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2022-23

Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus


Revision Date: 01-Sep-22
 

Fall 2022 | HUM-2020-VO04X - Bioethics


Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-06-2022 to 10-24-2022
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-15-2022 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 10-04-2022 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration

Faculty

Mercedes Pour-Previti
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

General Education Requirements


This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
    Note
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course explores ethical issues and decision-making processes involved in biomedical research and practice, as viewed from legal, medical, social and philosophical perspectives. Students will apply philosophical frameworks, theoretical approaches, argument development skills, and critical thinking to address moral questions pertaining to the beginning and end of life, biotechnology and genetic experimentation, justice in healthcare, responsibilities of physicians, environmental health and other pertinent subjects.


Essential Objectives

1. Discuss individual, social, cultural, and ethical implications of making decisions on a range of moral issues related to healthcare and biology (including right to life and death, reproductive issues, sexual assignment, cloning, and the role of religion in healthcare), and reflect on varied positions surrounding these.
2. Identify and define key concepts, facts, theories, and perspectives important in clarifying and resolving bioethical concerns including patient choice, confidentiality, informed consent, access to information, and physician/family relationships.
3. Discuss types of criteria which physicians, hospital administrators, government officials, and legal professionals use in making decisions affecting human life and how these affect individuals, families, and various populations.
4. Examine current controversies in biomedical research from political, social, and philosophical perspectives.
5. Explore philosophical and social justice implications of bioethical issues such as allocation of and access to healthcare resources, differential treatment of certain groups, and environmental health; describe their effect on specific populations and propose just solutions.
6. Demonstrate critical reasoning, research, and argumentation skills in analyzing and developing informed positions about significant bioethical controversies.


Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.


Required Textbooks and Resources


*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class ***

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


Methods

As an online class, we will obviously gather virtually - but a lot of the work you do will be almost physical. You will need to read materials carefully, view streamed lectures and videos critically and carefully, write academic essays and posts, and keep notes of all this activity so that you are ready to share your insights with your peers. I will post viewing and observation note taking guides to help you with all of this. My responsibilities also include posting the following: "terms" of week so we all learn to use and understand a new vocabulary of bioethics, mini-video introductions of each week's topic, frequent and timely response to both your work on the post and discussion forums, and honest and constructive feedback on your writing and ideas.

In order to explore this topic we must first agree that this course will be a bit different than other courses. The topic demands your participation and your contributions. For that reason, your “presence” on the different forums is paramount to your success in this course, and I will use your participation in the discussion board to log your attendance. Since this is an intensive, if you miss two weeks you will automatically fail this course. (Also see Grading Criteria below)

As this is in an online course, expect the amount of personal work to be serious, but not overwhelming. You will be reading and writing every week and should really work to stay current if not ahead of the reading in order to be successful. You have all assignments outlined or planned below so should be able to plan around any significant busy times in your own lives. As this is an online course I need to be rather firm with deadlines – for both your benefit and mine. Any late written work (essays/exams) is automatically graded a full point lower for every day it is late and will not be accepted a week past the due date. Discussions and post are only counted if posted within the week. However, since we are all adults and realize that life does happen, know that if you do have a personal emergency you can always email me before the work is due.

In terms of the actual methods we will use to explore this topic, you can expect:

  • Weekly microlectures which may or may not include a powerpoint.
  • Assigned reading almost every week (which I expect you to keep notes on).
  • Assigned viewings regularly throughout the course (which you should also keep notes on).
  • Weekly discussion forum and post forum (both of which are outlined below).
  • Low-risk weekly reading/vocab quizzes designed just to make sure we are all on track.
  • One short essay, one presentation, and one final exam (again outlined below).
  • Regular visits and interaction with the course and your peers through Moodle. I do expect everyone to be on the site and active at least three times a week for a total minimum of three hours.
  • Interaction with your instructor either by email, Canvas message, or phone as you feel is needed.

I do reserve the right to shift this syllabus slightly as the course progresses if our class situation warrants so.

Texts & Required Materials:

This is a textless class. The course will be taught exclusively with open source and Hartness Library materials.

One film or novel/book of the student's choosing as the topic of the final presentation. You will require access to a computer with the ability to record sound and some presentation software (powerpoint, etc - you have free access through CCV). A list of acceptable books/films will be available in the Canvas classroom.


Evaluation Criteria

Please know that this course runs Tuesday - Monday night. Work must be posted before 12 am on Tuesday to be considered submitted in the week prior. However, in the forums below take note of the due dates of original posts and responses.

