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Fall 2003

PHL 204-001: 9-9:50 A.M. MW, 30 ten Hoor; 9-9:50 A.M. F, 115 ten Hoor PHL 204-002: 9-9:50 A.M. MW, 30 ten Hoor; 9-9:50 A.M. F, 116 ten Hoor PHL 204-003: 9-9:50 A.M. MW, 30 ten Hoor; 9-9:50 A.M. F, 115 ten Hoor

Instructor: Prof. H. Scott Hestevold

Office Hours: MWF, 2:00-2:30 PM; 237 ten Hoor Telephone: 348-1912


Teaching Assistants: Josh Bell Grant Hiatt

Office Hours: Tu, 9:00-9:50 AM; 236 ten Hoor Th, 12:30-1:15 PM; 236 ten Hoor E-mail:

Philosophy Department: 348-5942 Course Prerequisites: None

Course Description: Introduction to ethics via the moral problems that arise when someone is ill or injured or dying. Topics include euthanasia, truth-telling and medical paternalism, AIDS, and whether healthcare should be guaranteed all citizens by the government. [from Undergraduate Catalog] Course Objectives: At the conclusion of the course, students who have mastered the course material should be better able (1) to formulate and evaluate reasoned views regarding the nature of right and wrong and (2) to formulate and evaluate reasoned views regarding particular moral problems that arise in health-care delivery.

Core Curriculum “H” designation. Course Texts:

1. Moral Philosophy: Theory and Issues (3rd ed.) by Emmett Barcalow. [MP]

2. Classic Works in Medical Ethics ed. by Gregory E. Pence. [CW]

3. Spiral-bound booklet of supplementary readings (available only at The Sup Store). [SUP] Course Website:

Click on "Classes". Under "Medical Ethics - PHL 204", there is a link to class summaries and assignments.

Exam Policy:

Four examinations. The average of four examinations will constitute 85% of the course grade. A

zero will be recorded for any examination not taken for whatever reason. Tentative dates for the first three examinations are September 10, October 6, and November 5. The final examination is non-cumulative and will be given at the official final-examination time: Tuesday, December 9 at 8:30 AM (not 8:00 AM) in 30 ten Hoor. NOTE: students will need No. 2 pencils for each


Attendance Policy:

Course involvement -- attendance and homework -- will determine 15% of the course grade. When roll is taken, a 2 will be recorded for those present, a zero for those absent for whatever reason. Unless noted otherwise, homework assignments will be worth 6 points; a zero will be recorded for assignments not submitted for whatever reason. Students may submit a homework


assignment before but not after the time that it is due; assignments are usually collected at the beginning of class. After eliminating the equivalent of two homework assignments [i.e. six absences], the following formula will be used to determine the final course-involvement score: 15% of the course grade = 15 x [(total points earned) ÷ (total possible points)]

Students are expected to attend class prepared to discuss critically the assigned readings. If ever the class fails to prepare an assignment, the instructor will assume that students have chosen to master it without the benefit of classroom discussion.

Make-up Examinations:

The opportunity to make up an examination is at 8:30 AM on Saturday, November 15 in 30 ten Hoor. At this time, students may make up any or all of the first three examinations not taken for whatever reason. Students who have extraordinary excuses (e.g. a death in the

immediate family, hospitalization, court subpoena) for having missed both the original exam and make-up exam may petition for special consideration. Such petitions must be submitted in writing and accompanied by appropriate documentation. Make-up final examinations will be given only on the date officially scheduled by the Office of Records and Testing.

Plus/Minus Grade Determination:

97-100 = A+ 87-89 = B+ 77-79 = C+ 67-69 = D+ <60 = F 93-96 = A 83-86 = B 73-76 = C 63-66 = D

90-92 = A- 80-82 = B- 70-72 = C- 60-62 = D-

Drop Policy:

After October 29, students must have the dean's approval to drop this course, and approval will be given only to those students with extraordinary reasons. If asked for a grade determination, the instructor for PHL 204 will average the student's grades on record; examinations not taken for whatever reason will be averaged as zero.

Cell Phones, Beepers, PDAs:

All cell phones, beepers, and PDA alarms must be turned off before class begins. EXAM/ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE

The syllabus refers to specific paragraphs in MP and CW. Number CW 77.2 refers to the 2nd paragraph on p. 77 of CW, which begins, "This difference between causality..." Number MP 134.5 refers to the 5th paragraph -- a partial paragraph -- on p. 134, which begins, "According to Gavin..."

