PHIL 150 Introduction to Philosophy
School of Graduate and Professional Studies Term Paper
Assignment Read: “The Deadly Choices at Memorial” by Sheri Fink published in the New York Times on August 25, 2009. The full text of the article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/magazine/30doctors.html?pagewanted=all Write: A 5-8 page paper critically evaluating the decisions made by the staff at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Your analysis of the events documented in this piece should contain your own opinions regarding whether or not you believe the actions of the staff were justifiable or ethically acceptable. The paper MUST also be informed by some of the major ethical theories that we discuss in class and can be found in your reading assignments. All opinions should be backed up by strong, logical arguments. All outside resources must be cited using either MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style format. To help prepare for this paper, consider asking yourself some or all of the following questions after reading the piece: Who, if anyone, is to blame for the actions that took place in the hospital? Did the doctors have the right to administer deadly amounts of morphine to patients who, according to the professionals, could not be rescued? How would you evaluate the intentions of the doctors at Memorial? Did they have the best interest of the patients in mind when making the decisions? Should the doctors’ intentions matter when evaluating the ethics of these decisions?
How, in your opinion, would a consequentalist/utilitarian, deontologist, and virtue ethicist evaluate the actions of the doctors?
Grading: Your papers will be evaluated using the following rubric:
Organization: 20% Development of well-supported arguments: 30% Use of outside sources: 30% Technical Writing: 20%
For tips on how to write a philosophical paper, read this article: https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/cbagnoli/www/paperguidelines.html