In anticipation of internet/computer/access issues please have a backup plan. Know where you can access a computer and/or internet in your community and utilize multiple backup options. Your local CCV and libraries are great resources. Extensions for computer issues do not exist.

30% Discussion Forum: Each week I will pose a question or questions on the week’s topic. In your response, I ask that you demonstrate that you have done the readings or the viewings, have thought critically about the issues at hand, and are attempting to share your experiences to further the group discussion. This is where I am looking for you to use the week's readings or viewings to inform your answers to posted questions or discussion topics. This forum is a bit more informal - though all writing should have a tone fitting for professional exchange(No "text-language" - though the occasional smiley face helps to alleviate any miscommunication in our online community). In order to earn full credit in this forum:

  • the original post must be a minimum of a full paragraph piece 250-400 words
  • you must have at least two responses to your peers which approach short paragraphs (simple affirmations will not earn full credit; you need to move the discussion forward.)
  • you must use your peers' names when you respond to them

Discussions only count if posted within the week they are due. In order to receive full credit and allow time for your peers to comment, please post by Friday night.

30% Posts (both public Forums and private Journals): Most weeks I ask you to post a more formal reflection on the week’s topic. This is a writing you compose and then post for your peers to read (post forum) or post privately to the instructor (journal post) depending on the week's question and topic. I would expect these posts to be one – two short paragraphs (minimum of 250 words) and demonstrate both mastery and familiarity with topics, readings, and viewings from the weeks prior. This is where I will expect you to begin to synthesize your thoughts as we move through the course. There are no replies required for this forum (but they are always welcome). Posts only count if posted within the week they are due. In order to receive full credit please post by Sunday night.

  • Both of the forums above will be graded according to their respective descriptions and the following rubric:
    • 9-10 points -The original post was submitted on time and responses were completed within the week allowing enough time for others to reply. This discussion is a response to the questions posed by the instructor in each week's forum prompt and includes evidence that both shows all readings/viewing are complete and that supports ideas. Tone is respectful and professional. *This is a superior post - do not expect this level without giving each post real time*
    • 7-8 points -The original post was submitted on time and responses were completed within the week allowing enough time for others to reply. This discussion post either responds to the questions posed by the instructor in each week's forum prompt or includes evidence that all readings/viewing are complete. Language and tone are serious but miss the level of attention for a 9/10; postings are shorter than optimal.
    • 5-6 points -The original post is late or was submitted on time with responses completed within the week. This discussion post either responds to the questions posed by the instructor in each week's forum prompt or includes evidence that all readings/viewing are complete. However, attention to detail, tone, and original thoughts are satisfactory. Responses are little more than attempts to agree/disagree with substance or reasoning and proofs. All contributions are a bit shorter than what the topic deserves.
    • 3-4 points -The original post is late or was submitted on time with less than required responses completed within the week. This discussion post fails to either respond to the questions posed by the instructor include evidence that all readings/viewing are complete. There is an attempt to participate but little attention paid to composition or thought.
    • 1 point -Nominal participation or inappropriate/disrespectful tone.
    • 0 points -No participation or plagiarized language/material.
  • 20% Weekly Quizzes (5%) & Final Exam (15%): Quizzes are typically multiple-choice and a maximum of 5 questions. These are just designed to make sure we are all earning the vocabulary/themes and able to apply them appropriately. The final exam will consist of short answer, vocabulary, and some content-related questions. There will also be an essay question which you will prepare in advance and paste into the exam.
  • 20% Short Project: One narrated virtual presentation on a topic in bioethics.

Please know that work posted beyond the week it is due will not be graded (without prior excused absence). This class does not have extra credit.


Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

 HighLow
A+10098
A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
P10060
NPLess than 600


Weekly Schedule


Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments
 

1

Exploring Bioethics and Ourselves

  

Read:

Materials on Taking this Course

Four Principles of Bioethics

Why Bioethics Matters Today

Bioethics - IEP

Contemporary Case involving Bioethics - Jahi Mcmath

A more bioethical/legal summary of Jahi Mcmath

View:

Why We Need Bioethics (5 minutes)

Dr. Maggie Little on Bioethics

  

Discussion: Introductions of Ourselves

Post: Why Bioethics – Jahi Mcmath

Quick Quiz Week 1

 

2

Death & Dying

  

