Critical Thinking; Basic Concepts of Quantitative Reasoning; Hypothesis Formulation

Critical Thinking; Basic Concepts of Quantitative Reasoning; Hypothesis Formulation

The objective of this essay is to define three things that would be helpful for future medical worker, and to state a health-related research question that affects the life of surrounding people. Three things under discussion are the moments of life start and life end and the abortion legalization. The thesis of the work is the following: popular trends in society can change ethical perception of some medical problems.

Ethical dilemma

It is known, that the most discussed health-related issues have the ethical nature. The healthcare system faces to different ethical issues almost everyday. The issues of euthanasia, abortion legalization, healthy sexuality, normal weight are very important for the society. The medical workers are often unable to take the unequivocal position on these issues because of the lack of theoretical knowledge. The reason is not in the absence of sufficient professional qualification but the lack of knowledge about the human body in the contemporary society. Even now people can define the moment of life start and life end. That is why there is no single answer about the nature of abortion: is it just medical operation or an artificial termination of human life. The definition of life end is also questionable. With the new scientific discoveries related to these issues the social perception changes. The changes in the society have an influence on the health care.

Every medical worker can face the necessity to solve such problem. This observational research is the attempt to summarize all the possible knowledge about the life and the death, and the border between them from the medical point of view. Medical definition of death is based on the vital body functions. American Medical Association in 1980 approved the following definition of death:

"An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem is dead. (Medical Dictionary Online, 2010)” The death can be determined in accordance with accepted medical standards only.
However, the facts prove that medical standards changed significantly within the last century. The modern level of technological development allows saving life to the patients even in hopeless condition. Sometimes the patients or their relatives reject keeping on care but no medical workers no common people have a right for the decision on care termination.

Case study

The case of Dianne Pretty, who was suffering from incurable disease and wanted to die voluntary but did not get such opportunity, can be the good example for the issue under research. “An earlier statement said that, though in Dianne Pretty's case her horrific suffering would justify assisting her suicide, to change the law would lead to more harm than good. In other words, a rule utilitarian response was chosen, even though an act utilitarian would disagree. (“The case of Dianne Pretty”, 2010)

Thus, it is obvious that though the issue of voluntary life termination is the medical problem, the social ethics prevents people from the positive decision on it. However, it is necessary to take in attention the weakness of case study on this issue: the decision can not be generalized to other individuals, even those who have the same rare condition.

The knowledge about life and death is also the decisive factor in the issue of aborts legalization. There is no single definition of the human embryo or fetus on the different stages of its development, and the reason is the absence of single opinion about the life start.
Summary: the humanity does not have proper knowledge about the moments of life start and life end. The absence of scientific base leads to the appearance of the ethical trends in the society. These ethical trends have an influence on healthcare.


Life and reproduction are the basic human instincts according to many researches. The medical worker should gain the deep knowledge in this issues because of their ethical value and because they are determinative in many aspects of the medicine. The method of case study can be appropriate to the critical thinker wanting to gain the knowledge, but it is necessary to take in attention the weaknesses of this method.


Medical Dictionary online article. (c) 2010.
Sandel, Michael J. "The Case Against Perfection." Michael J. Sandel, 2007.
Case studies on euthanasia. Retrieved frpm

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