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    Using modern medicine today, are we hindering the evolution of the human species?

    What do you understand by the statement above? Can you suggest examples where natural selection still applies and examples where it does not? What factors affect whether natural selection applies to humans?


    Natural selection is the process by which evolution occurs, where the individuals in a species with the most advantageous alleles survive and reproduce more frequently and thus the proportion of those alleles increases. Human intelligence has advanced so much that we have escaped this rule. Modern medicine allows even the weakest of individuals (shown by the survival of individuals with deadly diseases HIV) to survive and pass on their alleles.

    On the other hand, natural selection may have ceased in one area but not in all of them. One such example is intelligence. In an environment where high earnings are crucial to survival, intelligence is a trait that is strongly selected for. This is reflected by the overall increase in average intelligence. Another area where natural selection still takes place, is sociability. Sociability leads to a greater number of supporters and opens up greater amounts of opportunities, thus improving survival rates. The selection pressure changes according to the environment and we just happen to live in an environment where deficient defence mechanisms and diseases don't reduce the chances of survival.

    There are many features that no longer increase chances of survival and therefore, evolution in such areas has ceased. Aggression, for example, used to lead to more violent behaviour that gives the individual a wider choice of mates and greater amount of resources (as they can be forcefully taken). Now, aggression is decreasing due to the rise of civilised societies and legal systems that punish this behaviour.

    Although it is not entirely accurate to state that we have stopped evolving, we have certainly slowed the process. Our intellect has allowed us to adapt the environment to suit out needs rather than vice-versa and humans now inhabit the hottest and coldest places alike. A disadvantageous trait can now easily be offset by technology. Therefore, the only factors that still determine whether natural selection takes place is if technology is advanced enough to restore equality. With the current rapid advancement of technology, a future where evolution no longer occurs is definitely a foreseeable one.
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    (Original post by Bossmanjacks)
    Using modern medicine today, are we hindering the evolution of the human species?

    What do you understand by the statement above? Can you suggest examples where natural selection still applies and examples where it does not? What factors affect whether natural selection applies to humans?


    Natural selection is the process by which evolution occurs, where the individuals in a species with the most advantageous alleles survive and reproduce more frequently and thus the proportion of those alleles increases. Human intelligence has advanced so much that we have escaped this rule. Modern medicine allows even the weakest of individuals (shown by the survival of individuals with deadly diseases HIV) to survive and pass on their alleles. Natural selection also entails those with the less advantageous traits dying out. This might strengthen the argument slightly as it corresponds directly w/ medicine. For eg. Caesarian section allows women with more narrow pelvis to still give birth. The genes for these traits is hence passed down and it has been noticed that there is a trend of rising cases for these.

    On the other hand, natural selection may have ceased in one area but not in all of them. One such example is intelligence. In an environment where high earnings are crucial to survival, intelligence is a trait that is strongly selected for. This is reflected by the overall increase in average intelligence. Another area where natural selection still takes place, is sociability. Sociability leads to a greater number of supporters and opens up greater amounts of opportunities, thus improving survival rates. The selection pressure changes according to the environment and we just happen to live in an environment where deficient defence mechanisms and diseases don't reduce the chances of survival. I think it might useful to frame it such that natural selection is less about survival today but more about the ability to propagate your genes i.e. those who are sociable are more likely to find mates etc.

    There are many features that no longer increase chances of survival and therefore, evolution in such areas has ceased. Aggression, for example, used to lead to more violent behaviour that gives the individual a wider choice of mates and greater amount of resources (as they can be forcefully taken). Now, aggression is decreasing due to the rise of civilised societies and legal systems that punish this behaviour. This might be considered to still be natural selection at play, just a matter of which genes are naturally selected. An example where natural selection might be irrelevant could be that previously lethal diseases are now chronic diseases. For eg. Diabetes. More genes that increase susceptibility to diabetes are now propagated.

    Although it is not entirely accurate to state that we have stopped evolving, we have certainly slowed the process. Our intellect has allowed us to adapt the environment to suit out needs rather than vice-versa and humans now inhabit the hottest and coldest places alike. A disadvantageous trait can now easily be offset by technology. Therefore, the only factors that still determine whether natural selection takes place is if technology is advanced enough to restore equality. With the current rapid advancement of technology, a future where evolution no longer occurs is definitely a foreseeable one.
    Could possibly raise the possibility of man-made modifications to genes in place of natural selection in the future.

