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Overview
Ethics in America II
 

A video series for middle school, high school, and adult learners; 6 one-hour video programs, downloadable discussion guide and Ethics reader, and Web site

New, and yet familiar, hypothetical cases are debated and agonized over by eminent leaders from government, business, science and academia. Ethics in America II follows its predecessor by exploring gripping ethical dilemmas using the time-honored Socratic Dialogue format. The programs can be used with a discussion guide to help teachers engage their students in the process of ethical reasoning and acquaint them with its traditions through historical essays and other writings. A Web site with background on the programs and issues is coordinated with the series.

Produced by Fred Friendly Seminars. 2007.

Closed Caption     ISBN: 1-57680-860-2
The Socratic Dialogue method is used to question leading figures about ethical dilemmas.
The Socratic Dialogue method is used to question leading figures about ethical dilemmas.

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Social Science Discipline Page
Individual Program Descriptions

VOD1. Three Farewells: Medicine & the End of Life
This program looks at the difficult choices a loving family makes as they confront the end of life. When a perfect pregnancy ends in unforeseen complications, and the newborn suffers very severe brain injury, how should the parents decide what is best for their baby? When, a few years later, the baby's grandmother descends into dementia from Alzheimer's, should her earlier wish to forego all medical treatment be honored, even though she may no longer understand — or agree — with the statements she made when she was competent? Still later, another family member receives a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. If she is terminally ill, should she be able to avail herself of medications to aid her in dying? Go to this unit.

VOD2. War Stories: National Security & the News
Four years previously, a coalition led by American forces invaded the Central Asian nation of Khaoistan, where warlords had destroyed the central government and were supporting major terrorist activities. Today, the process of rebuilding the nation and fighting off an insurgency continues, covered by a group of journalists based in the capital city. Meanwhile, back in the States, a journalist covering national security issues investigates allegations of illegal phone taps by the government. In each case, reporters are faced with dilemmas that go to the heart of their responsibilities as journalists, and as Americans. Go to this unit.

VOD3. My Brother's Keeper
In a neighborhood perhaps like your own, in a family perhaps not too different from yours, individuals struggle with their college applications, with promotions at work, with the actions of their neighbors, and try to determine what to do when important values about questions of fairness, loyalty, secrets, and trust conflict. Go to this unit.

VOD4. Choosing Justice: Elections and Judicial Independence
John Fairfield, a former prosecutor and respected state trial judge, is thinking of pursuing a life-long dream: a seat on the state Supreme Court. In Fairfield's state, Centralia, all the judges are chosen in nonpartisan elections, with no limits on what can be spent — or said — in the process of campaigning. Fairfield wonders what will be required of him — especially regarding fundraising and political advertising in what will be a fiercely contested statewide campaign — and what the implications might be for the ethical integrity of the judiciary. Go to this unit.

VOD5. A Better Brain: The Ethics of Neuro-Enhancement
Maria and her daughter Camilla are meeting with several challenges in this difficult time in their lives, from the exhaustion of working two jobs, to the pressure and loneliness of being an average, unpopular kid at school. Yet it appears that some new pharmaceuticals may help each of them — if they choose to use them. New drugs have also found a place in the university setting where students find that Hype Pharmaceuticals' Alzheimer's drug, Rememberall, helps them study better, work faster and remember much more. By enhancing their performance this way, are they cheating? Are they possibly endangering themselves? Go to this unit.

VOD6. Risk, Reward, Responsibility: Ethics in Business
Should the executives at Casablanca Cruise Lines have asbestos removed from their ships by a company based in the former Soviet republic of Novostan? The cost would be $80 million less than if an American company were used, but Novostani standards of worker safety are far less rigorous. What should executives at MaxiCorp disclose about accidents in cars using their device, which doubles the mileage of cars in which it is installed, when they have no idea whether their device is contributing to the accidents? And what should executives at Wowie Info do when the authoritarian government of Jaigunda demands the name of a Jaigundan customer who has been using Wowie's Internet services to criticize the government? In each case, panelists struggle to make sound business decisions while observing ethical imperatives in the changing global economy. Go to this unit.

 

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