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Date Created: 02/07/15
Medical Ethics Phil 164 Fall 2013a Study Guide Final Exam 1 Logic and Arguments Deduce premises and a conclusion from an informal argument and then convert those premises into numbered form in a way which necessitates the conclusion Validity If premises are assumed true then conclusion must be true Premises necessitate conclusion Soundness The argument must be valid and the premises true 2 Abortion Marquis Invalid It is wrong to abort fetuses Marquis39 Principle The degree to which killing something is inherently bad is proportional to the extent to which it is deprived of a valuable future like ours Obj to Premise 1 You can39t verify that the fetus will have a good future it could die right after birth due to disease That isn39t a certainty at least if you don39t kill it it has a chance of obtaining a valuable future It should still be given a chance Obj to Premise 2 Doesn39t take into account the future of the mother If only mother or fetus can survive it is not wrong to kill fetus It is wrong to kill fetus over mother because the fetus has the greatest potential for a valuable future Contraception depriving a sperm and egg of a valuable future is wrong Tooley Valid A fetus does not have any rights including the right to life Rights A has a right to X if A is the sort of thing that is a subject of experiences and other mental states A is capable of desiring X and if A does desire X then others are under a prima facie obligation to refrain from actions that would deprive him of it Particular Interest Principle An entity E cannot have a right R unless it is capable of having some interest I which is furthered by having R Obj to Premise 1 Every living thing has an interest in life A fetus can respond this could be evidence of thought Response Fetuses don39t respond to pain until 23 week A fetus hasn39t had any experiences so they can39t conceive of interests Obj to Premise 2 Implies that babiestoddlers don39t have a right to life because they don39t have a concept of self or a concept of themselves being alive B abies have a right to life as a secondary interest so they can get food and water However this right occurs in a series of short periods Thomson It is OK to have an abortion The Standard Argument Fetuses have a right to life omen have a right to bodily autonomy The right to life trumps the right to bodily autonomy Therefore abortion is wrong Thomson argues against premise three The case of the Violinist You are out walking one day when you are kidnapped by a fanatical society of music lovers They hook you up to a violinist like a human dialysis machine The violinist is the best in the world if you unplug yourself before nine months he will die Left alone should you leave The Violinist Argument If it is morally permissible to unplug yourself from the violinist then it is morally OK to have an abortion It is morally OK to unplug yourself from the violinist Therefore it is OK to have an abortion Obj to Premise 1 Getting attached to a violinist was involuntary pregnancy is at least partially voluntary assuming it results from voluntary intercourse Obj to Premise 2 Two objections to Thomson39s argument Modified violinist case It39s always possible to get if you have sex but that doesn39t mean it39s wrong to have sex Or that you have to keep it Thomson39s replies to those objections and the examples that she uses to illustrate those replies if applicable Boonin The Responsibility Argument You are obligated to help someone to the extent that you are responsible for them being dependent on you If a woman has consensual sex and she gets pregnant then she39s at least partially responsible for the fetus being dependent on her Therefore if a woman has consensual sex and gets pregnant she39s partially obligated to help the fetus The case of Imperfect Drug I You are a doctor and have a patient who you discovered 7 years ago had a rare disease that was on the verge of killing him The only way to save his life that was available was to give him a drug that cures the disease but has an unfortunate side effect 510 years after the dosage it often causes kidney failur e You knew that you alone would have the right blood type to save the violinist if his kidneys failed and you prescribed the drug and cured the disease The violinist has the kidney ailment and now he needs our help for nine months you must be hooked up to the violinist or else he will die The case of Imperfect Drug II The same situation except that you had a choice between the imperfect drug and a perfect drug But out of indifference or laziness you chose to give him the imperfect drug He will now die without your help Boonin39s analysis of the Responsibility Argument based on the cases of Imperfect Drug I and Imperfect Drug II When two people have consensual sex one of two things will happen there will be a fetus or there won39t be a fetus Since there are only two choices the mother is not obligated to help the fetus Therefor premise 1 is wrong 3 Genetic Screening Kass If we allow abortion of fetuses for genetic reasons then we will be like Nazi eugenicists and all of the other consequences We should not allow abortion of fetuses for genetic reasons Slippery Slope An ethical continuum or 39slope39 the impact of which has been incompletely explored and which itself raises moral questions that are even more on the ethical 39edge39 than the original issue Purdy It is impermissible to reproduce if you have reason to believe that your child will not have a minimally satisfying life Parents should try to ensure something like normal health for their children Minimally satisfying life a life with a greater balance of pleasure than pain Purdy39s Argument Everyone has a right to reproduce Everyone has an obligation to strive for their offspring to lead 39minimally satisfying lives39 The obligation to strive for their offspring to lead 39minimally satisfying lives39 trumps the right to reproduce Therefore it is impermissible to reproduce if your child will not have a 39minimally satisfying life39 Objection Any life is better than no life at all Parents are obligated to do the best that they can but nothing beyond that McMahon You are morally obligated to screen for and select against genetic diseases during pregnancy The case of the aphrodisiac Imagine that there is an aphrodisiac that if taken by a woman has the following effects The drug increases the woman39s sexual pleasure The drug induces ovulation however there is a very high probability of damaging the new egg in a way that will cause any child conceived through fertilization of that egg to be disabled If ovulation has recently occurred naturally this drug causes the destruction of the egg that is present in one of the fallopian tubes and it causes a new and different egg to be released from the ovaries which will also likely be damaged Imagine that a woman has taken the drug for two reasons she wants to increase her sexual pleasure and she wants to get pregnant She is aware that any child she conceives while using this drug will probably have a serious disability because of the drug but she doesn39t care In fact she had already ovulated before she took the drug and that original egg was destroyed and replaced by a new damaged egg McMahon39s Reductio Argument If it is wrong for the woman to take the aphrodisiac then it must be wrong to voluntarily have a disabled child Some people say that it is not wrong to voluntarily have a disabled child Therefore those people must say that it is not wrong for the woman to take the aphrodisiac Conclusion McMahon draws If people believe that it is wrong for the woman to take the aphrodisiac they must also believe that it is wrong to voluntarily have a disabled child The case of the woman with the aphrodisiac is analogous to voluntarily having a disabled child Anyone who disagrees with him about genetic screening and selection is committed to saying something absurd about the other case 4 Experimental Practices Hellman and Hellman Clinical trials are currently ethically wrong The Hellmans39 argument Randomized clinincal trials engender a con ict of interest in the physicians running the trials Randomized clinical trials are often predicted on sacrificing the good of a few for the good of the many Both of these features of clinical trials are ethically wrong Therefore clinical trials are currently ethically wrong Defense of Premise 1 There is a con ict of interest with the people running the study because as a physician they have a priority to their patient and as a scientist they have a priority to information and greater wellbeing Objection There is an assumption being made that each person in these trials have entered into a doctorpatient relationship Defense of Premise 2 Some people get suboptimal treatment finding a drug helps more people Objection Not all randomized clinical trials sacrifice the good of the few for the good of the many experimental medicine people try to get into trials Sacrificing the good of the few for the good of the many isn39t always morally wrong depends if people are willing etc Angell Equipoise When you don39t have any good reason for thinking that one treatment is better than the other Angell39s position on human clinical trials For a trial to be ethical you must give the participants a form of the best known treatment and researchers must be in a state of equipose
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