Tuesday 5/7

Examination IV (Final Exam) Review

Time and Place

Please make a note of the wonky time: 1:45 - 4:15. It would be wise to arrive early.

Because some final exams are getting scheduled in alternate rooms, I verified that we sit the exam in our usual room, CI-109.

Discussion

I started writing the Exam IV with a review section and a case analysis section, but I kept coming across important discussions since Exam III: The moral principles, Virtue Ethics, Autonomy and Paternalism, Analogy, and so forth. So sandwiched between the review and case analyses are various further sections, as described below.

Exam IV is very much like our previous examinations: A mix of multiple choice, true/false, and an essay. There is a new sort of multiple choice, however: Fill in the blank from a menu of options. For example, from a (possibly lengthy) menu which includes options

b. Simple Ethical Subjectivism

and,

z. The Standard of Reflective Equilibrium

and the incomplete statement,

The Infallibility Argument shows that ___ fails ___.

A correct answer would fill in the blanks with 'b' and 'z', respectively.

The full outline of the examination (with total points) is as follows:

Description

A. Logic, Theory, and Standards Review

Type(s) of Question: Fill in the blank (as above).

Number of Questions: 15.

Total Points: 30.

B. Moral Normative Theory Review

Type(s) of Question: Fill in the blank (as above).

Number of Questions: 20.

Total Points: 40.

C. Virtue Ethics

Type(s) of Question: True/False.

Number of Questions: 15.

Total Points: 15.

D. Moral Principles

Type(s) of Question: True/False.

Number of Questions: 15.

Total Points: 15.

E. The Principle of Analogy

Type(s) of Question: Essay (2 page).

Number of Questions: 1.

Total Points: 37.

F. The Principles of Autonomy, Harm, and Paternalism

Type(s) of Question: Multiple Choice and True/False.

Number of Questions: 10.

Total Points: 20.

G. Case Analyses

Type(s) of Question: Multiple Choice and True/False.

Number of Questions: 24.

Total Points: 48.

Extra Credit

Type(s) of Question: Essay

Number of Questions: 1, multi-part (4 page).

Total Points: 40.

Cases

The examination, including the extra credit, includes the following cases in no particular order:

Iris' Dilemma

Iris is a 19 year-old Junior at a large midwestern university. She and her boyfriend, Tom, have been together for just over a year now. They are sexually active but monogamous. Iris and Tom have even talked about marriage after they graduate. For now they are both very busy with their studies. Iris is pre-law and Tom is in the mechanical engineering program. Although it is rare, whenever they do have the opportunity for sexual relations they are very careful to take contraceptive measures. Iris is not on the pill, so either she uses a diaphram or Tom uses a condom. Whatever the case, they are very careful to be sure that Iris does not get pregnant.

Iris' parents are extremely conservative. The very idea of her having sex outside of marriage would horrify them. They have every confidence that she is still a virgin, and Iris does nothing to disabuse them of this notion. Her parents are firm supporters of republican politicians who stress the need for a return to so-called family values. They think that the problems in American today are due in large measure to rampant promiscuity and such atrocities--as they would say--as single parent households.

Tom's parents are more liberal. They assume quite correctly that he lost his virginity some time ago. On the other hand, they are midwesterners. They simply don't talk about sex lives at all. They certainly would never talk about their son's sex life.

Tom's parents are very fond of Iris. Iris' parents are less enthusiastic about Tom. They're not so sure about his "intentions" towards their daughter. She is, after all, extremely attractive and boys don't, as far as they're concerned, have much self-control. There were some initial fights between Iris and her parents over her dating Tom, but since then Iris' parents have just decided to be quiet and hope that Iris will decide to do better for herself.

Engineers may have the reputation for being studious geeks who would be lost without their pocket-protectors, but in fact they are famous at this university for throwing the best parties. Usually they only have the parties a few times a year, but when they do the serious inebriation of several thousand students is the end result. The university tolerates these parties in large measure because the party-goers are normally very well-behaved. They see it as just a bunch of hard-working students blowing off steam.

At one such party, the "Find the Higgs-Boson" party, Iris and Tom take part in the festivities. They each have a bit too much to drink and, finding themselves back at his dorm room, end up having unprotected sex.

