Legal Aspects of Tissue
- Teacher: Carolyn E. Rost
- Cincinnati, OH
- Subject: Bioethics
- Grade Level(s): 10 11 12
- Target Audience: Biology I, Biology II
- Materials Needed: Handout
- Class Time: 50 minutes
- Brief Summary:
This lesson uses a role play format to discuss the bioethical issues involved with fetal tissue transplantation. Students first view two videotapes: Nova "The Case of the Frozen Addict" and a 60 Minutes segment entitled, "Life, Death and Politics." The Nova videotape introduces a case in which fetal tissue transplantation was used to treat Parkinson's-like symptoms caused by synthetic heroin. The 60 Minutes segment is about a Baptist minister and his wife who use fetal tissue transplantation to treat their child, who has Hurler's Syndrome. In the role play, students take the positions of various people and organizations and discuss the views of these groups on this procedure.
- Student Objective(s):
Fetal tissue transplantation is a new technology which could revolutionize the treatment of diabetes, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. The controversies surrounding this technique involve ethical, legal, social and religious issues. Since this technology will inevitably affect all of our lives, it is imperative to introduce students to the concepts involved, and assist them in making responsible, carefully considered decisions about this procedure.
- Description of Activities:
Students first view Nova, "The Case of the Frozen Addict" and a 60 Minutes segment entitled, "Life, Death and Politics." They read background information and case study provided. Teams are assigned or roles chosen. Students research their role and develop a group position on the appropriate use of fetal tissue transplantation. They engage in role play discussion focused on the case study. Following the role play, students are debriefed in an informal discussion of the issues brought up. Each student writes a paper in which they explain their personal opinion on the case study questions and support this opinion with specific reasons.
- Integration (tying it all together):
Students will investigate the current legal status of fetal tissue transplantation, including current legislation and court cases, engage in a role play discussion of a specific case study, explore the ethical controversies surrounding this procedure and formulate and defend an opinion about appropriate use of this technology.
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