PHIL 1165: Moral and Social Problems in Healthcare


Animal experimentation: should animals be used in medical testing?

Final Paper Assignment
PHIL 1165: Moral and Social Problems in Healthcare
Length: 1600-2000 words
The final paper assignment requires you to engage in substantive philosophical research and defend a philosophical thesis. You may choose any topic in the area of Bioethics. If you choose a topic that was already covered in class, you must engage critically with at least one academic, philosophical reading that was not covered in class.
The main requirement of this assignment is that you defend your own view about some philosophical issue while at the same time charitably but critically engaging with arguments defending some alternative.
Every paper should have the following components:
1. Introduction
The introduction of your paper should be succinct but accomplish the following:
a. Provide context for the thesis under discussion. Why is the thesis you are defending important or relevant? Why should a reader care to hear about the defense of a thesis on your topic?
b. Introduce the reader to your thesis. Upon reading the introduction, the reader should know what precisely will be defended in the paper.
c. Introduce the reader to the structure of the paper. Upon reading the introduction, the reader should have an idea of how the paper will be structured. In doing so, you will also be introducing the reader to what ideas/theses you’ll be arguing against in the paper since you can’t spell out the structure without mentioning that you’ll be engaging critically with alternative views.
2. Conclusion
The conclusion of your paper should succinctly sum up what you have accomplished in your paper.
3. Exegesis of dissenting view(s)
These papers require you to critically engage with arguments for theses that are inconsistent with your own. Before explaining what is wrong with any view, you must precisely, concisely, and charitably explain those arguments.
4. Critical evaluation of dissenting view(s)
Once you have fairly explained the alternatives to your own view, you must critically evaluate them using the tools of philosophy (analysis, arguments, reasons, evidence)
5. Works cited
Choose a professional format that you like. If you have no preference, I would choose something like (Author Date) with full entries in the bibliography. I recommend that you use a tool like Zotero or Endnote for building bibliographies and for citing sources.
6. Thesis defense
You must provide a substantive, cogent defense of your own view using the tools of philosophy (analysis, arguments, reasons, evidence).
7. Title
Your paper should have a descriptive and professional sounding title.
8. Section headings
Your paper should be divided into distinct sections with useful section titles.
Potential Topics
1. ELT Distribution
a. Organ Transplantation Policy
b. Organ Donation Ethics
c. What Counts a Disease
d. Voluntary Health-Risk Behavior
2. Reproduction Ethics
a. Commercial Surrogacy
b. Parental Licensing
c. Abortion
d. Moral Status of the Fetus
e. Fatherhood and Abortion Decisions
f. Choosing Children
3. Biomedical Enhancement and Cloning
a. PEDs and Sports
b. Cognitive Enhancement
c. Moral Enhancement
d. Cloning for Organs
4. Research Ethics
a. Animal experimentation
b. Human Experimentation
c. Economic Justice and Experimentation
d. Regulation of Pharmaceuticals
5. Healthcare Policy
a. Universal Healthcare
b. Obligations to the Worst-Off and Justice
6. Personal Health Decisions
a. Active vs. Passive
b. Physician Assisted Suicide
c. Genetic Screening
7. Patient’s Rights
a. Informed Consent
b. Autonomy