Biodefense Ethics Position Paper
BSBD 641 – Summer 2020
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked you to submit a paper that assesses the ethical considerations associated with research with your pathogen. Your paper will look at the risks and benefits of either a single research publication on your pathogen (e.g., the H1N1 gain of function controversy) that has an ethical concern, or an ethical issue associated with your pathogen more generally (e.g., should any research be done with the smallpox virus?)
Students should be able to conduct research, identify and assess appropriate sources, understand and articulate the context of the issue, and use critical thinking and logic to assess the issue and form conclusions and recommendations. There should be an neutral tone to the assessment of the pros/cons of the issue.
Steps to Completion –
1. Research and identify recent publications on research with your pathogen
2. Consider which of these poses ethical issues and select one publication. If you prefer, you can choose to assess a variety of work with your pathogen and discuss the ethical issues generally associated with working with your pathogen.
3. Provide brief scientific and policy background on your pathogen and research being done with it: why the research is being done, how it fits into a broader effort (vaccine research, basic research, advanced development, etc.)
4. Perform an ethical analysis, using ONE of the frameworks identified in Selgelid’s paper.
Paper Requirements (and grading (100 points)) –
· Introduction (5 points): BRIEFLY identify the focus of the paper. Clearly state your ethical issue.
· Context or Background (20 points) : why the research presents an ethical dilemma, its potential as a threat agent, and brief description of associated disease/illness/statistics.
· Ethical Analysis (40 points): Concisely articulates your assessment of the issue.
· Conclusion/Recommendation (20 points): Summarize your analysis and make 2-3 recommendations for how to address the ethical issues posed, considering how the ethical issues warrant concern in relation to other issues (scientific, medical, public health, strategic, political, military, etc.
· Follows the following Format (15 points):
· 8-10 pages, double spaced in 12 point font (Calibri or Times New Roman).
· Includes a cover page and section headers.
· Uses the APA format to reference sources in the body of the paper and in the reference section. Be sure to assess your references as some are inevitably more credible than others.
· Make sure any figures used are appropriately cited in APA format.
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