What is a physicians obligation with respect to telling the truth to his or her patients?

    
        Week 1 – Assignment       
      
Ethical Question
[WLO: 4] [CLOs: 1, 5]
Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read Chapter 1 of the  textbook. This chapter will introduce you to the basic form and subject  matter of ethical reasoning and assist you as you select an ethical  question, examine the context, issues, and arguments surrounding the  question, and attempt to defend an answer to the question. 
Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper  as they contain very precise and specific instructions on both the  content and format requirements. You should download the provided outline and use that to structure your paper, as well as consult the assignment guidance and modeled example for additional help. Finally, before submitting your assignment please use the checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the requirements.
Overview
This course has three written assignments that build upon one another  and are designed to take you step-by-step through a process of writing a  paper that identifies an ethical question, examines the context,  issues, and arguments surrounding the question, and attempts to defend  an answer to that question using strong moral reasoning.
This first written assignment is a six-part exercise comprised of the following sections:

Ethical Question
Introduction
Position Statement
Reasons in Support of Your Position
Opposing Position Statement
Reasons in Support of the Opposing Position

The assignment should be 500 words, written in essay form, with six  clearly labeled sections as indicated below, and include a title page  and reference page.
Part 1: Ethical Question
Before writing the paper, you will need to spend some time thinking  about the specific ethical issue you want to focus on throughout this  course.

Begin this task by viewing the list of approved ethical topics and  questions provided in the Week 1 Announcement titled: “Written  Assignment Ethical Topics and Questions List.” Take some time looking  over the list and browsing through some of the material in the  corresponding chapters of the textbook in which each topic is addressed  and decide which to focus on.
Once you have done this, choose one of the ethical questions  associated with that topic. If you wish to do so, you may formulate your  own ethical question, but it must be on one of the topics listed in the announcement.  Be sure to carefully study the provided questions and model your own  question after them in terms of specificity and ethical focus.”

Place the ethical question under the Part 1: Ethical Question heading at the top of the paper.
Part 2: Introduction
In this section of your paper, you should introduce the topic and  question at issue by doing the following (not necessarily in this exact  order):

Explain its relevance and importance.
Define any key terms and concepts.
Provide any relevant context and background information.
Briefly reference an idea, quote, or analysis of the issue that you  have found in one of the required resources on the topic.  Required  resources include the textbook chapter focused on that topic (6, 7, 8,  9, or 10), the “Primary Sources” listed at the end of Chapters 6-9, and  the “readings listed under “Further Reading” at the end of each section  in Chapter 10.

The introduction will be the longest section of this assignment and  should be at least 300 words in one or two paragraphs. Place the  introduction material under the Part 2: Introduction.
Part 3: Position Statement
Your work on the introduction section has likely unearthed various  positions one might take on the ethical question you have chosen. In  this section, you will formulate a position statement.

A position statement is a one sentence statement that articulates  your position on the issue and directly answers the question you have  raised. For example, if the question was, “What is a physician’s  obligation with respect to telling the truth to his or her patients?” a  position statement might be “A physician may never directly lie to a  patient, but it may be moral for a physician to withhold information if  the physician reasonably believes doing so directly benefits the  patient.” A different position statement might be: “A physician may use  any means necessary, including lying to a patient, if the physician  believes that will produce the best overall results.” However, the  following statement would not be a sufficient position statement: “A  physician must always respect the rights of his or her patients.” The  reason this is not a sufficient position statement is that it does not  directly answer the question concerning truth telling.
Think of the position statement as the strongest claim you would  make if you were a prosecuting attorney making your opening statement to  a jury, where you want to state precisely and directly the position you  want them to believe.

Place the position statement under the Part 3: Position Statement heading.
Part 4: Reasons in Support of Your Position
Now that you have articulated a position on the issue, write a short  paragraph—just a few sentences—that presents and explains one or two of  the strongest reasons in support of your position statement.

You want your supporting reason to explain why someone should  support the position you are taking on the ethical question. A  supporting reason is a consideration that helps to show why your  position is stronger than another position.
One way to approach this is to imagine yourself in friendly  conversation with someone who does not necessarily agree with your  position (perhaps they disagree, or perhaps they are undecided). When  you state your position, they might ask why you think that; the kind of  response you would give is a supporting reason.
Supporting reasons can include many things including, but not  limited to: an appeal to moral principles such as duty, justice,  fairness and equality; the positive or negative effects of certain  actions on policies; or a summary of facts, statistics or evidence and  an explanation of how they support your view.

Place the supporting reason(s) under the Part 4: Reasons in Support of Your Position heading.
Part 5: Opposing Position Statement
Now that you have provided reasons to support your position  statement, in this section you will take a step back from all of that  and articulate a statement that expresses an opposing or contrary  statement.

Think of the opposing position statement as the strongest claim you  would make if you were the defense attorney making your opening  statement to the jury immediately after they have heard the prosecutor’s  statement.

Place the opposing position statement under the Part 5: Opposing Position Statement heading.
Part 6: Reasons in Support of the Opposing Position
In this section, write a short paragraph—just a few sentences—that  presents and explains one or two of the strongest reasons in support of  the opposing position statement.

A strong opposing reason is a reason anyone would need to consider, even if they do not agree with the opposing position.
In other words, do not simply contradict claims that you make in  Part 4, especially factual claims! You should strive to identify and  articulate considerations in support of the opposing position that you  think are accurate and true, or at least plausible, even if you still  believe your own position has the most support overall.
If the reason(s) in support of the opposing position are ones you  consider obviously false or indefensible, you should look for better  reasons.
Put yourself in the position of a defense attorney who has to make  the best possible case to the jury in defense of his or her client.

Place the opposing reasons under the Part 6: Reasons in Support of the Opposing Position heading.
In your paper,

Identify the ethical question.
Introduce the topic and question.
Formulate a position statement.
Explain the strongest reasons in support of the position statement.
Formulate an opposing position statement.
Explain the strongest reasons in support of the opposing position statement.

The Ethical Question paper

Must be 500 to 600 words in length (not including title and  references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in  the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource.
Must include a separate title page with the following: 

Title of paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted

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