Ethics coursework instructions 2010

Student Instructions for Ethics Essay

The aim of this piece of work is to explore and practice the application of the four ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice to a common medical problem.

The essay is required to be 2000 words in length +/- 10%. It should be submitted as a word-processed document in Verdana font size 10 and double spaced. Please submit two hard copies of your work identified by your student number only together with your Turnitin receipt (see below). State your word count at the end of the piece (excluding reference list). Please avoid including information which could lead to any person being identified.

References to the literature should be made in a standard format throughout the piece of work. The numerical system is probably the easiest to use. Advice can be found in the referencing guide:

Your work should also be submitted electronically through Turnitin which will allow you to submit your work once for checking prior to final submission. You will be provided with instructions on how to do this nearer the time.

This work contributes 40% to your overall PPD module 2 mark. It should be submitted to the GEM School office by 4pm on Monday 13th September 2010.

Your submission will be marked by a small team of academic staff and will be graded overall as excellent, competent or unsatisfactory. Any borderline and unsatisfactory submissions will be second marked blind before a final grade is assigned together with a sample of competent and excellent essays.

Answer one of the questions below:

Jehovahs Witness teenager and refusal of blood.

“Explain the ethical issues that might be at work in this case, with reference to the Principles of Medical Ethics and ethical theory.  Do you think we should always respect patient’s requests in medical care? Justify your answer.”


Organ transplantation refusal

“Explain the ethical issues raised by this case with reference to the Principles of Medical Ethics and ethical theory. How can scarce resources such as organs be allocated fairly? Justify your answer.”


As a starter, here are some good places to find information....

Principles of Biomedical Ethics (sixth edition), Beauchamp and Childress, OUP 2009

Medical Ethics: A very Short introduction, Tony Hope, OUP 2004 – a handy guide to the minefield and a great little primer for the big stuff.

The Value of Life, John Harris, 1990 (Worth a read at any time, to see John Harris’s hardline bio-utilitarianism) - Nuffield Bioethics – independent body.   - The BMJ’s ethics Journal. You should be able to access this online through the university, and content older than 3 years is viewable by anyone.