Thursday, June 02, 2005

Stupid Homework Tricks

In my radiation protection class, one of our homework questions is "A proposal is made to test a new dental-hygiene procedure for children that is said to have the potential of greatly reducing tooth decay. Dental X-rays of several thousand children would have to be made periodically during a 5 year study in order to perfect and evaluate the procedure. Discuss the rationale on which a decision could be made either to implement or to reject the proposal."

My answer:
"The procedure could significantly improve quality of life. Some may make the deontological argument that no amount of cavities prevented is worth the possibility of someone developing throat cancer, but as a consequentialist, I might consider the risk worth the benefit, depending on the particulars of the study."


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