bioethic Paper Guide Each paper should typed, double-spaced, 7-9 pages of body copy (plus references & notes), and include both a list of references and either foot- or end-notes. As to the general substance of the papers themselves: Given that this is a course on the ethics and politics of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), your papers, unsurprisingly, should explore some aspect of the course material. What, exactly, you choose to focus on is up to you. And it is important that you choose to focus on some, specific, topic. We’re covering a range of issues regarding hESC and ART research and practice, far too wide a range for you reasonably to write on. Thus, slice off a portion of one of these issues: DON’T TRY TO DO EVERYTHING. For example, a number of chapters in Liza Mundy’s Everything Conceivable deal with a specific aspect of infertility and ART; you could explore in further detail a topic raised in one of those chapters. Or you could look at the President’s Council on Bioethics Reproduction and Responsibility, which also explores various implications of ART, Similarly, different chapters Parens’s Enhancing Human Traits, from NBAC’s Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research, and from the PCB’s Monitoring Stem Cell Research raise a variety of issues regarding hESC research in particular and the purpose of the work in general. Finally, I or one of your classmates may bring up an issue or asks a question which grabs you; feel free to grab it and center your paper on that issue. Pick an issue which matters to you, which interests you, which puzzles or provokes you; pick something which you want to learn more about, and on which you are willing to do additional research. Finally, for those of you who’d like to write on abortion: You can’t write on abortion, as it would take you too far out of the purview of the course. You may, however, write a paper on the status of the embryo, or on preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or on prenatal testing, or on selective termination. Yes, you will have to do additional research. The course readings can help you to get started, but it its expected that you will explore your topic in greater depth. This means research of materials beyond the syllabus. Again, it’s not that you have to read everything that’s available on your specific issue, but you should make an effort to educate yourself sufficiently to be able to reflect intelligently on the complications of that topic. Finally, while your two papers will be linked, they are nonetheless distinct. Thus: Paper 1: In this first paper, examine a particular line of research or a specific practice/technology and lay out exactly what is involved in this research or practice. DO NOT DISCUSS ETHICS IN THIS PAPER Depending upon the research or practice, you may explore the history of the work (including any seminal discoveries initially or in the course of investigation); questions under active investigation as well as any questions which are considered crucial to advancement of the work; the current status of the work, including whether it has advanced to animal or human clinical trials, and/or whether it is currently in use in medical or commercial practice; any scientific/medical problems associated with the work; who is or would use the technology, or if you are working on, say, surrogacy, the technical-legal aspects of the practice. In short, lay out the scientific, medical, and/or technical elements of the research or practice. Paper 2: This paper builds on the work done in the first paper, with the emphasis this time around on the social, ethical, legal, and political implications and controversies surrounding the work. Exactly what gets covered will depend upon the initial topic. For example, a great deal of work has gone into considerations of policy concerning hESC research, along with explorations of the moral implications of both the research itself as well as its possible uses. On the other hand, ART has for the most part not been regulated, and there has been less organized effort to examine either the various technologies or the implications of those uses. Thus, someone writing on, say, ICSI may end up focusing on a different set of social and moral issues than a person writing on, say, the medical and social implications of regenerative medicine developed out of stem cell research. Again, the social and ethical implications of a practice may be far too large to encompass in this paper; thus, concentrate on that portion of the debate which most intrigues you
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