interactive - Evidence that you are reading, attending, understanding, thinking about other's responses

· Cohesive - Responses that build and sustain a sense of belongingness, group commitment, ore common goals and objectives



2. Cognitive Presence is the extent to which students are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained discourse (discussion) in a community of inquiry. Cognitive presence can be demonstrated by introducing factual, conceptual, and theoretical knowledge into the discussion. The value of such a response will depend upon the source, clarity, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the knowledge.


Cognitive Presence - Criteria

0 or ungraded

Unrated response. The post adds no academic value to the discussion. No new information is presented.


The post contains at least one usable fact or piece of information. However, the fact or information is available from the textbook.


The post contains at least one usable fact or piece of information. However, the fact or information is not available from the textbook.

Very high

The post makes a substantial academic contribution. Material is included that is not available just by reading the textbook, and some issue or concept is clarified.


The post contains documented information that contributes greatly to the understanding of some issue under discussion. The new information is explained and applied such that the reader gains new insight into the material being studied.


3. Teaching Presence is the facilitation and direction of cognitive and social process for the realization of personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. There are two major ways students can add teaching presence to a discussion:

A. By facilitating the discussion:

1. Identifying areas of agreement and disagreement

2. Seeking to reach consensus / understanding

3. Encouraging, acknowledging and reinforcing student contributions

4. Setting a climate for learning

5. Drawing in participants / prompting discussion

6. Assessing the efficacy of the process

B. By direct instruction

1. Presenting content and questions

2. Focusing the discussion

3. Summarizing the discussion

4. Confirming understanding

5. Diagnosing misperceptions

6. Injecting knowledge from diverse sources

7. Responding to technical concerns


Teaching Presence - Criteria

0 or ungraded

Unrated response. The post adds no teaching presence or other to the discussion.


The post contains one instance of teaching presence (from the list above).


The post contains two instances of teaching presence (from the list above).

Very high

The post contains three instances of teaching presence (from the list above).


The post contains four or more instances of teaching presence (from the list above).

One final note (very important!!) about your discussion posts... USE A DESCRIPTIVE 'SUBJECT' - create a subject which describes the issue or point you are trying to make. Examples of unacceptable subjects: "Re" / "Response to Alice" / "Alice" / "I Agree" / "Another idea" / etc. I should be able to tell what you are writing about just by reading the Subject of your post.


Your discussion questions, discussion responses, and Website summaries are graded on a point system. If you remember the following general guidelines, it will help you earn additional points on your discussion responses:

1. Teach us something

2. Make us think

3. Help us feel that we are a community of learning

4. Document your information

Finally - there are 2 fields you must complete each time you respond: the subject field and the comment field. Make sure that the subject you create gives us a good idea about what you are commenting on.

-this is in part based on the work of William Pelz, SUNY-Herkimer CC

Evaluation of the written assignments

Grade Characteristics

F: 0 points-paper which does any of these:

1. fails to address the topic

2. does not present any evidence to support the thesis affirmed;<

3. consists largely of unintelligible discourse

4. relies solely on the arguments of others.

D: .5 points-paper which is free of the aforementioned defects but which conspicuously and predominantly does any of these:

1. uses jargon, rhetorical questions, and emotive discourse;

2. misuses English to such an extent as to be incoherent, obscure or vague;

3. fails to adduce adequate reason to support the thesis which it affirms and fails to analyze terms adequately.

C: 1 point- paper free of the aforementioned but which is fundamentally any of these:

1. poorly organized;

2. fallaciously argued

B: 2 points- paper free of the aforementioned but which does either of these :

1. fails to express significant thought

2. includes many careless errors

A: 3 points - paper free of the aforementioned and which includes all these:

1. subtle analysis

2. rigorous argument

3. significant thought

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WORTH EIGHT (16) Points toward your final grade.