    Hope it helped!
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    (Original post by Bossmanjacks)
    "There is something attractive about people who don't regard their own health and longevity as the most important things in the world." (Alexander Chancellor)

    Explain what this statement means. Argue that nothing is more important than one's own health and longevity. To what extent do you agree with Alexander Chancellor? [2012 Qn 2]



    Alexander Chancellor regards those who enjoy taking risks and have a fearless attitude very highly. The author finds that it is very admirable to not be afraid of losing one's life or damaging one's health in pursuit of other things that they are passionate about. This apparent disregard for one's health or life may seem extreme at first, however, if it was done in a good way could actually turn out to be something worth emulating. Good start.



    One such example which supports the author's stand would be Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for standing up for women's rights in a patriarchal society. She was shot in the heat but fortunately survived the ordeal and lived to tell the story. Her passion for women's rights drove her to stand face-to-face with death, and yet she would not second-guess her decision when asked whether she would re-do the whole thing again. This fearless attitude and disregard for one's life to support a grand cause aptly shows the truth in Chancellor's statement. There are many points that can be stated for this argument, try to think of at least one more to strengthen it. One such example is that living life whilst fearing all the possible harms and dangers is one not worth living. The purpose of life is happiness and this is reflected by the fact that some individuals play dangerous sports, smoke, drink alcohol; which is essentially trading longevity for enjoyment.



    However, it can also be argued that having good health and living a considerably long life is paramount in one being able to do things that they are truly passionate about. Thus, it can be argued that nothing is more important than one's health as without it, Malala wouldn't have been able to continue to fight for what she believes in. Only when one lives would they have the chance to do things that they want to do. Excellent. I can’t find any criticisms for this paragraph.



    Ultimately, whether or not Chancellor's statement can be agreed upon would be dependent on the reason for which the individual is risking their health and life for. If it was for a worthy cause such as supporting children's rights to education or for the liberalisation of oppressed groups, it would be revered by the masses. However, acts done in exchange for a person's life which bring more harm than good, such as the suicide bombers, should be condemned and prevented as nothing about it is attractive to the general public. Powerful ending. Did you do this in the time-limit? I can’t say much other than it’s a really good essay.
    Thank you for your very kind comments and advice! I agree with your point on including more than one point in my argument. On hindsight, my arguments may seem a little bit shallow as they are quite narrow.
    Yes, I did this under exam conditions so it was within the time limit.
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    (Original post by try hard)
    If anybody could critique the essay, it would be much appreciated!


    People are getting older and with the advancement of medicine they are becoming more expensive to treat. Old people should not be treated in NHS.



    Explain the argument behind the statement. What assumptions does it make? Argue, to the contrary, that older people are entitled to treatment on the NHS.



    With the recent revolutionary developments in medicine in the past decades, people are dying less from acute diseases and are consequently living to an older age. However, while we are not dying, we are unable to escape from the grasp of diseases. Most old people have at least a chronic illness and is causing a heavy burden on the NHS. Considering that the NHS is underfunded as it is, old people should not be entitled to free treatment in the NHS. Good introduction.



    On first glance, there seems to be some merits in the author’s argument. With NHS being underfunded, there is a need to ration this limited resource. From an utilitarian’s point of view, the elderly who no longer contribute to the economy, should be preferentially sacrificed. Good point but you've made an overwhelming unbalanced essay. Try to think of an equal amount of points for and against. For one, you should expand on why the concept of utilitarianism allows us to come to the conclusion that the elderly should be sacrificed. As the proportion of elderly increases, would utility not be to increase funding in these areas because it increases happiness more than it did before?



    However, the author is assuming that active contribution to NHS is necessary for entitlement to the service. This is untrue and goes against a founding principle of the NHS: Healthcare is a right. Rationing or prioritization should only be based on clinical considerations. Furthermore, the author also assumes that the elderly would be more expensive to treat than people of other age groups. This may be true as they are generally weaker physically but that is not necessary. Providing vaccines to elderly could protect them from some of the more common illnesses that used to plague them. By encouraging them to keep fit via community exercise programmes or providing elderly friendly exercise facilities could also help. If enough preventative measures are taken, the elderly need not be a bigger burden on the healthcare system and should be entitled to treatments. Good point. You've thought of alternatives that would be more suitable and that is a superb way to counter an argument. Although you should probably mention that this would lower costs of providing healthcare to the old as 'burden' could be interpreted to mean that they take up a lot of beds (which they do but it is not relevant to the argument).



    Ultimately, the elderly has contributed significantly to the building of the society. Without their contributions, we would not have our current standards of living. It would be callous of us to ignore or condemn them simply because they are less able to contribute today. In fact, it would even harm the United Kingdom as it would become a less attractive society for skilled immigrants to migrate to. Who would want to live in a society where you would be denied of help when you need it most?
    YES! Love that conclusion. Brilliant essay, just make sure to make it more balanced.
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    (Original post by try hard)
    Hope it helped!
    Thank you! I really am struggling to come with good points to talk about (and I'm even missing the obvious ones!) which is kinda worrying. Hope I can improve quickly lol
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    Just written my first BMAT essay and would be super greatful if someone could please offer some feedback!


