The purpose of the Position Paper is to provide students with the opportunity to identify and critique the ethical claims, principles, arguments and relevant facts involved in a major ethical issue in health care and to formulate a well-reasoned personal position on the topic.
To complete this assignment, students will select a topic from the list of suggested topic options. Alternate topics may be proposed based upon the students interests, but such topics must be approved by the course instructor prior to the start of the project research.
The paper is to be 6 to 8 pages in total length excluding the cover page and reference list. Because this assignment is intended to facilitate an unbiased and thorough assessment of the selected topic, students may use first-person narrative only in the final section of the paper reflecting the individual personal position about the topic.
At minimum, the paper must address and will be evaluated for the following required elements. These elements must be noted in the narrative with proper APA section headers.
This assignment is due in Week 7.
Topic Introduction: (1 page) (10 pts) Physician assisted suicide
Each of the topics in the suggested topic options list is intentionally broad. In order to render the project more manageable, students must narrow the focus to ONE specific controversy inherent in the selected topic. This section of the paper must clearly identify that controversy and provide enough background information, including definitions, to allow the reader to identify the issues. The topic introduction should flow logically into the following section which deals with the practical problem and ethical questions.
All sources used must be properly cited and referenced with proper APA format.
Statement of the Problem and Ethical Issues/Questions (1/2 page) (15 pts)
This section should include a clearly defined problem statement as well as a range of ethical issues to be dealt with in the analysis. Include one primary ethical question and no more than four secondary questions. Remember, each ethical question should clearly identify its ethical foundation. Refer back to the Ethical Questions Case Sheet for guidance as necessary.
Include a list of ethical principles and theories to be used in the analysis. This list should include, at the very least, the principles or theories reflected in each of the ethical questions. Each principle and theory should be clearly defined.
The introduction of arguments/counter-arguments should be avoided in this section.
Bulleted lists, adequately labeled by component (problem statement, ethical issues, ethical questions, etc.), are acceptable in this section.
Arguments (2 pages) (25 pts)
This section of the paper will be used to create cogent arguments about the selected topic in direct response to the problem statement and ethical issues identified in the topic introduction. A bulleted list may be used to present arguments in this section. Each argument should include the use of at least one ethical principle or theory as applied to the given argument. Be sure to use a range of ethical principles AND theories.
Arguments should directly respond to the problem statement and answer pertinent ethical questions posed in the introduction. All arguments should be well-supported and unbiased. All statements of fact must be properly supported with information from the literature (including proper in-text citations and reference entries).
Counter-Arguments (2 pages) (25 pts)
Because the analysis is intended to facilitate a well-balanced presentation of the issues, it is also important to include at least one counter-argument for each of the initial arguments. Counter-arguments should point out the weaknesses of initial arguments and should examine the circumstances under which one might abandon or otherwise alter the initial position. All counter-argument should reflect how a particular theory or principle can be applied to refute original arguments. A bulleted list may be used to present arguments in this section. All counter-arguments should include relevant sources in support of the viewpoints taken on this side of the debate. Be sure to include in-text citations and reference entries in proper APA format.
Personal Position (1 page) (15 pts)
The personal position provides a direct response to the problem statement and the ethical questions by taking a specific stance on the issues presented in the paper. Avoid the introduction of new ideas not previously addressed in this section. Instead, the position statement should present an objective summary of the analysis as it pertains to the issues presented, and should flow logically from the analysis. Additionally, the position statement should include a solid justification for why a particular stance is more relevant or compelling that other possible viewpoints on the issue. As with all sections of the paper, the use of reliable information is expected and all sources must be properly cited and referenced.
Grading for this section is NOT based upon the rightness or wrongness of conclusions; rather, points will be earned based upon the degree to which the position is supported by the analysis, and the strength of the justification in terms of ethical language.