In eight (8) modules each student must submit a case presentation on some incident or situation which relates to the topic and issues of those modules. Such presentations consist of the following two(2) sections.

a. Materials concerning the case located on the internet

i. Newspaper articles

ii. Magazine articles

iii. Professional Journal articles , e.g., Philosophy, Law, Medicine Nursing, Public Health, etc..

iv. Other Internet items

MINIMUM of four (4) items

b. Viewpoints on the case by analysts, ethicists, commentators .

MINIMUM of four (4) items which MUST include commentary and/or analysis by people who use ethical principles. These would NOT be articles in newspapers or magazines but items found in professional journals or at the websites of academic and professional organizations.

This is basically an assignment where you will use a number of search engines to gather materials from the internet.

GOOGLE, Northernlights, yahoo, etc...

You will copy and paste the addresses(url's) of those materials into a single file or document and then send it (submit it) to the instructor. You do NOT need to and should not make any personal comments on the case . So, you are NOT required to do any original thinking or critical thinking on the case. You will be gathering the materials and hopefully reading them and in so doing you will learn more about the issues involved and in gathering materials that involve ethical analysis you will learn more about that as well.


Your NAME:


DESCRIPTION of the case by student:

url’s for the Articles Describing case:

url’s for Articles with Ethical Position: Philosophers, Theologians, Lawyers, Medical Doctors


The student will make the submission by attaching a file that has the text and the links to the internet sites of articles and other related items.

The BEST of these submissions will be placed on a website with the student’s name as author. These will be used by future students of this course.

If any student feels able and willing to create a POWERPOINT presentation for the case study including live links and illustrations, images, photos, etc... contact me for permission and instructions on what would be required and how to submit the material.

Case Study Assignments: Due Date: ??? CHECK the CALENDAR   !

When you are ready you simply send your case study to me by email and be sure to include the url's.

File formats for submission must be limited to: WORD , html, webpage.

If you want to you can submit the assignment early and I'll comment on it and return it to you and you can proceed to work on it and submit the final work by the deadline.




Your NAME: Kevin Masick

CASE TITLE: Gelsinger Case

DESCRIPTION of the case by student: Jesse Gelsinger, 18 died during a gene therapy experiment in September of 1999. Gene therapy is a way that scientists can possibly prevent a disease by changing the expressions of a person's genes. This experiment however is still in the beginning stages and involves many ethical issues, and harmful complications that could arise, which in this case is death. The family sued this research team based on lapses in the original experiment. The issue of informed consent also comes into question, because the family was not properly informed of the risks that may happen, which in this case did happen.

url's for the Articles Describing case:

This article is talking about the lawsuit-"


This article talks about the harm in gene therapy experimenting as it pertained to this case


This article voices the fathers opinion on gene therapy followed by other research on gene therapy


This article talks about Jesse's disease



url's for Articles with Ethical Position: Philosophers, Theologians, Lawyers, Medical Doctors

LeRoy Walters, Georgetown University, talks about the ethical controversies on gene therapy


This article talks about the legal side of gene therapy


This article talks about the medical position of gene therapy


This article offers different scenarios about gene therapy and the ethical ideas on each


This is just an extra article that talks about gene therapy and includes some rather interesting articles that I didn't use




Name:  Carlos Serrano

Case Title: Navy Sailor Used in Mustard Gas Chamber Experiment

Description: This case is about a 17 year old Navy sailor who was recruited to experiment new Navy summer clothing in exchange for 3 day passes however was forced to engage in gas chamber experiments. One experiment had him gagging and choking and when he asked to be let out, he was ignored. He passed out and doesn't remember what happened after that. He did live to tell the story many many years later though.

