1. Please answer all three of the questions below. Be sure to answer each sub-question.
2. Each answer should be approximately 600-800 words per answer. Your total test should be between 1800-2400 words.
3. Only use course materials for this test. Please use in-text citations when you quote our course readings (Engelhardt, 68). A reference sheet is not needed for this activity.
4. Questions should be answered by you alone. If I find too many similarities between any two persons’ answers, I retain the right to test them further.
5. Remember that this test is graded, in part, on the quality of the reasons you give to defend and explain your answers. Think carefully about your answers and explain them clearly and thoroughly (though keep the word count in mind). Use quotes from the texts to help explain your answers.
1. Project Prevention:
Please read the following case and answer the ethical question at the end of the case from both Utilitarian and Kantian ethical perspectives.
A national organization, Project Prevention, is dedicated to minimizing the number of children born to drug- (and alcohol) addicted parents. To accomplish this goal, chapter members within a particular community walk the streets of their cities – often downtown districts – and offer women they believe are addicted to drugs, or vulnerable to addiction, $300 if they will show proof that they have undergone a sterilization procedure. Alternatively, women can choose to be paid $300 in installments for long-term birth control for a period of time, often 6 months. The organization will also financially assist women in paying for sterilization surgeries. Project Prevention claims that they have served nearly 2000 clients. Are their efforts ethical?
a) First, state the Kantian and Utilitarian principles that you will use in your analysis. You may include a few details that help to clarify the principles.
b) Using Kant’s principles, do you think Project Prevention’s program is ethical given what you understand of the program from the case above? You can begin by thinking about what elements of the case would interest a Kantian, in favor and against. Then, please clearly defend what judgment a Kantian would make in this case. In this case, please do your best to apply both the first and second versions of the Categorical Imperative.
c) Using the Utilitarian ethical principle, what judgment would a Utilitarian make about the ethics of Project Prevention’s program? Why do you think so?
2. Please consider Don’s case, and answer the questions below.
Don is a 55 yr. old male recently admitted into a hospital with a shortness of breath, fever and a dulled sense of taste. It is April 18, 2020. Tests have just confirmed that he is infected with the virus causing COVID-19. Medical staff are worried about Don. He is overweight, he suffers from poorly controlled diabetes, and he has early heart disease. Don feels that he recently turned a corner and started finally doing what his health care team had recommended for years by eating a restricted diet, and now this! COVID-19. Don entered the hospital expressing frustration with the disease, wondering if he even belongs in the hospital. He’s been a good patient otherwise as his condition worsened.
Don leans over on day to talk to a nurse and doctor on his medical team. “I’ve heard about this new medication “chloroquine”. Before I came to the hospital I read a few articles about how it’s saved many people who have the virus. I want to try it. Please. I don’t trust my chances on the ventilator, and all this treatment is just an experiment to see what works against the virus anyway, right? Other hospitals are offering it. Yeah, there’s skeptics, but me and my family are sold on chloroquine. I should have the right to try it. We’ve got to try whatever we can. “
Don’s family has been contacting his medical team, asking them, imploring them, to try what is really an old anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat Don. This drug is also used to treat Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, autoimmune diseases. The medical staff realizes that they don’t have good data on this off-label, COVID-19 use of the drug. However, their hospital does have several doses of the drug due to optimism about the drug by their state’s Governor and first-hand testimony and promotion that it worked in the U.S.. In truth, Don is right: the medical team feels they are learning about how to treat COVID-19 as they go, along with the rest of the world. Still, the whole medical team agrees that it’s an unproven treatment, it could be harmful, and they are fairly sure it won’t help. Most of the team believes, given this, that they should refuse Don’t request and not use the drug as part of his treatment.
Given this case, please answer the following questions:
a) Is it likely Atul Gawande, given his essay for class, would support Don’s medical team in telling Don that they will not treat him with the requested medication? Why or why not? Please refer to your text in answering this question.
b) Reflecting on “professional ethics”, namely, the rights and duties that arise in being a medical professional, what are a couple of issues in professional ethics that would apply to this case and shed light on whether it is right for his team to refuse Don and his family’s request for the treatment? Please briefly explain the issues and tie them to the case.
c) Do you believe Don’s medical team would be justified (ethically speaking) in refusing his request? Why or why not? Please support your view. You may briefly refer to points from the earlier sections (a & b), but go beyond what you’ve said there in explaining your view.
1. In their article “The Limits of Conscientious Objection – May Pharmacists Refuse to Fill Prescriptions for Emergency Contraception,” Cantor and Baum give multiple reasons in favor of – and against – a pharmacist’s right to object to dispensing emergency contraception (Plan B) to customers. In rural Alaska, sometimes one medical professional works within a 100 mile radius. Imagine a case in which Plan B is not locally available in a rural area in Alaska, but a local health clinic usually stocks in the medicine for those who request it. A new nurse practitioner, Tom, now works at the clinic and refuses to make Plan B available for religious reasons. He is usually the only one staffing the clinic. Another professional who will dispense the drug is rarely available, working for months at a time now at another clinic far away.
a. Describe in detail a few of the best ethical reasons for believing that Tom has an ethical duty to dispense emergency contraception, Plan B, to clients who request it.
b. What are few of the best ethical reasons against Tom having a duty to make emergency contraception available to those who request it.
c. Last, but not least (!), what do you think? Choose one central reason, on either side of the debate, and defend it in a paragraph. In defending your argument, imagine someone who would disagree with it. Offer reasons in your argument that would speak to the main concerns of an opponent. Think critically and use an example if it’s helpful, and do you best to choose a reason beyond those offered in Cantor and Baum’s essay.
* In each point that you make, consider how it is relevant for ethics.
* Apply what you have learned about the ethical duties of medical professionals in your response.