Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bioethics of Vaccines

Vaccines are important medical innovations which keep individuals and communities safe. In this blog module we will investigate the bioethics of vaccination policies and how these policies are implemented in our communities.

Steps to follow and sources to consult:

1) Aid your knowledge on the benefits of vaccinations by completing this animation on herd immunity.

2) Investigate the bioethics of vaccination policies by reading about the ethics of H1N1 vaccinations and watching news coverage. You must complete the review questions at the end of the web page in your journal (which will be checked for points).

3)Read the DCist, a popular DC blog, coverage on the implementation of vaccination policies in our own communities.

4)On our Cardozo Bio Blog, you must respond to the DCist article. Please include whether or not you think that vaccination policies are implemented well in DC so that every community stays safe (using data and examples!). In your blog posting, you must also post a link to another blog which discusses the bioethics of vaccinations with a different vaccine or in an different geographic context.

The Bioethics of Steroid Use

Steroids are drugs which can severely impact your endocrine, cardio-vascular, and muscular systems. Steroids pose multiple threats to one's health but also offer many benefits to one's athletic abilities. Steroids are a contentious issue in the athletic community. We will investigate the biology of steroids and the bioethical implications that come with their use. At the end of this module, you will formulate your own opinions on the bioethics of steroids.

Steps to follow and Sources to Consult:

1) First watch this discussion on steroids in the NCAA. While you watch this video you must write down 5 main points about the use of steroids in the NCAA in your journal. Ms. Roy will check this as part of your warm up grade.

2) Read the BioEthics Education Project blog entry on anabolic steroids. When you are done reading, you must respond on the BEEP page to the two questions posed at the bottom of the reading. Ms. Roy will check the BEEP page for your responses to give you points.

3) Post a paragraph to our Cardozo Bio Blog explaining your opinion on the bioethics of steroids. Make sure to use data and examples which you found in the readings and video clips.

4) Lastly, you will get in assigned groups of 5 to make video public service announcements about steroids. We will film these videos with 2 flip cams that Ms. Roy owns and will post these videos on our blog for other students to see. Videos should be no more than 2 minutes long. Ms. Roy will give you a video grading rubric when you get to this point. Every group will be assigned the following video topics:
a. What are anabolic steroids?
b. How do steroids affect the endocrine system?
c. How do steroids benefit and harm your body?
d. What are example stories of athletes who have been caught using steroids?
e. What are current policies which exist to make sure that athletes do not use

Neuroethics and Neruo-Enhancement Drugs

We have begun to call the ethical implications of biological innovations, bioethics.

Now the scientific community deems the examination of what is right and wrong, good and bad about the treatment, perfection, or invasion of the human brain as neuroethics.

A huge part of the discussion of neuroethics is neuro-enhancement drugs, which are drugs which one takes to improve their cognitive (thinking) abilities.

In our discussion of neuroethics and neuro-enhancement drugs, we will consult a variety of sources to formulate our opinions on these serious issues.

Steps to follow and sources to consult:

1) To review the nervous system, view this animation and write down all familiar vocabulary that you hear and see while watching the animation.

2) Next, read about the basics of neuroethics at UPENN's high school bioethics site and complete a worksheet asking you about the field of neuroethics.

3) Read about neuro-enhancement drugs, like Adderall, and their harms and benefits on the brain. You will complete the first 5 questions on the Adderall worksheet with this site.

4) Watch this short 60 minutes video clip on Adderall use and complete the last 5 questions on the Adderall worksheet.

5) Finally, you must post to the Cardozo Bio Blog your opinion of neuroethics, neuro-enhancement drugs like Adderall, and you must post a link to another site which discusses another neuroethics issue (the UPENN neuroethics site is a great one to consult for more links to other neuroethics discussions). You MAY NOT post a link to a site that a classmate has already posted.

The Bioethics of Reproductive Technology: IVF, Test Tube Babies, and Genetic Selection

Reproductive technology is a hotly debated topic in many political, religious, and scientific circles. The bioethical implications of reproductive technology are tricky and confusing to sort through.

To fully formulate our opinions on the bioethics of reproductive technology, specifically in-vitro fertilization (IVF), we will consult a variety of sources and add our opinions to these sources to participate in the online discourse surrounding emerging reproductive technology.

Steps to follow and sources to consult:

1) First watch the informational video on the process of IVF. (Ms. Roy will check you off as you watch the video)

2)Read the MSNBC article about IVF and the first "test tube baby". Make sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page! (While you are doing this complete the concept map or worksheet on the bioethical implications of IVF).

3) Read one woman's personal experience with IVF and respond to her bioethical question at the bottom of her blog entry ON HER blog.

4)Search this women’s health blog and post a response about the bioethics of another women’s reproductive health issue on our Cardozo Bio Blog using the information on the women’s health blog. You should title your response according to the reproductive health issue being discussed, tell the class about the issue and how it relates to what we have just learned, and post a link to where we can find more information.