Iris is nervous the next day, but Tom reassures her that the chances of her getting pregnant from a single instance of unprotected sex are slight. Iris decides not to worry about it. But then she misses her next period. She is terrified when the pregnancy test shows positive. Tom is crushed when she tells him that evening. His girlfriend is pregnant and scared, and he has a calc-2 midterm in a week! There are tears from both of them. Even so, they are level-headed about it. They talk about all their options. Tom is careful not to pressure Iris in any one direction, although he makes it clear that he thinks the best thing for both of them would be for her to get an abortion.

After an agonizing week of trying to decide and talking with Tom and her best friend Susan, Iris decides to get an abortion. The thought of talking to her parents occurs to Iris, but she quickly decides that that would be the wrong thing to do. They would do everything in their power to stop Iris from getting the abortion. She's heard them call physicians who perform abortions "baby-killers" before. But she knows that she's got too much ahead of her in her career to be thinking about having a baby. If she had the baby she knows she couldn't bring herself to adopt out.

Susan takes Iris to the clinic, since Tom has to get ready for his test. Once there they are met by a group of eight or so activists on the sidewalk. They hold signs which read "Baby-Killers will suffer in hell!" and "Don't kill your baby". Susan tries to shield Iris from the activists, but two women rush up and shove pamphlets in Iris' face. They yell at her, telling her that she couldn't live with herself later knowing that she had slaughtered her own baby. A security guard comes out and helps Iris past the activists into the clinic.

The attending physician is very reassuring and takes pains to explain all of her options to her. Iris, of course, has been over it all before. But it's good to hear again. The physician then tells her that, since it is still very early in the pregnancy, she thinks that Iris ought to go home and think about it. If she decides to get an abortion she can make an appointment for the following week. Iris agrees and she and Susan are escorted to her car.

Speechless

A man goes to his local HEB grocery store once a week and buys a whole fresh chicken. But before cooking and eating the chicken, he rubs it with extra virgin olive oil and has sexual intercourse with it. Then he seasons it, cooks it, and eats it. He never tells anyone about what he does, never regrets it and never shows any ill effects from behaving this way. He remains an upstanding member of his community. (adapted from The Philosopher's Magazine)

The Useful Sibling

Molly Nash was born with the genetic disorder called “Fanconi anaemia,” which leads to a failure to produce bone marrow. Children with this disease normally suffer from severe bleeding and disorders of the immune system. They usually live no more than eight or nine years. The only known effective treatment is a bone marrow transplant from a healthy sibling who is a perfect match. Molly was an only child.

Molly’s parents, Jack and Lisa tried to save Molly’s life in a novel way. They first produced embryos through In Vitro fertilization (IVF). Doctors then used preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select a healthy embryo that did not also carry the disease. The first IVF cycle failed, as did the second. Eventually, after four cycles, Mrs. Nash became pregnant and gave birth to a boy, Adam, whose umbilical cord supplied stem cells to replace Molly’s bone marrow. Adam was the fifteenth embryo.

Before this case, PGD was used to let scientists select and implant embryos that did not carry faulty genes. In the United Kingdom, PGD had been used for ten years by five different clinics, resulting in the birth of about twenty healthy babies who would otherwise have been at risk of a variety of serious genetic diseases. According to James Yeandel, of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, “Use of PGD has been approved for a number of serious genetic diseases on a named disorder basis. It cannot be used for any social, physical, or psychological reasons.”

Dr. Vivienne Nathanson, the Head of ethics and policy for the British Medical Association, pointed out that the techniques used to save Molly’s life would not be allowed under British law, because the child might be seen simply as a “medical product.” She said, “You obviously have sympathy with the family but we have to have concern about the second child. We would have very serious concerns that he is a commodity rather than a person.”

Bradely's Choice

Ms. Jane Bradely is a successful commercial real estate agent. She is 41 years old, recently divorced, and is the mother of a 4 year old son who has Down's Syndrome. She has sole custody of her son, Algernon. Like most people with Down's Syndrome, Algernon is typically good natured, always very happy, and mentally challenged. Ms. Bradely retains the services of a nanny to help take care of Algernon.

Ms. Bradely very much wants to have a healthy child. Towards that end, she opts for artificial insemination. Her physician warns her that the incidence of Trisomy-21 (the chromosomal aberation which results in Down's Syndrome) increases with the age of the mother. Understanding the risk, Ms. Bradely decides to go ahead with the procedure.

After several attempts, Ms. Bradely becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, karyotyping after amniocentesis reveals that the developing fetus has Trisomy-21. Ms. Bradely is deeply troubled by the news. She is now three months pregnant.

Having carefully evaluated her options, she decides to get an abortion.

