Wednesday, May 30, 2012

End of the Road

As Andrew so aptly pointed out yesterday, "Wow!  This is your last class at TASIS ever!"  This fact hadn't really dawned on my yet, so thanks Andrew for bringing it to my attention :)

Right now you're taking your final exam, hopefully feeling confident in your answers.   I'm aiming to have these graded by 10am on Thursday, so after that time you may email me if you want to know your grade.

Have a wonderful summer!

Ms. Saxe

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Numbers

On Wednesday between 12:15 and 12:45 I will be in our classroom.  You must return your book to me during that time.  You only get credit for returning your book.  Sure you can help a friend and return his/her book, but you must return YOUR book.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Allocation of Scare Resources

Note: This homework is for C period to complete for Tuesday and G period to complete for Wednesday.

Below is a list of some of the criteria that are used to evaluate who should receive an organ transplant:

0Likely to live the longest after the transplant
0The sickest
0The youngest
0Considered the most valuable or socially usefully
0Not personally responsible for their disease
0Wins a random lottery
0Waited the longest for a liver
0First-come, first-served system

Using the criteria above (or one that you come up with on your own), answer the following questions:

1. Should a single criterion be prioritized?  Explain your answer with REASONS.
2. If so, which one? If you do not think that a single criterion should be prioritized, are there some criterion that you think are more important than others?  Explain your answers.  
3. What are the pros & cons of prioritizing a single criterion?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Vaccine War

Today in class students watched Frontline's The Vaccine War which aired on April 27, 2010.  Since this show aired, it has come to light that Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented his findings to show a link between vaccines and autism.  Read more about the news here

For homework, answer the questions below.  Be sure to reference what you saw in the video as well as the activity we did in class (Gathering the Facts - Vaccines). 

Click the links below to access the video.

Part 1 (minutes 0-14)
Part 2 (minutes 15-29)
Part 3 (minutes 30-44)
Part 4 (minutes 45-end)

  • Through a published schedule and set of guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials recommend that every child receive certain vaccinations by age 6. What are the benefits of this recommendation to public health officials, to the community and to other children?
  • Some parents and health care professionals question the CDC’s recommendations and decide not to vaccinate their children, while others, like Jennifer Margulis, choose to vaccinate their children along an alternative schedule. How might her decision affect both her own children and others?
  • In what ways is vaccination different from other types of personal health decisions?
    Who should be involved in deciding whether children receive a specific vaccine?
  • Should the government have the right to compel vaccination? Should parents have the right to refuse it?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gathering the Facts - Vaccines

Without animal testing, many of the vaccines we have today might not exist.  Polio is a perfect example of these efforts:

In the 1950s, after 40 years of research using mice, rats and monkeys, polio vaccines were developed and used to treat the disease. Today, polio is virtually unknown in the United States and Europe and instances of polio have decreased significantly throughout developing  countries. The World Health Organisation launched a worldwide vaccination programme in 1988. By 2002, the number of worldwide cases was reported to have fallen to just 480 a year, compared with 350,000 in 1988. However, several hundred cases were reported in India in 2007. 1

In the third class period this week, students worked through four stations in small groups to gather information about vaccines.  The information they collected addressed the following issues:

Risk of getting the disease before the vaccine
Magnitude of harm caused by the disease, if contracted
Risk of suffering that harm
Magnitude of harm caused by the vaccine & risks of suffering that harm
Interpreting data about measles
Exemptions to State vaccination policies.

Tomorrow we will discuss Community Immunity & Epidemics.

Your only homework is to study for the final exam.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Understanding Animal Testing

 For the first class period of the week, students did research on testing, focusing primarily on testing in the UK.  We used these two links below (click the picture to get to them) from Dr. Price.

During the second class of the week, you will use the information you have gleaned from these resources to identify: the relevant facts, who / what will be affected by decision on this case as well as the relevant ethical considerations.    

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Four Questions

Whenever a bioethicist approaches a question s/he needs to address the following four questions

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.

G period  - Started Oscar Pistorious' case.  If you have not already addressed the question, "Should he be allowed to compete in the Olympics?" write an answer to this questions and provide REASONS.

C period - Now that you have read the background on Carl's Case, complete Part 1 of the Case Study Sheet.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Starting Bioethics

Today C period started our last unit of the year: Bioethics.

For homework, you need to read the case about Oscar Pistorious and answer the questions on the back of the paper.  Curious as to how he runs?  Watch the clips below.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hans Rosling on Global Population Growth

Today we watched Hans Rosling's talk on Global Population growth.

If you are in G period - we will watch this in class tomorrow and use the rest of the class period to prepare for the Harkness Discussion.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Population Growth

Yesterday and today we talked about factors that influence human population growth.  Today students worked on human population calculations and graphing.  Remember:  You have a Harkness discussion on Friday.