Biomedical Ethics 


WORTH EIGHT (16) Points toward your final grade.

In eight (8) modules each student must submit a case presentation on some incident or situation which relates to the topic and issues of those modules. Such presentations consist of the following two(2) sections.

a. Materials concerning the case located on the internet

i. Newspaper articles

ii. Magazine articles

iii. Professional Journal articles , e.g., Philosophy, Law, Medicine Nursing, Public Health, etc..

iv. Other Internet items

MINIMUM of four (4) items

b. Viewpoints on the case by analysts, ethicists, commentators .

MINIMUM of four (4) items which MUST include commentary and/or analysis by people who use ethical principles. These would NOT be articles in newspapers or magazines but items found in professional journals or at the websites of academic and professional organizations.

This is basically an assignment where you will use a number of search engines to gather materials from the internet.

GOOGLE, Northernlights, yahoo, etc...

You will copy and paste the addresses(url's) of those materials into a single file or document and then send it (submit it) to the instructor. You do NOT need to and should not make any personal comments on the case . So, you are NOT required to do any original thinking or critical thinking on the case. You will be gathering the materials and hopefully reading them and in so doing you will learn more about the issues involved and in gathering materials that involve ethical analysis you will learn more about that as well.


Your NAME:


DESCRIPTION of the case by student:

urlís for the Articles Describing case:

urlís for Articles with Ethical Position: Philosophers, Theologians, Lawyers, Medical Doctors


The student will make the submission by attaching a file that has the text and the links to the internet sites of articles and other related items.

The BEST of these submissions will be placed on a website with the studentís name as author. These will be used by future students of this course.

If any student feels able and willing to create a POWERPOINT presentation for the case study including live links and illustrations, images, photos, etc... contact me for permission and instructions on what would be required and how to submit the material.

Assignments: Due Date: ??? CHECK the course schedule !

When you are ready you simply send your case study to me by email and be sure to include the url's.

File formats for submission must be limited to: WORD , html, webpage, dos

I shall make my comments on what you submit and assign a grade.

If you want to you can submit the assignment early and I'll comment on it and return it to you and you can proceed to work on it and submit the final work by the deadline.


Here is a sample of what we are looking for:


Your NAME: Kevin Masick

CASE TITLE: Gelsinger Case

DESCRIPTION of the case by student: Jesse Gelsinger, 18 died during a gene therapy experiment in September of 1999. Gene therapy is a way that scientists can possibly prevent a disease by changing the expressions of a person's genes. This experiment however is still in the beginning stages and involves many ethical issues, and harmful complications that could arise, which in this case is death. The family sued this research team based on lapses in the original experiment. The issue of informed consent also comes into question, because the family was not properly informed of the risks that may happen, which in this case did happen.

url's for the Articles Describing case:

This article is talking about the lawsuit-"


This article talks about the harm in gene therapy experimenting as it pertained to this case


This article voices the fathers opinion on gene therapy followed by other research on gene therapy


This article talks about Jesse's disease



url's for Articles with Ethical Position: Philosophers, Theologians, Lawyers, Medical Doctors

LeRoy Walters, Georgetown University, talks about the ethical controversies on gene therapy


This article talks about the legal side of gene therapy


This article talks about the medical position of gene therapy


This article offers different scenarios about gene therapy and the ethical ideas on each


This is just an extra article that talks about gene therapy and includes some rather interesting articles that I didn't use



Here is another Sample Case Study

MODEL CASE STUDY -Carlos Serrano

Name:  Carlos Serrano

Case Title: Navy Sailor Used in Mustard Gas Chamber Experiment

Description: This case is about a 17 year old Navy sailor who was recruited to experiment new Navy summer clothing in exchange for 3 day passes however was forced to engage in gas chamber experiments. One experiment had him gagging and choking and when he asked to be let out, he was ignored. He passed out and doesn't remember what happened after that. He did live to tell the story many many years later though.

Describing case:

Ethical Positions:

BIOMEDICAL ETHICS CASES in the News recently

1. Consent to surgery- surgery forced on a drug Amule@

2. Removal and reinsertion/transplantation of ovaries

3. 15 year old orphan requesting a late term abortion- autonomy and informed consent issue

4. Parental Notification before abortion in a teen-age the New Jersey law

5. Misplanted fertilized eggs-whose child is it?

6. Physician assisted suicide

7. Physician- requested homicide- Dr. Kevorkian

8. Notification of contacts of those who have AIDS/ HIV

9. Mass spraying of Malathion to prevent spread of disease-Meningitis

10. Overmedication of children for behavior modification

11. Acceptance of alternative medicine- autonomy-informed consent-paternalism

12. Physicians who own pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies

conflict of interest

13. Permitting unproven medical procedures

bone marrow transplants for breast cancer

14.Using technology to slow down the biological clock

extending fertility or child bearing abilities in women over 55

15.Human embryo research

16. Use of human stem cells

17. Patient's right to sue the HMO for denial of treatment

18. Cloning of humans

19. Zenotransplants- cloning pigs for transplanting parts into humans

20. Mass innoculation of the population against smallpox

21. The right to health care- even to poor--15% of Americans have no coverage

Return to Biomedical Ethics Index Page of all Course Documents