Organization, Writing Mechanics, and APA Format (10 pts)
The General Requirements section below describes how the paper will be graded. Be sure to carefully proof-read your final draft, and check in-text citations and reference entries for proper format prior to submission.
The assignment will be scored according to the following rubric:
Topic Introduction 10
Problem statement, ethical issues/questions, principles/theories and definitions 15
Personal position 15
Organization, Writing Mechanics, and APA Format 10
All courses in the RHCHP School of Nursing require adherence to standards set forth by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, published in 2010. This is an important element of academic writing and students are required to carefully follow APA standards. The APA publication manual is available through the Regis University bookstore and most other book retailers. Additionally, writing resources including APA style sheets and information about academic writing are linked through the Course Syllabus. Papers that do not substantively comply with APA standards may be returned unread.
Expectations and Evaluation*
Recognizing that ethical narrative reflects a degree of subjectivity and creativity on the part of the writer, written assignments in this course will not be evaluated on the rightness or wrongness of individual thoughts or positions. Rather, work will be evaluated on the depth and clarity of thoughts and ideas; presence of all required assignment elements; accurate understanding, interpretation, and application of ethical theories and principles; and narrative organization and writing mechanics. Close attention to details in the following categories will help to ensure successful completion of written assignments in HCE 430: Applied Ethics in Health Care and HCE430R: Applied Ethics in Health Care for RNs.
• In health care ethics, context generally refers to the specific situation being assessed including events or circumstances, problems or topics, individual cases, or even personal insights. Therefore, written assignments in the Department of Health Care Ethics provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a solid understanding of course concepts in accordance with specific assignment requirements that deal with both the general and contextual features of a given issue.
• The assignment descriptions for HCE430/430R projects outline required elements for each assignment. All required elements must be addressed with reasonable clarity and depth.
• The narrative must reflect an accurate understanding, interpretation and application of ethical principles and theories
• Ideas must be well-supported with relevant and credible literature that serves to inform the general assumptions about a given topic; present balanced arguments, and/or shape, define, and extend individual thoughts or positions.
Organization and Presentation:
? Papers must be well organized with a logical progression of ideas. Required assignment elements must be noted in the narrative with proper APA section headers.
? Strong narrative flow must be demonstrated through the use of grammar, punctuation, and syntax which allow the sentences and paragraphs to “flow together” in creating cohesive ideas throughout the narrative.
? Writing must include graceful language that skillfully communicates the intended meaning with both clarity and fluency. *
? Papers must meet acceptable writing standards for graduate-level work, including paragraph construction and sentence structure. For guidance on academic writing, visit the Regis University Learning Commons at http://www.regis.edu/Academics/Learning-Commons.aspx.
? Papers must be carefully proof-read prior to submission so as to capture misspellings, grammatical errors, and problems with sentence or paragraph structure.
It is often helpful for students to read their own writing out loud in order to capture some of the more obvious errors. It is also often helpful to see the help of a friend or family member who can serve as editor. The Regis University Writing Center includes free services to help students with the writing process. Those services are accessible at http://www.regis.edu/Academics/Learning-Commons/Writing-Center.aspx#.UmAfUhBMzZ9
Assignment Layout and Adherence to APA Standards
• Papers must not significantly fall below or exceed guidelines for length as outlined in the assignment descriptions.
• Papers must be formatted in accordance with standards set forth by the APA manual as described above.
• As recognized by APA standards, papers are to be constructed using the 12 point Times New Roman font.
• Papers should be double spaced.
• Assignment submissions should include a cover sheet as well as running headers and paper numbers (placed electronically within the body of the paper),
• All written work must be free of plagiarism, either intended or unintended. The use of direct quotations should be kept to a minimum.
• Sources must be properly captured with in-text citations, and each in-text citation must include a corresponding and properly formatted entry in the reference list.
* Adapted from:
Rhodes, T. L. & Finley, A. (2013). Using the VALUE rubrics for improvement of learning and authentic assessment. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.