Phil. 133
"Ethics in Science"
Spring 2013

Procedures and Guidelines for Case Study Responses

You will be writing detailed responses (of approximately 300 words) to 5 case studies.  After reading the case, you will defend a course of action for the protagonist, participate in a discussion about the case, and then write a strengthening or reformulation of your original position.  Four of the case study responses will be done in class.  The fifth will be done as an assignment outside of class, making use of Desire2Learn for an online discussion of the case.

Here is the procedure you will be using for the case study responses:

Before class:


In class:

Bebeau's "Developing a Well-Reasoned Response to a Moral Problem in Scientific Research" gives a detailed discussion of the sorts of dimensions you'll want to consider in these cases.  In particular, you should keep the following advice in mind:

"When you develop your response, focus on the reasons the protagonist should or should not do something.  Do not just pronounce an act as ethical or unethical; tell why you think so.  In considering why an action is acceptable or unacceptable, it may be helpful to consider:

Note that each problem usually contains two or more issues; you should try to describe all of them." (p. 3)

The case study responses will be evaluated based on clarity and thoroughness in:

The rubric for these five criteria is given on the "Five-Case Evaluation Checklist".

In addition, your responses will be evaluated for  "Execution" (i.e., grammar, punctuation, spelling, organization).  Content criteria will account for 20 points, execution for 5 points, for a total of 25 points per case study response.

Since you will be writing your responses on the response forms (and writing your refined responses in class), you may hand-write them.  PLEASE WRITE LEGIBLY.

Also, take the limited space on these forms seriously.  THINK before you write, and try to keep your responses CONCISE!

It is absolutely fine -- indeed, encoraged -- to use bulleted lists in your response! The headings I recommend are "Interested Parties", "Consequences", "Obligations" [of the protagonist -- the person whose name appears in the title of the case], "Conflicts" [between obligations and/or interests], "What I think s/he should do".

It is also absolutely fine not to repeat your initial response in your final response. Instead, note what you want to add and/or what you've changed your mind about.

Note that the first case study response, on "The Bob Bailey Case," will be done out of class.  For this case, the online discussion of the case will be REQUIRED.  The discussion will open on Friday, February 8 and will conclude by 12 noon on Friday, February 15.


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