“How to Die in Oregon”

“How to Die in Oregon”
This is an extra-credit paper assignment. The paper has a strict set of requirements, including a
word count requirement, and a deadline, just to name a few. Students can earn up to 15 extra
credit points!
Paper Objective:
In your paper, your goal is, roughly, two-fold: (i) persuade me that an ethical guideline in
Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act (hereafter, DWDA) is ethically problematic; and (ii) to rewrite
the ethical guideline in a way that avoids/addresses the problem that the guideline you object
to in (i) engenders.
Paper Content
The paper should have at least 5 sections:
• A section that introduces the topic that your paper concerns, and a road map of what
you plan to do in the rest of the paper.
• A section summarizing the DWDA.
• A section that provides a thorough explanation of the ethical problem with a guideline
in the DWDA. In this section, your objection must be based on (or related to) a problem
that a character in the film How to Die in Oregon experiences. This means that you
must select a character from the film who experiences some problem/setback with
DWDA. Then show that the character’s problem/setback is caused by (or connected
to) a guideline in Oregon’s DWDA, and this is one of the reasons the guideline is
ethically problematic and must be changed.
• A section providing (and explaining) an alternative to the ethical guideline that you are
objecting to.
• A section that deals with at least 2 potential objections to your position. The objections
in this section can either be to (a) the criticism(s) you raise against the ethical guideline;
or (b) the alternative to the ethical guideline; or both (a) and (b).
Requirements and Constraints:
The following are a set of constraints for the paper:

  • The paper is due on Thursday, December 3rd at 5:00 pm. Under no circumstances will an
    extension be given.
  • The paper should be written in clear, plain English and should be persuasive. If this is an
    issue for you (say, if English is a second language or for any other reason), I strongly
    encourage you to have someone read it over.
  • The paper should be submitted to the assignment folder labeled “extra credit
    assignment.”
    Things to keep in mind:
  • Although you are writing a persuasive paper, that does not rule out the need to do some
    research. Indeed, you are strongly encouraged to use secondary sources to justify your
    claims. I recommend that that you consider two types of sources:
    o First, I encourage you to use the essays in this unit as resources to support the
    claims you make in the paper. Some of the essays in the argument provide
    arguments in support of the belief that individuals have a right to selftermination. Other essays provide arguments against the putative belief that
    individuals have a right to self-terminate. So, you have essays that could
    potentially be used to support whatever position you hold.
    o Also, in order to support some of your claims, you may need to do some outside
    research. You may need to look at trends – Do the number of patients seeking
    physician-assisted suicide seem to be increasing or decreasing? Are more
    patients getting denied to receive euthanasia than those who are actually being
    euthanized? What impact is the law having on the families of the patients being
    euthanized, etc?
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