Biomedical Ethics

Biomedical Ethics

Here’s a chance for you to apply the views of the authors of the articles to particular case studies and a chance for you to state and support your own view on some of these issues. This assignment has several small readings and then questions about each reading €“ please be careful to answer the right questions about each scenario.

1. Start by reading Decision Scenario #8 on page 213. Now, start by making a statement about whether you think that this kind of testing is right or wrong. What would Singer say? What would Cohen say? Be sure to use a quotation from each of the two authors and to give me a page reference for each quotation (three points for each author).

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2. Read Decision Scenario # 2 on page 856. Do you think that Margo should be told about Ben’s HIV status? Use something from either the article by Siegler or the article about the Tarasoff case to support your view. Be sure to give me a reference for the point form the article you choose (three points).

3. Finally, read Decision Scenario #2 on page 807. Answer questions 1 & 2 after that scenario (three points each).

This is the last of the 4 case study assignments. It is worth 15 points total, just like the other 3. Congratulations €“ you are now in the final portion of the course!
1. Scenario #8 on page 213.
Primate Head Trauma0

During the two years he had worked for the Bioplus Foundation, Dennis Quade had been in many labs. Before he could renew the funding of a grant,he was required to make an on-site inspection of the facilities and review the work of the investigators. Now he was sitting in a small, chilly conference room about to watch a videotape of a phase of the work done at Carolyn Sing’s lab.

Sing herself was sitting at the table with him, and she leaned forward and pushed the play button. "The experimental subjects we used are baboons,"she told him." We think they possess facial and cranial structures sufficiently similar to humans to make them the best animal models." Dennis noIDed, then watched the monitor in complete silence.He was appalled by what he saw. An adult animal, apparently limp from anesthesia, was strapped to a stainless-steel table. It’s head was fitted into a viselike device, and several clamps were tightened to hold it immobile. The upper-left side of the baboon’s head had been shaved and the area painted with a faintly purple antiseptic solution. A dark circle had been drawn in the center of the painted area.
The white-coated arms if an assistant appeared in the tight focus of the picture. The assistant was holding a device that looked like an oversized electric drill.

A long transparent plastic sleeve stuck out from the chuck end of the device, and through it Dennis could see a round, stainless-steel plate. A calibrated dial was visible on the side of the device, but Dennis couldn’t read the marks.

" That’s an impact hammer," Dr. Sing said. "We thought at first we were going to be able to use one off the shelf,but we had to modify one. That’s an item we didn’t anticipate in our initial budget."

The assistant centered the plastic tube over the spot marked on the baboon’s head and pulled the trigger of the impact hammer. The motion of the steel plate was too swift or Dennis to see, but he saw the results. The animal’s body jerked in spasm, and a froth of blood,brain tissue, and bone fragments welled up from the purple spot.

Dennis Quade turned away from the monitor, unable to stand the images any longer.
"Through induced head trauma studies, we have been able to learn an enormous amount," Carolyn Sing said." Not only do we know more about what happens to brain tissue during the first few minutes after trauma, but We’ve used that knowledge to develop some new management techniques that may save literally tens of thousands of people from permanent brain damage."
2. Decision Scenario #2 on page 856.

Duty to Violate Confidentiality?

" I know Ben Therman is HIV positive," Dr.Tad Knowles said. " He’s been in therapy with me for almost 5 years, and he tells me abot his viral load." Knowles shook his head." Ben got the virus from a dirty needle when he was an IV drug user, but he’s been clean since he was diagnosed.."

" He didn’t tell Margo any of that," Dr. Susan Thomas said. " She’s been my patient for 2 years, and he’s the first man she’s had sex with in that time. I asked her if she’d checked out Ben, and she said she’d been too embarrassed. Besides, He was so wonderful, she was sure he would have told her if he was HIV".

"Oh, brother," Dr.Knowles said." Margo needs to know, so she can get tested and start taking drugs if she’s HIV positive.

" So what should we do about this, Tad?"
3. Decision Scenario #2 on page 807.

Racial- Differences Research

We know that African Americans are more prone to develop hypertension than are other ethnic or racial groups, that black women develop breast cancer at an earlier age,and that the incidence of prostate cancer higher in black males. Some differences may be accounted for by differences in such social conditions as income, health insurance, access medical care, and explicit or unintended racial prejudice.

Some researchers believe, however,that biological factors may also be involved. we know that some genetic diseases, such as sickle-cell disease, occur predominately among African Americans, just as other genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, occur pre-dominately among caucasions. It seems reasonable to believe that genetic factors may predispose African Americans to develop a variety of medical problems, like those just mentioned, at a greater frequency. If predisposing genes could be identified, tests for them could be developed and individuals could be informed about their risks. They might then be able to do more to prevent or delay the onset of the disease by changing their lifestyles or seeking medical treatment.

question 1. what social issues are raised by research programs that seek to identify genetic factors that may predispose African Americans to develop certain diseases?

question 2. In a society that is increasingly multiracial, does it make sense to try to identify predisposing genes in the African American Population?



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