TOPIC FOR ASSIGNMENT
Healthcare professionals have an ethical responsibility to always advocate for the introduction of new treatments and technologies into healthcare.
Instructions In relation to your selected topic:
• Consider the application of the bioethical principles.
• Consider the application of ethical theories and other ethical concepts.
• Construct a written argument that clearly presents these ethical considerations.
• Based on the evidence you present, determine and specify your ethical stance.
In the essay you must offer a “balanced view” of the topic, which means that you must include alternative ethical perspectives that may not match your ultimate ethical stance but require consideration. You aren’t writing an unsubstantiated opinion piece but are developing a logical evidenced ethical argument.
1. Start with a clear introduction that tells the reader what to expect. A good introduction contains: • Some brief background information on the ethical importance of the topic. • A clear thesis-statement, where you tell the reader briefly where your ultimate ethical stance on the issue. Frame this in a way which ‘advises the reader where your argument is going to end up’ – for example “A range of ethical arguments will be presented to support the assertion that…..” ***You should not even determine your ethical stance (intro & conclusion) until you have written the body of your essay. Don’t go in with pre-conceived assumptions.
2. The body of your essay is where you explore in detail how each of the bioethical principles relates to the topic of your essay. This may ultimately support your central argument, or it may be presenting alternate/opposing views (all should be included). i. Autonomy: Is the patient’s autonomy being respected or not? Can it be respected? Are there challenges in supporting this ethical principle? ii. Beneficence: Is the intention to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient? Are there challenges in supporting this ethical principle? iii. Non-Maleficence: Is un-necessary harm to the patient being avoided? Is it necessary to ‘harm’ the patient? Are there challenges in supporting this ethical principle? iv. Justice: Are patients receiving equitable care regarding their needs and the available resources? Are there valid reasons for treating certain patients inequitably? • At some point you will have to justify the values judgment that you make in determining what takes ethical precedence, and why you may have to compromise on any of the four bioethical principles. This is where the other ethical theories become useful. i. Utilitarian thinking: Are you aiming for the best possible outcome for the greatest good/benefits for the greatest number? Can you demonstrate ethically that it is, indeed, a “good” outcome? ii. Deontological thinking: Is there a duty or rule that necessitates or forbids a particular type of action? Can you explain why this duty exists? Codes of Ethics use this approach. iii. Virtue-Ethics thinking: Does the proposed action conform to what we might expect of the moral character virtues of health-care professionals? iv. Ethics-of-Care thinking: Is the patient being consulted with a benevolent attitude, and is there sufficient dialogue with the patient to work out what is morally best in his or her specific situation? Is there potential for conflict with any general rules of moral conduct? v. Natural Law: Are there applicable universal and objective moral norms to which each person, when acting reasonably and responsibly, should respond. The UNDHR is a framework based in natural law.
3. Your conclusion should summarise and round-off your discussion on the topic. You should: • Concisely summarise how your ideas collectively support your ethical stance • State your ethical stance. Frame this in stronger language than in the introduction – for example “…as demonstrated in the ethical arguments presented, it is/is not….”. • offer some brief concluding remarks on the topic.
- The assessment begins with an exemplary introduction that introduces the topic, main ethical arguments, and is engaging and relevant.
- The four bioethical principles of • Autonomy • Justice • Beneficence • Nonmaleficence have been discussed comprehensively and accurately in relation to the topic.
- Other ethical concepts (e.g. theories, human dignity, veracity, professional codes and standards of practice) have been discussed comprehensively and accurately in relation to the topic.
- Comprehensive level of critical thinking, reasoning, defence & evaluation. Ethical arguments (use of argument and/or counter arguments) are cogent & always well defended.
- All ethical arguments are comprehensively informed by diverse, credible, well chosen academic literature, and professional codes & standards.
- The assessment ends with a strong, comprehensive, & rational conclusion.
- The argument is organised in an exemplary manner: repetitiveness is avoided; the argument flows logically and succinctly. Exemplary use of academic writing and writing conventions. APA intext citations and reference protocols are followed at an exemplary level.
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