Question 1

In your own words, describe the primary difference between consequentialist and non-consequentialist approaches to ethics.

Choose one of the major theories associated with consequentialism: what objections might be made to this theory?

Choose one of the major theories associated with non-consequentialism: what objections might be made to this theory?

Question 2

Complete your Week 2 required discussion prompt.

In your own words, describe the difference between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Select an argument for or against either euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. How would you defend your argument?

Question 3

Complete your Week 3 required discussion prompt.

This week, we are learning about issues surrounding human genetics and eugenics, including stem cell research, cloning, and genetic testing and treatment.

Choose and describe a scientific technique or practice related to genetics and eugenics. Provide the rationale behind the use of this technique or practice.

Discuss your thoughts and ideas regarding the technique or practice. Is it ever justifiable? Why or why not?

Question 4

Complete your Week 4 required discussion prompt.

Animal research is a necessary practice in the world of medical research, allowing scientists to develop life-saving interventions and to spot catastrophic problems before new techniques or products make Their way to actual patients. However, this does not mean that we should deny that there are serious ethical issues involved.

Animal testing is not a pretty or pleasant process. It causes pain and suffering to animal subjects, and legitimate cases of abuse have been uncovered by animal rights groups. Consequently, the practice should be tightly regulated, and alternative methods should be employed whenever possible.

Discuss a specific research study involving animals that had ethical issues.

What were the ethical issues involved?

What could have been done to conduct the research study differently to avoid these ethical issues?

Question 5

Complete your Week 5 required discussion prompt.

Abortion is one of the most difficult and controversial moral issues we will consider. Listen to both sides, even if it is difficult to do. Both sides have important moral insights, even if ultimately these insights are outweighed by the insights of the other side. The goal of this discussion is not to convince you to accept one position over the other, but to help you to understand both sides. As you consider this difficult issue, it is important to distinguish two questions:

Is abortion morally wrong?

Should abortion be illegal?

Question 6

Complete your Week 6 required discussion prompt.

Recall this week’s presentation. Does a person in need of an organ transplant have a moral right to obtain that transplant, supposing the availability of the needed organ?

How should we choose who gets a transplant, supposing that there are not enough organs for all who need them?

Question 7

Complete your Week 7 required discussion prompt.

How do you define privacy?

Do you believe privacy is a moral right? Why or why not?

Are there any cases in which public health policy justifies the violation of the right to privacy?

Question 8

Complete your Week 8 required discussion prompt.

Some consider fair access to health care a moral right, while others disagree. We have defined the term moral right as “a privilege to act in some specific, intentional manner or to obtain some specific benefit because one is a moral agent living in a community of moral agents under a shared moral standard.”

Is access to health care a moral right?

Why or why not?

Question 9

Complete your Week 9 required discussion prompt.

“Stem cells are undifferentiated, primitive cells with the ability both to multiply and to differentiate into specific kinds of cells. Stem cells hold the promise of allowing researchers to grow specialized cells or tissue, which could be used to treat injuries or disease (e.g., spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, strokes, burns).” (Slevin, 2010)

Choose ONE of the following issues and post to its thread with supporting evidence. Respond to two peers who wrote about issues other than the one you chose.

Discuss what you feel are the potential benefits of stem cell research for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

Share your perspective on the stem cell debate regarding donation of surplus embryos to couples for “embryo adoption.”

Why is the task of disposing unused frozen human embryos different from disposing of other medical tissue?

Discuss why you think embryonic stem cell research “crosses a moral boundary.”