Answer each of the following 4 questions. Each answer should take about 400 words. Explain
and defend your answers as fully as you can.
- “In 1997, a Scottish surgeon by the name of Robert Smith was approached by a
man with an unusual request: he wanted his apparently healthy lower left leg
amputated. Although details about the case are sketchy, the would-be amputee
appears to have desired the amputation on the grounds that his left foot wasn’t part
of him — it felt alien. After consultation with psychiatrists, Smith performed the
amputation.” (Bayne and Levy 2005) Did Smith act wrongly? Consider whether
there are limits to our obligation to respect others’ autonomy.
- Is it ever morally permissible to be a ‘bad Samaritan’?
- ‘Whether our actions cause harm to others is sometimes beyond our control. In
these cases, whether one is blameworthy is similarly a matter of luck: whether one
is blameworthy for one’s behaviour depends on factors beyond our control.’
Discuss, illustrating your discussion with a case study. Consider (a) whether it
is fair to hold people responsible in cases like these, and (b) how professionals
ought to make decisions in these cases.
- Describe a scenario where someone might be tempted to ‘blow the whistle’ in a
professional context. Outline an argument both for and against whistleblowing in
your chosen scenario.
This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:
be able to demonstrate an understanding of the dominant ethical theories that form the
basis of human service practice, and the processes of ethical reasoning and ethical
be able to demonstrate an understanding of relationship between law and policy
affecting vulnerable adults and children and the ethical principles of autonomy and
be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of intervention, issues of
acceptable paternalism and coercion, and the rights of individuals, groups and
communities to be left alone
be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of care, the duty to care, and the
concept of good samaritanism