Dowling College PHL 1050 Ethical Choices in Health Care

Fall 2015

CRN 93912


MW 11:30 am-12:51 pm 

RC 310


Professor Christian Perring, Department of Philosophy.


E-mail: perringc at  [All email to me should have "PHL1050" in the subject line]

Texting: message me at 631-256-7167, always starting your message with PHL 1050 and your name.

Office Phone: 244-3349

Office: 330B RC (next to the computer lab)

Office Hours: Monday 230-430pm, Tuesday 230-430pm, Thursday 230-430pm

Holidays: Mon Sept 7 Labor Day, Monday Sept 14 and Tuesday Sept 15, Rosh Hashana, Wednesday Sept 23 Yom Kippur, Wednesday November 11, Veterans Day, Wednesday November 25 and Thursday November 26 Thanksgiving



Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Bioethics, Concise Edition

Author:Ronald Munson



Course Description

Students need to learn a core of facts about different ethical approaches, the law, and the history of morally significant events in medicine.  They also need to learn skills of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments in medical ethics.  Knowledge of the facts will be tested in tests and exams.  Knowledge of the skills will be tested in verbal discussion, presentations, and papers.


Grade Assignment

Each student will lead the discussion 2 times.  This will be 20% of the grade.    

There will be a >2000 word paper.  This will be 40% of the grade.

There will be a midterm (15%) and a final (15%). 

Attendance, participation, and attitude will count toward 10% of the grade.


Leading the discussion: you need to do the following:

         Either explain the assigned reading for that day or set out background issues relevant to that reading.

         The background can include detailed discussion of one or two cases.

         The background can also include history of how the issue at hand became ethically relevant.

         Compose at least 3 true/false or multiple choice questions on the topic, based on the reading or the background issues.  Post them and the answers, with clear documentation of where the answers come from, on the Blackboard Discussion Board.

         Your grade will be based on how helpful and interesting your leadership was.  So you need to take the needs of the other students into account.

         It should take at least 15 minutes.

         You need to do your first leading of discussion in February

         Up to 2 students can lead the discussion in any class, but if they both do the same class session, they need to coordinate well and not overlap too much.


For a good paper, you need only discuss the articles in the textbook.  For an excellent paper, you would need to do research beyond the textbook.  For any paper to be adequate, you need to show that you understand the basic issues -- including the views in the readings assigned for the course -- on the topic you are discussing.

APA format

Use Turnitin.tom

Draft (>1000 words) due November 1.

Final version due December 1.

Your paper topic can be the same as one of the discussions you have led or will lead.


All Work Due by Wednesday Dec 16


Course Schedule (Subject to Change)




Mon Aug 31



W Sept 2

Foundations of Bioethics: Basic Ethical Theories

Part VI, pages 470-521

W 9

Major Moral Approaches


W 16

Theories without Principles


M 21

Autonomy, Truth Telling and Confidentiality

Ch 1

Mon Oct 5



W 7

Research Ethics

Ch 2

M 12



W 14

Genetic Controls

Ch 3

M 19



W 21

Reproductive Controls

Ch 4

M 26



W 28


Ch 5

Mon Nov 2



W 4



M 9



M 16

Impaired Infants

Ch 6

W 18



M 23

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Ch 7

M 30



Wed Dec 2

Scarce Medical Resources

Ch 8

M 7



W 9



M 14

Final Test


W 16

Final Meeting