After aborting her pregnancy she fully intends to try again in a few months.

The Patriot Act

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, President Bush signed into law the USA-PATRIOT Act. Although the law contains sunset provisions for the expiration of some of its more draconian provisions, civil libertarians are deeply troubled by the law's intrusiveness. For example, the law allows the government to access credit card, bookstore, and library records and search businesses and residences without notification. From the ACLU's fact-sheet,

"For centuries, common law has required that the government can't go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. That "knock and announce" principle has long been recognized as a part of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

"The Patriot Act, however, unconstitutionally amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow the government to conduct searches without notifying the subjects, at least until long after the search has been executed. This means that the government can enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupants are away, search through their property, take photographs, and in some cases even seize property - and not tell them until later."

Tenth Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell

The Onion, CITY OF DIS, NETHER HELL--After nearly four years of construction at an estimated cost of 750 million souls, Corpadverticus, the new 10th circle of Hell, finally opened its doors Monday.

The Blockbuster Video-sponsored circle, located in Nether Hell between the former eighth and ninth levels of Malebolge and Cocytus, is expected to greatly alleviate the overcrowding problems that have plagued the infernal underworld in recent years. The circle is the first added to Hell in its countless-millennia history.

"A nightmarishly large glut of condemned spirits in recent years necessitated the expansion of Hell," inferno spokesperson Antedeus said. "The traditional nine-tiered system had grown insufficient to accommodate the exponentially rising numbers of Hellbound."

Adding to the need for expansion, Antedeus said, was the fact that a majority of the new arrivals possessed souls far more evil than the original nine circles were equipped to handle. "Demographers, advertising executives, tobacco lobbyists, monopoly-law experts retained by major corporations, and creators of office-based sitcoms--these new arrivals represent a wave of spiritual decay and horror the likes of which Hell has never before seen," Antedeus said.

Despite the need for expansion, the plan faced considerable resistance, largely due to the considerable costs of insuring construction projects within the Kingdom Of Lies. Opposition also came from Hell purists concerned about the detrimental effect a tenth level would have on the intricate numerology of Hell's meticulously arranged allegorical structure. In 1994, however, funding was finally secured in a deal brokered between Blockbuster CEO Wayne Huizenga and Satan himself.

Prior to the construction of the tenth circle, many among the new wave of sinners had been placed in such circles as Hoarders and Squanderers, Sowers of Discord, Flatterers and Seducers, Violent Against Art, and Hypocrites. Hell authorities, however, say that the new level, the Circle of Total Bastards, located at the site of the former Well of Giants just above the Frozen Lake at Hell's center, better suits their insidious brand of evil.

Frigax The Vile, a leading demonic presence, is one of the most vocal supporters of the new circle. "In the past, the underworld was ill-equipped to handle the new breed of sinners flooding our gates--downsizing CEOs, focus-group coordinators, telemarketing sales representatives, and vast hordes of pony-tailed entertainment-industry executives rollerblading and talking on miniaturized cell-phones at the same time. But now, we've finally got the sort of top-notch Pits of Doom necessary to give such repellent abominations the quality boilings they deserve."

Pausing to tear off the limbs of an Access Hollywood host, Frigax added, "We're all tremendously excited about the many brand-new forms of torture and eternal pain this new level's state-of-the-art facilities will make possible." Among the tortures the Corpadverticus Circle of Total Bastards boasts: the Never-Ending Drive-Thru Bank, the Bottomless Pit of Promotional Tie-In Keychains, and the dreaded Chamber of Emotionally Manipulative Home Shopping Network Products.

The Circle also features a Hall of Aerobics, where condemned TV-exercise-show personalities, clad in skin-tight Spandex outfits soaked in flesh-dissolving acid, are forced to exercise for centuries on end, covered in vomit and prodded with the distended ribs of skeletal, anorexic demons, accompanied by an unending, ear-splittingly loud dance-remix version of the 1988 Rick Astley hit "Together Forever."

In a nearby area, corporate raiders are forced to carry the golf clubs of uneducated Hispanic migrant workers from hole to hole for eternity, withering under a constant barrage of verbal abuse from their former subservients as crows descend from trees to peck at their eyes. In one of the deepest and most profane portions of the circle, unspeakable acts are said to be committed with a mail-order Roly-Kit.

