Reminder: No synchronous class today!

Remember, we are not logging into Zoom today! Instead, please watch the guest lecture and make your comments as described in the post under “Guest Lectures and Discussion.” Comments will only count towards your grade up until the beginning of the following class (i.e., until 2:30pm on Thursday, 4/8), so make sure you complete them before that time. 

We will meet on Zoom again this coming Thursday (4/8). See you then. 

Dr. M

New grades added

Dear Class, 

I have finished grading for the first half of the semester. You can see your assignment grades from (for homework and papers) by visiting You can see your midterm exam grade and other grades on Blackboard, by going to: Tools—My Grades. 

“Mid-semester Grades” reflect your performance in the class so far. These are based on all available grades up until now. You should receive one of the following letters: 

P: Passing (>65%)

BL: Borderline (55%-65%)

F: Failing (<55%). 

I strongly suggest arranging a meeting with me on Zoom if you received a BL or F. 

Please note that only about 42% of the points available for the semester have been determined so far. This means there is still significant opportunity to change your grade!

I have also added a category to the grade center for class participation. You can see the participation policy in the syllabus. If your participation grade is low, it is usually because you are either not attending class (or in some cases you are coming late) and/or you are not verbally participating in class. Changing these patterns of behavior can significantly increase your score, and in many cases it is still possible to raise this score to 100%!

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Dr. M

4/6. Guest Lecture—Statistical Reasoning and Comparing Health Care Systems, Prof. Gulgun Bayaz-Ozturk

Before beginning the lectures for today, please fill out one of the surveys below.

If your last name begins with letters A-L, take survey 1.

If your last name begins with letters M-Z, take survey 2.

Remember to record your response to the survey in your private notes. You will refer back to this response later during the lecture.

Then, watch both parts of the lecture by clicking here, or go to Blackboard, then navigate to: Content–Guest Lectures.

This link will take you to the Blackboard page hosting the article Prof. Bayaz-Ozturk mentioned in her lecture, “Closing in on Cancer.”

After watching both parts, please make two posts below as comments on this post, or as a response to another student’s comments. These comments are due before the following class period (i.e. before 2:30pm on Thursday 4/8/21) and will only count towards your grade if made before that time. 

The first one is your own individual thoughts and response to the lecture. This post should be at least 75 words long. You should interact with main ideas, although what you say is up to you. You may want to criticize an idea, agree with something, or offer further insight or thoughts about some topic discussed by our guest. Or, you may want to pose a question for others about the lecture. I expect the post to interact with the content of the actual lecture, and not just the day’s topic or other thoughts you may be having.

The second post is an interactive comment, posted as a response to another student’s comment. There is no length requirement on this post.



Homework assignment 3, due Thursday 4/8

Create a draft thesis and arguments for your paper

Note: you do NOT need to hand this assignment in to YET. Please prepare it ahead of time for class, where you will work on it in pairs. You will need to upload a revised version by midnight to on Thursday, 4/8.

Please read the handout on OpenLab, 2. Preparing a written report for your case (also found under “Assignments”—“Case Project”)

We have practiced identifying the thesis and supporting arguments for articles we have read and for articles summarized in the annotated bibliography. Now it is time for you to develop a draft thesis for your written case report, along with supporting arguments.

For the homework assignment, please do each of the 4 parts below. Please be as concise as possible—there is no need to write more than 150 words total.

  1. Background: in about 2 sentences, give a brief background explaining what your case is about. This should be clear enough that a student who is not familiar with your case can read it and gain familiarity with the most important facts of the case.
  2. Main Ethical Dilemma: In 1 sentence, explain what you think the main ethical dilemma in your case is. An ethical dilemma is a choice that must be made in which all possible decisions violate some ethical norms. It should be worded as a question (e.g., “should the doctor do X or Y?”). The main ethical dilemma is the most important ethical dilemma in the case.
  3. Thesis: please formulate your thesis in one sentence. The thesis should summarize your main recommendation for what should happen in your case. It should respond to the main ethical issue. It should be a truth claim that is concise and appropriately specific. These are characteristics of any good thesis, as we discussed in class. The thesis should also be normative. It should explain what someone in the case—usually the health professionals—should do.
  4. Arguments: please formulate 2-3 brief arguments (i.e. 1-2 sentences each) in support of your thesis. It should be clear to someone not familiar with your case how these arguments support your thesis.

Annotated Bibliography due next Tuesday, 3/23!

Annotated bibliographies are due next Tuesday on before midnight. 

Please remember to upload a few minutes early so that you can check for originality, and resubmit if necessary!

Remember to read the handout explaining the assignment, if you haven’t already. You will be graded on the criteria explained in the handout, so it is worth looking at carefully.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Dr. M