Resolution Games for Bioethical Issues

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    List the Issues

    • Bioethical issues often interact with other, related issues.Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

      Write down a list of issues that you need or wish to assess. If you have one major issue in mind, think about related issues that may also arise due to the major issue, or along with it. For example, if you are debating the bioethics of paying people to participate in pharmaceutical drug trials, consider related, real-life issues such as animal testing, involuntary or semi-voluntary testing, testing carried out in impoverished countries with language barriers where informed consent may be more difficult to obtain, or cases where incomplete or limited testing led to negative effects later on. Your main issue may be inseparable from these types of related issues.

    Make Flash Cards

    • Use flash cards to summarize problems that will be discussed.Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

      Make flash cards with the bioethical issue (or one of the related issues) on the front of the card, and distribute the cards to the participants in the game. Ask the participants to write down, anonymously, a problem or conflict that results from the issue. Once everyone is finished, collect the cards. If appropriate, the game leader may also wish to be a participant, since many of these issues are unresolved, and the goal of the game is to air and discuss different ideas and viewpoints.

    Begin the Discussion

    • You may not always find positive or clearcut solutions to bioethical Images

      Pull a flash card from the pile, and read the back of the card. This begins the group discussion by introducing a problem to the group. Once the problem has been posed, ask the participants to think about possible resolutions to the problem. Resolutions may be good, bad or neither. They are merely possible outcomes that arise from the bioethical problem. Bioethics often involves tradeoffs, and choices between several outcomes with negative consequences, and it is important not to disguise this reality.

    Compare Possible Resolutions

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