"In life, I was a Salomon Brothers investment banker," one flame-blackened shade told reporters. "When I arrived here, they didn't know what to do with me. They put me in with those condemned to walk backwards with their heads turned all the way around on their necks, for the crime of attempting to see the future. But then I sent a couple of fruit baskets to the right people, and in no time flat, I secured a cushy spot for myself in the first circle of the Virtuous Unbaptized. Now that was a sweet deal. But before long, they caught on to my game and transferred me here to the realm of Total Bastards. I've been shrieking for mercy... ever since."

His face contorted in the Misery of the Damned, a Disney lawyer said: "It's hell here--there are no executive lounges, I can't get any decent risotto, and the suit I have to wear is a cheap Brooks Brothers knock-off. I'm beeped every 30 seconds, and there's no way to return the calls. Plus, I'm being boiled upside down in lard while jackals gnaw at the soles of my feet. If I could just reach the fax machine on that nearby rock, I could contact some well-placed associates and work something out, but it's just out of my grasp, and it's out of ink and constantly blinking the message, 'Replace Toner Cartridge, Replace Toner Cartridge, Replace Toner Cartridge.'"

He then resumed screaming in agony.

Grogar The Malefic, a Captain in Hell's elite Demon Corps and supervisor in charge of admissions for the new circle, said Hell's future looks bright, thanks to the new circle.

"Things are definitely looking up," Grogar said. "We're now far better equipped, and we're ready to take on the most Unholy Atrocities humanity has to offer."

"We're really on the grow down here," Grogar added. "This is an exciting time to be in Hell."

Sebastian's Demise

Although he is an otherwise normal, intelligent, and healthy seven year-old boy, Sebastian has leukemia.

I should say that Sebastian is healthy in all respects except those directly and indirectly related to his leukemia. He is emotionally stable and has all the hopes, fears, and dreams of other seven year-old boys. He is, however, much more mature than others his age. He has had to come to grips with a fear no other seven year-old entertains--the fear of dying. Even though some physicians and nurses have gone to great lengths to keep Sebastian in the dark about his illness, Sebastian's parents, Mary and Steven, have always told Sebastian every thing they knew. When Sebastian was first diagnosed, Mary and Steven decided that it would be best to be honest with their only son. He has handled it better than they expected.

It looks now as though Sebastian's disease is terminal. Painful bone-marrow transplants and chemotherapy have not proven effective. Worse, Sebastian is extremely thin because of nausea from the treatments. He's lost all his hair and he's extremely frail. Mary and Steven are heartbroken whenever they see their child. Sebastian tries his best, for his parents' sake, he thinks, to stay cheerful and act as normal as he can. But sometimes, late at night in the pediatric-oncology ward, Sebastian cries. He is faced with the terrible knowledge that he will die. He doesn't want to lose his parents. He doesn't want to lose all his friends in the ward.

Steven and Mary both work to try to pay the bills. They run by the hospital as often as they can to see Sebastian. On a particularly warm fall day Mary takes a long lunch and, getting a wheelchair for Sebastian, goes for a walk around the hospital grounds. It's not a good day for Sebastian. The doctors have been running more tests, and some of them make him sick.

"Mom," Sebastian says, "I'm not gonna be cured, am I?"

"I don't know, Sebastian. Nothing the doctors have tried has worked. Maybe they'll come up with something, though."

"They wont. I heard Dr. Srinavasan talking to another doctor. They thought I was asleep. She said that it wouldn't be long for me. She said that they've done everything they could."

Mary started to tear up. She was glad Sebastion couldn't see her.

"Mom?"

"Yes, honey?"

"Thomas died last week. He just kept getting worse and worse. They finally took him to another room, but I know he died. Everybody knows. I don't want to die like that."

"What do you mean, Sebastian?"

"You remember when I was five and we took Kitty to the vet and put her to sleep?"

"Yes, dear, I remember."

"Mom?"

"Yes, dear?"

"Would you put me to sleep, before I get really bad?"

Mary was glad that she had the wheelchair to lean against.

That night, she told Steven about what Sebastian had said. Steven was outraged that Mary would even consider it. He pointed out that they may find a cure at the last minute. Steven stormed out of the bedroom and went to sleep on the couch.

But Mary was torn. The next week, as Sebastian's health visibly deteriorated, was one of the hardest weeks of her life. One day, after work, she stops by. She gives Sebastian a pill to help with is nausea. They sit and talk for a while. Then she gives him 10 or 12 pills to take, telling him "it's all going to be alright, Sebastian." She held his hand long after his breathing had stopped and his hand had gone limp in hers.