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Science asks "Can we?"
Law asks "May we?"
Morality asks "Should we?"


Phase I: Brainstorm

As a group, brainstorm potential topics to examine. Here is a partial list to give you an idea, but there are other bioethical issues not listed here. Also, many of the issues will overlap in some areas.

Phase II: Research

Now that you have your topic, its time to gather information about the issues. Four positions are listed to help you delegate research responsibilities, if your group is smaller than four, you'll need to double up some or all of the jobs.

sociologistSociologist Your job is to explore the issue from a societal perspective. What do most people feel. What are the different sides of the issue. Keep in mind, this is not a persuasive topic, your job is to examine all opinions and attitudes
lawyerLawyer What are the current laws surrounding the issue? Do different states have different laws.
scientistScientist Describe and define the topic from a scientific perspective. This section is to inform others of the scientific processes and principles. Example, if your group is exploring cloning: you'll need to explain how cloning works
educatorEducator Develop a list of questions to be used for class discussion. Plan to respond and engage class with controversy and thought.

Resources ( Presidents Council on Bioethics ) ( Bioethics Resourcs on the Web ) ( Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity ) ( American Journal of Bioethics )

Phase III: Discussion Questions

With your topic in mind, develop a list of questions to be used on a survey. These questions will not only be used to survey the class but to prompt discussion within the class.

Example of survey questions:

Do you feel that the government has a right to decide how many children a couple can have?
Do you think that parents have the right to know of medical procedures being performed on their minor children (abortion, contraception, treatment for diesease)?
Do patients who are terminally ill have the right to decide how and when they die?

Phase IV: Presentation and Class Discussion

Your presentation to the class should be informative, covering all the information you gained during the research phase. Use your group roles to help you delegate duties, with each person doing one section of the presentation. You may use powerpoint or other visual aids.

During this part of the presentation, you will pose questions to the class, ask for opinions and insights from your classmates. Your presentation and discusssion should be approximately 25 minutes (half the class period)



Group Grading
Accurately explores the science issues related to topic. Explains the procedures or capabilities within a scientific context
1 2 3 4 5
Accurately explores the current legal guidelines regarding the topic, explores possible future laws
1 2 3 4 5
Examines all sides of the issues and explores the social ramifications
1 2 3 4 5
Survey examines community thoughts and feelings in a meaningful way
1 2 3 4 5
Presentation is sequenced and easy to follow, group members seem knowledgeable.
1 2 3 4 5
Discussion questions meaningful, class is engaged, group encourages class to examine the issue in depth by asking leading questions
1 2 3 4 5
Individual Grade
Team member shared in responsibilities
1 2 3 4 5
Team member participated in all discussions
1 2 3 4 5