Describing case:

Ethical Positions:


BIOMEDICAL ETHICS CASES in the News recently

1. Consent to surgery- surgery forced on a drug Amule@

2. Removal and reinsertion/transplantation of ovaries

3. 15 year old orphan requesting a late term abortion- autonomy and informed consent issue

4. Parental Notification before abortion in a teen-age the New Jersey law

5. Misplanted fertilized eggs-whose child is it?

6. Physician assisted suicide

7. Physician- requested homicide- Dr. Kevorkian

8. Notification of contacts of those who have AIDS/ HIV

9. Mass spraying of Malathion to prevent spread of disease-Meningitis

10. Overmedication of children for behavior modification

11. Acceptance of alternative medicine- autonomy-informed consent-paternalism

12. Physicians who own pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies :conflict of interest

13. Permitting unproven medical procedures :bone marrow transplants for breast cancer

14.Using technology to slow down the biological clock: extending fertility or child bearing abilities in women over 55

15.Human embryo research

16. Use of human stem cells

17. Patient's right to sue the HMO for denial of treatment

18. Cloning of humans

19. Zenotransplants- cloning pigs for transplanting parts into humans

20. Mass innoculation of the population against smallpox

21. The right to health care- even to poor--15% of Americans have no coverage


Evaluation of the Case Studies

Each is worth two points. Either you get the credit or you do not. If you do not receive the full credit the work will be assessed with an explanation and you will have a chance to fix it and resubmit it. All students will be encouraged to get full credit for all eight cases.

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Much of your responsibility in this course is to participate in the on-line discussions and in the discussions that you will initiate.

This document provides instructions on how to initiate and respond to these discussions. You can also return to the Student Orientation for a "refresher".

Important Note: Student-led discussions are not informal "chat rooms!"

Your questions and answers should be focused on the course content.

Every post should contribute some substantive information.

You may "chat" informally with other students in the Student Cafe or Bulletin Board area of the course.

The Student-led discussions are "threaded discussions".

This means that the contributions made by the participants will "line-up" so that when you look at the Course Map, you will see an outline of the discussion and you will be able to see which responses go together by how far they are indented.

In order for this system to work, each participant in the discussion needs to know how to do 2 things:

1. Responding to the main item - this is how you ask your question for each module.

2. Responding to someone else's response

1. Responding to the assignment document:

Every Student-led discussion begins with the same "assignment document", reproduced below:

Create an original question from this unit of study and submit it for class discussion.

Enter the topic as the subject.

To respond to this assignment - thereby posting your discussion question - all you have to do is click on the "Respond" link at the bottom of the page. When you do this, your original question will line up on the far left margin in that module, and so will every other student's original question.

2. Responding to someone else's response:

If you are reading someone else's question, or any other response document in the Student-led discussion, there are three options at the bottom of the page:

a. View Original Discussion Document - will take you back to the main assignment document, in which case you can follow the instructions in #1 above to post your discussion question.

b. Add to the Discussion - This option does the same thing as pressing the "Respond" link when you are reading the assignment document. You only use this if you are posting your discussion question.

c. Respond to this Response - this is the one to choose to respond to the document you are currently reading. If you use the person's name as the "subject" of your response it will be easier for the rest of us to follow the discussion thread.

Submitting your response: When you have completed typing your response, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.

Correcting your response: If you discover an error in your document after you submit it, a misspelled word or an incomplete thought, you can "Edit" your document. The Edit button appears at the top of your document after you submit it the first time. When you have finished your Edits, click the submit button at the bottom of the page.

Netiquette: As the discussion is of a public nature, please observe proper "netiquette" -- courteous and appropriate forms of communication and interaction. This means no personal attacks, obscene language, or intolerant expression. All viewpoints should be respected. Also, DON'T TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. That's called "shouting" on the web, and it is considered rude.

At the bottom of most documents is a 'Ask a Question' link. Use this link only if you don't understand the document you are reading. Your question will show up at the bottom of the Module Map in an area called 'Question Area".

-this is in part based on the work of William Pelz, SUNY-Herkimer CC

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1.   Policy Statement on Classroom Management – The College will not tolerate disruptive behavior in the classroom that interferes with the instructor’s performance of his/her professional functions or that undermines the integrity of student learning.  This policy describes what authority the faculty have to deal in these situations.
2.  Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism 

 This policy describes the many forms of plagiarism as a warning to students, especially in this age of technology.  It also provides for a reporting and punishment method that can go beyond a punitive course grade, especially for repeated acts of academic dishonesty.  Faculty are encouraged to report such abuses to the Dean of Students using the form that is provided by the Office of the Dean of Students or by the various Department Chairs.