Ethical Theory Cheat Sheet

Quinlan to Schiavo

Series of Case Studies

"Definition of Death" from SEP

Assistance in dying: Dax’s Case and other reflections on the issue

Decision Making in Bioethics

Vermont Advance Directive Registry

Optional Video/Different Perspective: Terri Schaivo Story

View: "A Death of One's Own", NOVA - The Hippocratic Oath

  

Week 2 Discussion: Case Studies at the End-of-Life

Week 2 Journal: In the Absence of an Advance Directive

Quick Quiz Week 2

 

3

When (Does) Life Begins

  

Guttmacher Overview of State Abortion Laws

Is Unwanted Pregancy a Medical Disorder

Good Overview - from Lawrence Hinman, PhD.

Breakdown of Ethical Components from BBC

Interesting Powerpoint on Personhood (more scientific)

Outline of Baby Doe Cases and Ethical/Legal Considerations

Case Study – Baby Grace

Writing for Philosophy

  

Discussion: What Limits and Why? An Inquiry.

Post: Baby Grace

Short Essay #1: Theory Application DUE MONDAY pm

 

4

Science versus Nature – Where is the Line?

  

Overview of Assisted Reproduction - Hasting Center

Fertility Treatments and Multiple Births (short NPR story)

Fertility Drugs, Not IVF, Are Top Cause Of Multiple Births

Recent story on DNA testing - NPR

We Should Design Babies?

Fix Me - Stem Cell Research & Possibilities

Making Life ( 9 minutes)

How Accessible Should Transgender Surgery Be?

Ethics and Trangender Youth

  

Discussion: Modern story on Fertility/Prenatal Bioethics

Post: You are the Doctor.

Quick Quiz Week 4

 

5

Vaccines, Resources, and Real Life

  

Liberty and Where Noses Begin

Larry King Autism w/ Jenny McCarthy. Vaccines

INVOLUNTARY TREATMENT: HOSPITALIZATION AND MEDICATIONS

Vermont Lawmakers Debate Letting Parents Say No To Vaccines For School

Passions Flare Over Involuntary Medication Bill

Upworthy video: Vaccines

Brief Overview of Polio, Polio Vaccine Risks, and Smallpox eradication

Daily Show: Samantha Bee on Vaccines

Carrie Buck's Daughter

Parental Refusal to Treat as Religious Freedom

  

Discussion: MiniView #2 - The Challenge

Post: MiniView Reflection

Quick Quiz Week 5

 

6

Research on Humans & Independent Project

  

Nuremburg Code from DHHS

WMA Declaration of Helsinki

Nazi Medical Experiments - From the Holocaust Museum (Overview)

Tuskegee - from the University

Stanford Prison Experiment - Chronicle from Zimbardo

Rule Changes Proposed for Research on Humans- NY Times

Segment on the Tuskegee Study (6 min)

Should Nazi Research Be Used in Modern Practice?

Linda Villarosa interview - "Under the Skin" https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/06/14/1103935147/linda-villarosa-under-the-skin-racism-healthcare

  

Discussion: Human Subject Exploration

Post: Social Justice in Medicine

Independent Presentation

 

7

Review, Reflections and Final Exam

  

The Power of Belief: Mindset and Success - For Discussion

Mindset Flowchart Page

Developing a Growth Mindset - Optional Resource

  

Discussion: Peer Presentation Discussion

Post: Class Reflection

Final Exam Due by Monday Night at 11:59 pm

 

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.


Participation Expectations

In order to explore this topic, we must first agree that this course will be a bit different than other courses. The topic demands your participation and your contributions. For that reason, your “presence” on the different forums is paramount to your success in this course, and I will use your participation in the discussion board to log your attendance. Engaging with your peer and our topics in the forums is central to this course. That is where most students create meaningful connections to our course content.

Our weeks run from Tuesday to Monday night this semester. Any participation in a forum after Monday night does not count toward the previous week. Since this is an accelerated course, missing even one week has a significant impact on your grade.



Missing & Late Work Policy

You have all assignments outlined or planned below so should be able to plan around any significant busy times in your own lives. As this is an accelrated online course I need to be rather firm with deadlines – for both your benefit and mine. Any late work is automatically graded lower for every day it is late and will not be accepted a week past the due date. However, since we are all adults and realize that life does happen, know that if you do have a personal emergency you can always email me before the work is due. As a rule, late work is not graded without communication; there is no "extra credit" in this course as there are many ways to earn credit.


Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:


CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.


Academic Integrity


CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.