    You must be honest and open and act with integrity.

    Explain what is meant by the above statement. Why must honesty, openness and integrity be important in a good doctor? Under what circumstances might a good doctor be justified in being less than perfectly honest or open in the course of their professional practice?

    The statement refers to some of the key principles of being a doctor; being truthful to the patients they treat and making patients aware of the details such as those regarding their conditions and possible treatment options. To act with integrity is to follow your moral and ethical convictions and carrying out the ‘correct’ actions in all circumstances.

    Honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as they are key to building up trust and developing a strong patient-doctor relationship. This is since there is reduced hostility from the patient, enabling the doctor to learn more about the patient to make an informed diagnosis, thus leading to more effective care.

    In addition, these actions are important in a good doctor as the law states that patients have the right to demand and obtain accurate information about their healthcare, forbidding doctors from deliberately misinforming patients. Patients have autonomy and have the right to make their own decisions; these details about themselves are vital in enabling the patient to make an informed decision about their healthcare, and being misinformed can alter the patient’s final decision.

    However, it could be argued that there are in fact circumstances in which a doctor being less than perfectly honest or open is still justified. The role of the doctor is to improve the quality of people’s lives through medicine, considering mental wellbeing in addition to the patient’s physical state, with both factors being equally as important. There are certain situations in which revealing all of the information about a patient’s condition to the patient can be damaging, and so a doctor may have to produce ‘white lies’ in order to not appear too overwhelming. For example, revealing to a patient, who has just been in a traumatic car accident, that the passenger is in a critical condition may not be wise, since the patient is unlikely to be in a strong enough mental state to deal with this information immediately.

    Overall, honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as these traits are mentioned in the GMC’s guide ‘Good Medical Practice’, and are important when providing patients with autonomy. Despite the fact that there are some situations in which being less honest is justified, the overall majority of circumstances would be best dealt with a doctor being honest, open and acting with integrity.
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    Hi, would anybody be able to take a look at this, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

    The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that medicine does in fact do more than amuse the patient. To what extent do you think Voltaire is correct?

    The statement explains that those involved in the art of medicine, i.e. doctors, have no role in curing disease but only to uplift a patient's spirits through amusement. This should occur whilst the patient's immune system is targeting and curing the disease.

    In some cases, the ideas proposed are correct. Diseases such as common colds and most viral infections do not require any prescribed treatment. Of course, a doctor may direct patients to take painkillers but these will alleviate symptoms and not cure the disease. Hence, in this situation, the doctor's role is to reassure the patient that this is a viral infection which their immune system will attack without intervention.

    This very idea is based around the idea that the body is a mechanism and that all bodies function identically. However, this is not the case, for example in autoimmune diseases it is the immune system that attacks organs or joints. Therefore, for a doctor to leave the disease to be cured by nature would be inappropriate as this is the very thing causing disease. As a result, in this situation a doctor's role would also require the consideration of treatments such as immunosuppressants to alter the act of nature.

    Additionally, to amuse the patients suggests that the only role is to make patients laugh. Whilst a doctor should give patients hope through positive speaking, other communication skills such as empathy are vitally important. The body is incredibly complex and mental wellbeing effects how the body functions which can be to the extent of a doctor needing to provide further treatments or services and so simply amusing the patient would be inappropriate.

    Voltaire is correct in the fact that sometimes curing disease just has to be left to nature. However, in more severe conditions, doctors need to take treatment action and use wider communication skills to cure disease in the most appropriate way.
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    Would really appreciate if someone could give some comments for my essay below This essay is something that's out of my comfort zone and I forced myself to try it out so as to learn as much as possible! So please do pardon my work.

    "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." (Voltaire)
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that to be certain about something is not necessarily absurd. To what extent do you agree with Voltaire?

    Voltaire is implying that being doubtful and not having enough knowledge about a certain subject is an undesirable state to be in. However, to say that one is completely sure of something would be a ridiculous claim to make as he believes it is not possible to prove something to be absolute.

    Being doubtful is an uncomfortable state to be in as you are not sure of yourself and hence are not confident. This hinders progress and might even lead to deterioration. Simple doubts about one's public speaking ability can lead to one not taking the first step to open up, whereas doubts on a certain drug might lead to a potential cure for a deadly disease to be forgotten. Hence, doubts are not desired as Voltaire suggests. Certainty, on the other hand, is a ridiculous idea in Voltaire's world. How can we be so sure that the red we see is actually red when others might perceive it to be orange or green? Although Voltaire's suggestion might seem to be a good argument at first glance, the converse can also be argued.

