HEA 4303 Spring 2020 Short Paper Dr. S. K. Connors 1
HEA 4303 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals
University of Houston Downtown
Spring 2020
Short Paper on a Contemporary Topic in Applied Ethics
Students may choose from topics including reproductive health or end-of-life issues. Students
will write a 2-3 page paper that introduces the issue and context of the issue, then presents an
evidence or theory-supported argument about the ethical concepts surrounding that issue.
Based on their own interests students will choose one of the following reproductive or end-of-life
issues for this short paper:
1. Abortion (in general)
2. Selective Abortion (including sex-selective abortion, disease/disorder-selective
abortion, or selective reduction)
3. Surrogacy
4. Euthanasia/Physician Assisted Suicide
5. Maintaining Life Signs in a Persistent Vegetative State
This will be a 2-3 page paper that follows a specific logic argument (see below) about the issue.
The body of the paper (the student’s logic argument):
1. Briefly define the ethical topic and describe the topic from both sides (what are the
argument(s) for AND against the topic).
Do not use in ethics theory or healthcare
principles in this section
.
2. Using one ethics theory OR one healthcare principle, choose ONE SIDE of the issue
and make your best case that your side of the argument is ethically sound.
Briefly define the ethics theory/healthcare principle you are using to support your
position.
-The side of the issue being argued must be directly stated at the beginning of the
section. For example, students can state that “based on [appropriate]
theory/principle, abortion is/is not ethically sound because…”
-The ethics theory/healthcare principle should also be briefly defined.
3. Describe a real-life example in which your position and reasoning results in a positive
outcome (you may make the case up, but make sure it applies well). For example: John,
23 years old, was in a car accident four years ago and is now in a nursing home in a
persistent vegetative state… [next detail how the argued perspective would result in a
good outcome for John and his family].
In other words, this paper will:
-Define the topic and describe both sides of the argument.
-Take ONE side as your position.
-Provide a well-reasoned and well-argued support as to why your position an ethically sound.
-Apply this reasoning to a real-life situation.

HEA 4303 Spring 2020 Short Paper Dr. S. K. Connors 2
Important reminders:
1. Directly state the side of the issue being argued at the beginning of the section. For
example, students can state that “based on [appropriate] theory/principle, abortion is/is not
ethically sound because…”
2. Be specific about the subtype and/or the person credited with ethical theory applied. For
example, different forms of deontological and virtue ethics theories have specific names and
have been credited to specific individuals.
3. Remember that it is essential that you be internally consistent with your ethical
arguments. You should use the same ethics theory/healthcare principle throughout the paper.
This paper will have the following characteristics:
1. Students may not use personal pronouns in this paper, nor may they use or disclose your
personal experiences in any way. This paper should be written from a scholarly or
professional perspective only.
2. No bullets/numbering or rhetorical questions should be used.
3. The assignment should be double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and with
one-inch margins.
4. Students may not plagiarize in any way on this assignment. All work must be theirs and
theirs alone. Students may not use quotations from any source, whether accurately cited
or not. Everything should be in their own words to reflect their own understanding of the
material you have read. All information that students present that is not the product of
their own original thought must be appropriately cited in APA style with in-text citations
and a reference page. Plagiarism and/or use of direct quotations (whether appropriately
cited or not) will result in failure on the assignment and possibly in the class.
5. This paper must be submitted as a MS Word document to the appropriate Turnitin link in
Blackboard.
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