Academic Integrity

The college has an academic integrity policy and program.   You may be severely penalized for violations of academic integrity.  Learn about it and observe the principles.  Among other things you must avoid plagiarism.  In this course, the penalty for violations of academic integrity is as follows:
1. First offense - the student receives the grade of "0" for the assignment and the possibility of more severe action at the discretion of the instructor.
2. Second offense - the student receives an "F" in the course and a Violation of Academic Integrity Report is filed with the Dean of Students

3.  Student Code of Conduct  This extensive document lists the rules and regulations of conduct for NCC students and describes the disciplinary actions that will apply for infractions of the Code.  

To read the details of each policy you may access the NCC Catalog Policies and Procedures at (scroll down to Additional Information)

Or you may go to the NCC home page, click on College Catalog then Policies and Procedures and scroll down to Additional Information for the desired policy.

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Withdrawal From the Course

Faculty Instructions: Online & Hybrid Withdrawal Process

Beginning February 9th and through April 1st, students who wish to withdraw from an online or hybrid course must request a withdrawal from their instructor, and the instructor must approve the request.  This process begins by completing a “NCC Online Course Withdrawal Request” online.  Students should be instructed to log into their MyNCC Portal and open their NCC email account.  Then, students should go to to begin the process and complete the online form.

Once a student completes the form, the instructor will receive an email from the student’s NCC email account requesting a withdrawal from the class. The instructor should forward the email from the student to and include a note with the approval of the student’s withdrawal request. The student should continue to monitor his or her registration status in the class by checking Banner through the MyNCC Portal.  For the specific course dropped, the student will see “Drop Course with W Grade” followed by the date the withdrawal was processed.


The last date to withdraw through the MyNCC Portal is specified on the NCC Academic Calendar as “Last Day DROP Without a W Grade.”  This is the end of the third week of classes in the fall and spring semesters, but varies during summer sessions.  See the NCC Academic Calendar for specific dates:

After this period ends, students who wish to withdraw from an online or hybrid class must request a withdrawal from their instructor.  This process begins by completing a “NCC Online Course Withdrawal Request” online.  Students should be instructed to log into their MyNCC Portal and open their NCC email account.  Then, students should go to to begin the process and complete the online form.

Once a student completes the form, the instructor will receive an email from the student’s NCC email account requesting a withdrawal from the class.  The instructor should then inform the Office of Distance Education of the withdrawal decision.  During weeks 4-9, the instructor must approve the withdrawal.  After week 9, it is at the discretion of the instructor to approve or deny the withdrawal.  Please check the NCC Academic Calendar to confirm dates.  The instructor should forward the email from the student to and indicate an approval or denial of the student’s withdrawal request.   If the withdrawal request is approved, the Registrar will process the student’s withdrawal from the class.

The student should continue to monitor his or her registration status in the class by checking Banner through the MyNCC Portal.  For the specific course dropped, the student will see “Drop Course with W Grade” followed by the date the withdrawal was processed.

Questions regarding your withdrawal request should be sent to the instructor. Technical questions regarding the use of the NCC Online Course Withdrawal form may be sent to ​​ or call (516) 572 - 7883.
-The Distance Ed Team Office of Distance Education Nassau ​ C​ommunity ​ C​ollege 1 Education Drive Garden City, NY 11530 DE Student Support Phone Number 516-572-7883 House 350 Ave. U.

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NCC Disability Statement :

"If you have a physical,psychological, medical, or learning disability that may have an impact on your ability to carry out the assigned coursework, I urge you to contact the Center for Students with Disabilities(CSD), Building U,(516 572-7241,TTY(516) 572-7617.  The counselors at CSD will review your concerns and determine reasonable accommodations you are entitled to by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  All information and documentation pertaining to personal disabilities will be kept confidential."