    It is true that doubts are undesired and uncomfortable. However, if taken with the correct attitude and guidance, it can prove to be a strong motivator and catalyst for success. Doubts are what drive the conventional scientist to do what he does - search for the objective truth in pursuit of the understanding of the universe. On the other hand, absolute truth is also not necessarily absurd because if there is enough proof, we will then be able to know for sure. This forms the basis for the scientific method as scientists are able to prove their hypotheses via trial and error and are able to show their results with confidence as enough proof has been gathered. The laws of nature and physics have been observed and proven to be true via such methods and have remained as infallible claims in the test of time.

    In conclusion, although Voltaire’s suggestion that doubts can be undesired is true in certain cases, they may sometimes also be valuable if used properly. Also, whether or not absolute truth can be claimed is dependent on the presence of evidence to prove these truths.
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    (Original post by surina16)
    Just written my first BMAT essay and would be super greatful if someone could please offer some feedback!


    You must be honest and open and act with integrity.

    Explain what is meant by the above statement. Why must honesty, openness and integrity be important in a good doctor? Under what circumstances might a good doctor be justified in being less than perfectly honest or open in the course of their professional practice?

    The statement refers to some of the key principles of being a doctor; being truthful to the patients they treat and making patients aware of the details such as those regarding their conditions and possible treatment options. To act with integrity is to follow your moral and ethical convictions and carrying out the ‘correct’ actions in all circumstances. [Clear and concise introduction to answer the first sub-question!]

    Honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as they are key to building up trust and developing a strong patient-doctor relationship. This is since there is reduced hostility from the patient, enabling the doctor to learn more about the patient to make an informed diagnosis, thus leading to more effective care.

    In addition, these actions are important in a good doctor as the law states that patients have the right to demand and obtain accurate information about their healthcare, forbidding doctors from deliberately misinforming patients. Patients have autonomy and have the right to make their own decisions; these details about themselves are vital in enabling the patient to make an informed decision about their healthcare, and being misinformed can alter the patient’s final decision. [I find that this paragraph seems a tad bit off as you're mentioning that the reason for doctors to be honest, open and have integrity is due to the LAW. The law applies to every single doctor, and not just a good doctor. Maybe you can dive more into the reasoning why a good doctor should possess all those values. You could use an example of a doctor who treats patients like a puzzle or an unsolved mystery case in comparison, lacking the necessary "human touch" to their profession.]

    However, it could be argued that there are in fact circumstances in which a doctor being less than perfectly honest or open is still justified. The role of the doctor is to improve the quality of people’s lives through medicine, considering mental wellbeing in addition to the patient’s physical state, with both factors being equally as important. There are certain situations in which revealing all of the information about a patient’s condition to the patient can be damaging, and so a doctor may have to produce ‘white lies’ in order to not appear too overwhelming. For example, revealing to a patient, who has just been in a traumatic car accident, that the passenger is in a critical condition may not be wise, since the patient is unlikely to be in a strong enough mental state to deal with this information immediately. [Interesting point brought up about the mental state of the patient as a consideration! Can also explore the maturity of the patient i.e. children should be presented with positive news to help them lift their mood, possibly even help in the recovery as a positive outlook on life might lead to faster recovery. Therefore, doctors might not always be open and honest about the patient's conditions, but they would still do their due diligence in informing the patient's parents, who are matured enough to handle the news.]

    Overall, honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as these traits are mentioned in the GMC’s guide ‘Good Medical Practice’, and are important when providing patients with autonomy. Despite the fact that there are some situations in which being less honest is justified, the overall majority of circumstances would be best dealt with a doctor being honest, open and acting with integrity. [Short and sweet conclusion to give your essay a closure!]
    Well structured essay with the relevant sub-questions answered! Maybe you can work on your "for" argument as the second paragraph is lacking some depth! Personally, I find that the point on being honest and open as it's stated in the law and the GMC guide somewhat irrelevant. Maybe someone else has an alternative viewpoint to this? Good job on your first attempt nonetheless!!
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    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    Well structured essay with the relevant sub-questions answered! Maybe you can work on your "for" argument as the second paragraph is lacking some depth! Personally, I find that the point on being honest and open as it's stated in the law and the GMC guide somewhat irrelevant. Maybe someone else has an alternative viewpoint to this? Good job on your first attempt nonetheless!!
    Thank you so much for the feedback! No, reading it again I completely agree with you - thanks for the pointers and hopefully the essays will improve over the next few days!!
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    (Original post by surina16)
    Just written my first BMAT essay and would be super greatful if someone could please offer some feedback!


    You must be honest and open and act with integrity.

    Explain what is meant by the above statement. