Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google 20% Project #2

For our 20% Project, Nina and I are working together to make a collection of unconventional fairy tales. We will collect stories from classmates that their parents told them when they were little. These stories aren't your everyday "Cinderella," or "Little Red Riding Hood," they are the stories that parents creatively came up with to tell their children that should live on like the classics. We will rewrie these stories and illustrate them in a book. Some obstacles that we could face are not finding any stories and making the illustrations. Some people we could be our possible consultants are My mom(she is an artist), Nina's dad (he paints and he is good with paper), and our classmates(for the stories).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Terri Schiavo Case Study

Intro to the Case:

For the past few weeks in G&T, we have been studying bioethics; specifically the Terri Schiavo Case. For more info on the case click here, here, here, or here.

Terri Schiavo was overweight in highschool, and her husband had repeatedly talked to her rudely about her weight. Saying that if she ever became that "fat" again, that he would divorce her. This is probably what lead her to having an eating disorder that made her collapse. Terri went into a vegetative state, and could respond to light, touch, sound, etc. Some say that initailly her husband wanted to help her, and get her therapy. Which he did, and there was little improvement. However, when the doctors told him that there was no reversing the effects of the brain damage, he decided that he wanted them to "pull the plug." Terri's family, however, did not want to do that, but since no one knew what Terri actually wanted, the case went to court. Even the president got involved with the case. Terri, however, just got worse. She went into a coma, and stopped responding to things. Eventually, after 15 years, Terri's feeding tube was removed. She died on March 31, 2005.

Ethical Dilemma Question:

Do you believe that the decision to disconnect Terri Schiavo from life-support was justified?

No, I do not believe that the decision was justified. Just think, what if the day after she died, doctors came up with a way to take her out of the coma. She'd just have brain damage, but that's better than dying. She could still enjoy things, and do things. Unless someone asks to have the doctors take them off life-support in that situation, everyone deserves the right to live as long as they can. I think that, until you turn 18, it should be your parents' decision, but after that, you need to have an official document stating what you want them to do. Unfortunately, Terri didn't have any way of telling them what she wanted, so there had to be a debate over it. In the end, I don't think that the husband should've won either, because he started the whole thing in the first place. Also, her husband wasn't a blood-relative, so he didn't know her long enough or well enough to make that decision for her. Here's a link that I found that greatly sums up my point. All in all, I dont think that Terri's life should've ended.


Is Terri still a person? Is she the same person?

Yes, of course she is still a person. Even a dead person is still a person. As long as someone has human DNA, they are still a person. Terri Schiavo, however, is not the same person. She became extremely brain-damaged, and she couldn't do the same things that she was able to do before. She could only say a few words, and she couldn't eat on her own, but she could still enjoy life up to a certain point. Her family and friends still loved her, even if her husband didn't. (He had a girlfriend and was going to divorce Terri before the accident.) She loved them, too, as shown in the previous link. Terri was still a person, but she would never be the same.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The DNA DIlemma: My View on Genetic Testing

When reading  "The DNA Dilemma: A Test That Could Change Your Life," I was very surprized. I didn't even know that we had the technology to test every single chromosome! I found it very interesting how a child screened for a kidney disease could be told that they are at risk for colon cancer at the same time. Or how a mother who is at risk for cancer could pass down those same genes to her children. 

Let's say you got tested for one thing, but they also find that you have an increased chance of developing cancer when you are older. Would you want to know? And even if you don't, should the doctors still tell you? These are the questions that geneticists and doctors have to face when genetic testing is done. 

First, let's take the place of a doctor who has just found an increased risk of cancer in adulthood in a four year old. Should you tell the parents and the child, or both and let the parents decide whether or not to tell the child? Should you even tell them at all? There is only a chance that it will happen, and there is no need to make them worry all the time. But don't they have a right to know? I think that you shouldn't tell them, because you don't want to make them worry about something that there is only a chance of. It might not even happen. Plus, they'll have to report it to the insurance company and pay more. It would only do harm, and you want to "do no harm."

Next, let's view the problem from the parents' point of view. Again, doctors have just found an increased chance of cancer in you child that may or may not happen. Would you want to know? Would you tell your child, or should you? Is it your duty as a parent to know your child's health problems whether or not they are active or are going to happen? When put in the situation of the parent, I would want to know. This is because I believe that parents have the right to know the health of their child, or increased risks of diseases. However, I would not tell my child that they are going to have cancer in the future and have them worrying about it their whole lives.

Finally, let's take the perspective of the child. Would you want to know if you had an increased chance of cancer? Maybe when you are older, but I would not want to know that if I was 10 years old. I wouldn't even think of telling a child, unless it was definite. 

That's just my opinion, though. It depends on your own values and morals, that's ethics. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reflections and Resolutions

Reflecting: In one year a person can learn a lot about themselves and the world around them. In 2012, I made the transition from middle school to high school. I believe that you learn a lot in that period of time. First, I learned that you can't get everything that you want, even if you try for it more than once. In saying this, I also realized that I learned to never give up.


  • Get straight As
  • Get better at tennis
  • Attempt to learn how to tap dance
  • Win a NJDFL trophy (1st place if possible)
  • Relax more

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ethics of Social Media After Death

Adam Ostrow asks, "What happens to our online personality after we die? Could on?" Should it live on? What should happen to our social media accounts and blogs after we die? Should our families get to be in charge of our internet identities?"

"For some time now, it (Facebook)  has offered an option to request that a profile be switched to “memorial” mode when an individual dies," says Ostrow. The "memorial" mode that Facebook offers is a setting that freezes the page. I believe that this is the best option, because people will know what you were like long after you are dead. Historians won't have physical documents anymore, because everything is online. They will soon get information from the Internet and from websites like Facebook. If you simply erase a whole page, no one will know what life was like for you. It is just making it harder for future historians to get information about your life.
"I spoke to a half dozen people Mac Tonnies met online and in some cases never encountered in the physical world. Each expressed a genuine sense of loss; a few sounded grief-stricken even more than a year later." If you have an online presence, or maybe you have a blog that you update every week and only a thousand people have ever read it. And maybe 75% of those people love your blog, and can't live without it, or it just brightens their day. And then you die, and 750 people, that you don't even know, just lost a sort of friend. That's basically what happened to Mac Tonnies. But what if someone deleted all of those blog posts?  Then what? Only around 750 or so people in the world will remember your blog, ever. Luckily, Mac's parents didn't delete his blog that touched the hearts of many readers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Google 20% Project

For my Google 20% project I am going to do a PowerPoint about sign language, and I am going to present it in sign language. I chose to do sign language, because I want to be a Special Ed. teacher, and sign language is a good thing to know if you want to go into that profession. For materials, I would only need an ASL dictionary. The hardest part of the project will probably be learning the sign language to present the project in. I can consult with my cousin's roommate, Jon, who works with autistic kids who speak sign language. I look forward to doing this project.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chris Langan

Is Chris Langan successful? This question has confused me for days, but now I think I know the answer. Yes he is. Even though he is not a millionaire and he does not have a college degree and he can't get published, he is successful. He lives a happy life, and he is content with that. I do admit that it is sad that he couldn't get as far as he should've, but if he is happy, then he is successful. It is, however, a shame that he couldn't get the help and support he needed. He had more potential. Chris Langan is successful.