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Contact Information    

Office Phone:  718-281-5038  good most afternoons from 12-4  If you have trouble then email me and I will respond the next business day.


Some things to address in Private by telephone or email might include:

  • A contact about late assignments.

  • A discussion about a grade.

  • A discussion about how the course is going for you.

  • An essay topic that you're wondering about but despite it's personal nature, you'd feel better about

  • discussing here.

  • Feedback about the course.

  • A concern about another student.

Email is for private communications.

Sometimes it's good to let others in our conversation so PLEASE  address general topics in the "Ask the Professor area of the course. Such topics  might include:

  • Clarification on directions.

  • Due dates.

  • Assignment questions

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Course Objectives

To enable a student to:

  • Identify and comprehend traditional and current issues in Biomedical Ethics;

  • Define the main areas of ethical discourse;

  • Discuss theories of ethics: teleological and deontological

  • Develop skills of critical ethical analysis of contemporary moral problems in medicine and health care.

  • Analyze and respond to the comments of other students regarding philosophical issues.

  • Identify some of the basic content in the field of BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, traditional and current Issues in Biomedical Ethics,

  • a. vocabulary

    b. concepts

    c. theories

  • Communicate your awareness of and understanding of Biomedical Ethics.

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the main areas of philosophic discourse related to these dilemmas in Biomedical Ethics ,

  • Develop skills of critical analysis and dialectical thinking used in (a) analyzing cases and dilemmas , (b) in forming and defending positions, (c)analyzing and responding to the comments of other students regarding Biomedical issues.

Each module in this course will have its own set of learning objectives.

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How to do well in this class

OK , here is my very best advice concerning how to approach this course and do well. Read all the introductory materials.  Explore this site.  Take notes.

Read over the requirements for this course very well.

Get prepared somehow to put in 9-12 hours per week on the course at the computer and reading . 18-24 hours per week in the SUMMER SESSION

Time would be spent reading and writing and lots of thinking , thinking , thinking in between.

Ask questions of the instructor concerning assignments in the discussion forum for that purpose.

Ask questions of the instructor concerning the lessons in the discussion forum for that purpose..

Ask questions of the instructor concerning  the key questions in the discussion forum for that purpose..

Ask questions of your fellow students concerning  the key questions in the discussion forum for that purpose..

Get your written assignments in on time. 

If allowed to revise the written assignments to raise your grade, plan to do so. 

Take all topics and questions seriously, but not that seriously.  That is to say , you should realize that they are important; important enough to have changed the course of events in the lives of real persons and helped to shape our current social world of health care.  But they should not cause you to become overly concerned or worried sick over this. 

Have fun!  Philosophy is something I must do because it is in my nature to ask questions and attempt to look at things in different ways.  It would be very boring if Philosophy was just the same old stuffy and dry questions and ideas.  I hope to show you that it is far from that. Philosophy springs from that place deep inside our minds that gets disturbed by uncertainty, contradictions and inconsistencies, paradoxes, ironies, metaphors, sufferings and great joy and magnificent beauty. 

So, be prepared to work but prepare to explore and to be challenged and to be entertained a bit as well. In my estimation the hardest part of this course is finding the time.  Studies show that lots of people who take online courses do so because of time considerations.  So this is a key factor in determining what a student will be able to do and that in turn has direct bearing on how well someone will do in this type of course (nearly any course , for that matter.)

Research in Philosophy on the Internet.
Free tutorial on doing research in Philosophy on the Internet.

If you have trouble then email me at:    I will respond the next business day.

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(This is in part based on the work of William Pelz, SUNY-Herkimer CC)

This is a college course, so you will be busy! You have about 15 weeks to complete many chapters and submit the written assignments or "papers". (Only 7 weeks in the Summer session!!!) I suggest that you print out the Course Schedule, which is the next document in this section, and hang it by your computer. I will be opening each module on the first day it is assigned. This is a 24/ 7 course: available 24 hours a day - seven days a week. Assignments frequently have a due date that falls on a Monday. (in Summer they come every 3 or 4 days !!!)  Pace your on-line and off-line activity with this in mind.

