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PHI 305 Take-home exam. Due Monday
4-5 pages. Doublespaced.
Discuss either the case of "Parental
Preferences and a Child's Involvement in a Randomized Clinical Trial,"
(on handout, also available outside my office door in brown envelope) or
the following case.
Mr. and Mrs. C are accepted by an in
vitro fertilization clinic. Six ova are harvested from Mrs. C, three are
implanted in Mrs. C, and the other three frozen. On the way back from the
clinic, after implantation, Mr. and Mrs. C are killed in an automobile
accident. The next of kin who would inherit in the event that Mr. and Mrs.
C failed to have children ask to be declared heirs and have the remaining
three frozen embryos discarded. However, three women volunterr to receive
Grammar and spelling are important. Persistent
errors will be penalized. Be sure that your use of any technical terms
is correct. You can refer to any books you want, but any quotations must
be clearly referenced.
Suppose you are an ethicist called in
to help in this case. You are asked to write a short report. You should
not put in your own personal opinions unless you have to. Your job is to
give a professional opinion. What would you advise? In your answer, you
should address the following (if applicable):
Why does the situation described pose an
ethical problem for the people involved, as opposed to a practical,
legal, or technical problem? Explain what ethical principles are relevant
to the case, how they apply to the case, and whether they conflict with
each other. Are the ethical principles you mention generally accepted or
What are the main options available to the
individuals involved? You should only include realistic options, and you
may find it useful to explain why the options you are setting out might
be useful. You should think creatively to suggest options that are not
mentioned in the text.
What legal issues are relevant to making
What further information would be useful
in making your decision? For example, do you need more details about the
patient, his/her family, medical procedures and the risks that they carry,
or the social services that are available? Who would you ask to get this
Who should be consulted in the decision-making
process, and who has the rights or responsibilities to make the final decision?
Consider the reported reasoning of people
in the case. Is their reasoning well-argued? Do you agree with it or not?
What decision would you recommend? Explain
why you believe this decision is more reasonable than any other.
For either of these questions, you may
want to do research about the issues. Your answer can devote more space
to discussion of the general issues involved in the case than in previous
I will be available for discussion of
your exam on Thursday April 9. My office hours are 4-6 pm and I can see
you earlier as well.