ASSESSMENT TASK 3 Integrative Essay
The integrative essay represents an opportunity for students to synthesise some key concepts by applying
them to their work context as healthcare practitioners. Ideally, this work should be the culmination of your
studies throughout the unit but with a special focus on the last two weeks (weeks 11 and 12). It should
enable you to critically integrate what you have absorbed in earlier weeks to some specific issues in your
In this course we have presented you with some ethical frameworks for understanding your professional
role, some principles in practice. There has been a focus on the dignity of the human person and how
justly distributed healthcare contributes to our common good especially where minority and vulnerable
groups are concerned. In this integrative essay we ask you to choose one of the elective foci from Module
4 as your main perspective. From this perspective address the following:
1/ Based on your chosen perspective (or professional role) describe a scenario (either a real
one you have experienced, or a hypothetical case) that contains an ethical problem or
2/ Critically discuss two or three ways in which your ethical understanding can inform and
(potentially) resolve the problem.
3/ In answering this question say what principles and values relevant to your professional
role were relevant and why they were relevant.
Page 7 of 15 Semester 2, 2019
Two Example answers to help you.
A/ Question/scenario: Would you ever recommend futile life-sustaining treatment?
Suppose you chose an end of life case involving potential futility of treatment. Your steps in the essay
would be: 1/ Describe the case in detail, in a way which shows there is an ethical problem. 2/ Present the
argument for or against continuing treatment 3/ Present reasons for thinking a certain value was key to
your decision (say, dignity, or beneficence, or justice…or)
B/ Question/scenario: Would you err on the side of low dose pain medication fearing a patient would
Suppose you chose a case of someone with chronic pain. 1/ Describe the case in detail, in a way which
shows there is an ethical problem. 2/ Present considerations on both sides of the argument the benefits
of relieving pain (beneficence principle) versus the threat of addiction and loss of control (threat to
autonomy). 3/ Present reasons for why you made your decision.
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