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Transcript of Exploring Bioethics
Created by the National Institue of Health
for high school biology teachers
Purpose of the Workshop
Provide a basic understanding of bioethics
Participate in many of the activities from Exploring Bioethics Curriculum
Discuss ways to integrate the Exploring Bioethics activities into the curriculum
Types of Questions
Ethics seeks to determine what a person should do, or the best course
of action, and provides reasons why. It also helps people decide how
to behave and treat one another, and what kinds of communities would
be good to live in.
Should Lisa give her friends her medication?
Biotheics and Concepts
Bioethics is the application of ethics to the field of biology.
Find a position and give reasons
address issues as an individual and as member of a community
First step is to identify the ethical question that needs to be addressed
Oscar Pistorius Case
What are ethical questions to consider?
Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics?
Ethical Questions: These are about what a person should do, how people ought to interact, what sort of person one should be, and what kind of communities it would be good to live in.
Relevant Facts: These are the biological, psychological, sociological, economic, and historical facts you need for thinking carefully about the ethical question and answering it.
Who or What Could Be Affected: The people and entities affected by ethical decisions are considered stakeholders. Stakeholders are not always human beings or human organizations; animals, plants, organisms, or the environment might be affected by the way an ethical issue is decided, so they can also be stakeholders.
Relevant Ethical Considerations: These are particular concepts in ethics that can help you analyze a case.
VOTE with a reason
Carl's Steriod Case
Respect for Persons: Not treating someone as a mere means to a goal or end.
Minimizing harms while maximizing benefits: Acting to lessen negative outcomes and promote positive outcomes.
Fairness: Sharing benefits, resources, risks, and costs equitably.
Authenticity: Achieving a goal in a manner consistent with what is valued about the performance and seen as essential (or true) to its nature.
Balancing Individual and Community Claims:
Establishing State Vaccination Policies
• What is the ethical question?
• What are the relevant facts?
• Who or what could be affected by the way the question gets resolved?
• What are the relevant ethical considerations?
Opting Out of
Fairness and Responsibility
Facts of Vaccinations
four key questions
This simulation shows the spread of a hypothetical disease in a population. There will be two rounds:
• Round One—everyone is susceptible to the disease.
• Round Two—a majority of the people in the community are immune, but some are susceptible for various reasons.
• Students are “infectious” for one “day” only.
• When they are infectious, they infect two other students.
• The index (first) case will tag two individuals sitting nearby, who will then become sick.
• Anyone who is infected gets sick and remains sick.
• In each day that follows, anyone who is newly sick (has just been tagged) tags two additional people.
• Vaccinated students cannot tag anyone.
After each day, hold up green if you are healthy and red if infected.
What is community immunity?
When a critical percentage of a population is immune to a particular transmissible disease (in this case, through vaccination), the disease can no longer circulate in the community.
Percentage of Community That Must Be Vaccinated
for Community Immunity to Work
Disease Community Immunity Threshold
Vaccination Policy Letter
The Case of Organ Transplantation
Weighing Benefits and Harms:
Ethical Issues in Genetic Testing
The Power and Peril
of Human Experimentation
Modifying the Natural World:
Human Responsibilities toward Animals
What do livers do?
We will be looking at fairness in the allocation (distribution) of scarce, lifesaving biomedical resources
Historical Cases of Allocation
United States, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
determines organ-allocation policies
10%, 35%, and 55%?
Criteria for allocating livers
Who are the stakeholders?
Identifying allocation criteria
How are livers allocated?
Fancy word for distribution
Is the policy fair?
What is your recommendation?
Who Should Decide
To Know or
Respect for Persons: Not treating someone as a mere means to a goal or end. This is often a matter of not interfering with a person’s ability to make and carry out decisions. In some cases, it is also a matter of enabling a person to make choices or supporting the person in the choices he or she makes.
Who should know?
• The majority of humans have inherited a copy of E3 from each of their biological parents. This means that their APOE gene does not affect their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Card will tell you about the gene for apolipoprotein E (APOE), found on chromosome 19, which is known to be a predictor of Alzheimer’s disease
• The difference between the three varieties (alleles) of the APOE gene is only a single nitrogenous base; these are substitution mutations. While E2 offers protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease, E4 increases a person’s chance of developing it.
Some people have inherited a copy of E4 from one parent, and a very small percentage (1 to 2 percent of the total population) has inherited a copy of E4 from both parents. People who have inherited a copy of E4 from both parents have the greatest increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
• APOE results for the class reflect the distribution of the three APOE alleles in the human population as a whole. Just as only 1 to 2 percent of the total human population has inherited two copies of the E4 version, the class should expect only one student’s envelope to contain the slip of paper with E4/E4 on it.
Alzheimer’s and Genetic
What are our ground rules?
built in formative assessment 4.6
Gathering facts is a key first step
Harms and Benefits: Acting to lessen negative outcomes
and promote positive outcomes.
What do you think?
Conditions or Diseases Helped by Biomedical Research
Health Treatments Resulting from Biomedical Research
The Risks of Research—
The Ellen Roche Case
• Control group: A comparison group (using a placebo or standard of care).
• Placebo: An inactive substitute for the drug or treatment; often used by a control group.
• Standard of care: The most widely accepted current treatment.
• Randomized controlled trial: Participants are randomly sorted into experimental and control groups.
• Blind study: Participants don’t know which group they are in.
• Double-blind study: Participants and researchers don’t know which group participants are in.
• Outcomes: What is being measured in the end, the dependent variable(s).
• Side effects: Secondary effects from drugs or treatment that are usually undesired.
Do you still want to participate?
Experimental Research Design
Guidelines for Ethical Research
What is the ethical question?
Developing Pro and Con Arguments
Harms and Benefits
How has mankind modified the natural world?
Respect for Animals
Connecting to the SCOS and Essential Standards
Websites Used in the Workshop
NIH Exploring Bioethics Website
Here you will find the web version of the curriculum and pdfs of the teacher’s guide and teacher support materials.
This presentation software has a free version available to educators.
Information for Prezi-Exploring Bioethics
National Institues of Health http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/FactSheet_Drugs.htm
National Drug Intelligence Center http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs5/5448/\
• Oscar Pistorius http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQjd9htIeVI
• Inspiring People: Amputee Competes in Track Championships http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kax1MEpj7y8
• Forced vaccinations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjptjwIajI0
Create a proper environment
As classroom teacher, we need to remember...
Provide real world context for science
Encourage students in personal decision-making process
Listen respectfully to other opinions
Communicate respectfully dissenting position
Students will be faced with many ethical decisions that we will not encounter.
• Bioethicists seek to understand what people should or ought to do.
• Scientists seek to understand phenomena in the world—they want to describe what is.
• Personal preference, customs, habits=religious and cultural
• Within the bounds of the legal system