I. Introduction to ethical theory

SUP: 2-9 ("How to Study," and "Ascent") MP: 1-3.5; 10.1-10.3 ("Morality and Law") II. Are there any moral facts?*

A. The dispute between Moral Objectivists and Nonobjectivists

SUP: 10-17 ("Moral Objectivism and Nonobjectivism", Sections 1-7) MP: 6.2-10.2; 11-14.4; 46-52.1


B. Moral Nonobjectivism 1. Moral Nihilism

SUP: 17-19 ("Moral Objectivism and Nonobjectivism", Section 8) MP: 52.1-56.3 ("Moral Nihilism")

2. Moral Relativism

a. SUP: 19-22 ("Moral Objectivism and Nonobjectivism", Section 9) MP: 56.4-61.1 ("Moral Relativism")

b. SUP: 22 ("Moral Objectivism and Nonobjectivism", Section 10) MP: 60.5-61.4

C. Moral Objectivism

SUP: 23-28 ("Moral Objectivism and Nonobjectivism", Section 11; essay by Bambrough)


III. Act-utilitarianism and euthanasia

A. Is active euthanasia worse than passive euthanasia?

SUP: 29 ("Introduction to Normative and Applied Ethics") CW: 21-26 (Rachels)

B. Act-utilitarianism

SUP: 30-32 (Study Guide, "Utilitarianism") MP: 79-84.3

C. Application: euthanasia

1. Is voluntary active euthanasia ever morally permissible?

[Optional: MP: 236.3-243.2 (Barcalow's overview of euthanasia)] [Optional: MP: 229.2-234.5 (Barcalow's overview of suicide)] CW: 45-66 (Brock)

2. Is involuntary euthanasia involving defective newborns ever morally permissible? CW: 222.2-228 (Robertson)

D. Is act-utilitarianism correct? MP: 84.5-85.1; 86.4-88.2


IV. Rights and abortion A. Deontology


SUP: 33-34 (Study Guide, "Introduction to Deontology and Moral Rights") MP: 145-161.1; 166.3-169.6

B. Application: abortion

1. Embryos and the metaphysics of abortion MP: 218.2-221.4

CW: 83-92 (Singer) 2. The Moral Approach

a. SUP: 35-38 ("The Moral Problem of Abortion: An Introduction") SUP: 39-40 (Study Guide to Thomson; Sections 1-3)

CW: 153-160.1 (Thomson)

b. SUP: 40 (Study Guide to Thomson; Sections 4-5) CW: 160.2-167 (Thomson)

C. Are there moral rights?

V. Paternalism, genetics research, testing, and counseling A. CW, 324-333.1 (Macklin)

B. CW, 341-349 (Proctor)


VI. Natural law ethics, stem-cell research, in vitro fertilization, and cloning A. Natural Law Theory

SUP: 41 (Study Guide, "Introduction to Natural Law Theory") MP: 26.2-27.1

B. Application: stem-cell research MP: 346.3-347.4

C. Are in vitro fertilization and cloning morally objectionable? CW: 93-114 (Kass)

D. Is surrogate motherhood morally objectionable? CW: 127-135 (Krimmel)

E. Is Natural Law Theory correct? MP: 27.2.-27.4; 212.3-212.5


VII. Is There a Relation Between God and Morality?

SUP: 42-46 ("Is There a Relation Between God and Morality?" MP: 31-43

VIII. Justice and the access to medical care CW: 367-380 (Gutmann)


Disability Access Statement: To request disability accommodations, please contact Disability Services (348-4285). After initial arrangements are made with that office, contact your


Academic Misconduct Statement: Academic misconduct by students includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically-related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help another student commit an act of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, each of the following acts when performed in any type of academic or academically-related matter, exercise or activity.

1. Cheating – using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, study aids, or computer-related information.

2. Plagiarism – representing the words, data, works, ideas, computer program or output, or anything not generated in an authorized fashion, as one’s own.

3. Fabrication - presenting as genuine any invented or falsified citation or material.

4. Misrepresentation – falsifying, altering, or misstating the contents of documents or other materials related to academic matters, including schedules, prerequisites, and transcripts.





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