If you don't keep up, you can't catch up!

I expect the same commitment to time and quality as I do in the classroom. The big difference is that Internet study is student-centered rather than teacher centered. This means that you are responsible for your own learning and success. If you are highly motivated, logon and participate at least 6 times in each module, and produce a high quality paper - you will be successful. However, if you logon sporadically, participate minimally, or submit poor work - you will not. Online higher education is aimed at independent learners. If you require the structure of a classroom, this method will not suit you.

We will complete the entire text! If you do not read the text in advance of the discussions, your lack of knowledge will be obvious to me and to the other students. It is not uncommon in these courses for students to provide strong, public criticism of other students who "waste their time" with ill-informed posts.

I expect the successful student will spend an average of about 9-12 hours per week on this course. Although that may seem like a lot - remember this: A traditional classroom-based course requires 45 hours of "seat time" plus 2-3 hours outside of class for each hour in class. -this is in part based on the work of William Pelz, SUNY-Herkimer CC

Temporal Requirements for a 3 hour course for 15 weeks

In the Classroom

Seat time : 45 hours

Home time: 135 hours

TOTAL Time: 180 hours

Temporal Requirements for a 3 hour ONLINE course for 15 weeks


Seat Time: 0 hours

Online: 7 hrs x 14 weeks = 98 hours

Reading: 6 hrs x 14 weeks = 84 hours

TOTAL Time: 182 hours

Now of course there is no way that you can be or will be monitored to insure that you are keeping apace of the course. You are able to skip a day or two. However, should you fail to complete your written assignments on time and fall behind you will be placing yourself in a very unfavorable situation. You will loose points on the assignment, you will be barred from earning points for a discussion and you will fall behind on the material. The course WILL MOVE ON.

So, PLEASE set up a schedule for doing your work:

a time each day or, at the very least, every other day to log on the computer to participate in class

time for doing your reading in the textbooks a time for writing your papers.

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If you have not taken an online class before you should go through the NCC Orientation.  Click on the STUDENT RESOURCES TAB in the Blackboard Course site and then on the student resources page in the middle section click on the NCC Online Student Orientation and go through the many areas learning about online instruction.

If you already have online experience or after completing the orientation then get into our class Blackboard Site and go to the Discussion Board and enter the Student Cafe/Introductions Forum on the Discussion Board.  This  is a discussion area for our class for your introductions to one another and for posting matters that are outside the context of a particular course module.

Just as you have the opportunity to talk or chat with each other or with the instructor when taking a conventional classroom course, you should also have the opportunity to do the same in a web course. These can include questions or comments to other students and me about course material, assignments, readings, etc. It is also a place where you can go to socialize and have open discussion on subjects of your interests. You will find the Student Cafe in the Discussion Board area of the Course. Introductions in the discussion area is space for you to introduce yourself to the class and where you can go to meet the others that are in this course. Your introduction will help us get to know each other and begin to build a sense of class community, so please feel free to personalize your introduction and add a link to your social network site(s) such as FACEBOOK, if you have one or more and/or attach a digital image of yourself.

You can also post to this area matters of personal interest, gripes, social issues, and other matters.

You can post drafts of your written assignments to this area and get feedback from other students and corrections of spelling, grammar and syntax along with advice on how to improve your work.

Announcements is an area that will contain important information related to the course that develops as we go along. I will be using this area to make announcements during the semester, so be sure to check it every time you "come to class."

As your next step, you should :

Go to the STUDENT CAFE or CHAT ROOM in the discussion area and start or get into a discussion about the course or any of your interests.

Thank You!!

When you have completed these tasks, you are ready to begin the Ice Breaker Activities in the first module on ORIENTATION where there are the Discussion Board questions for you to post your responses.

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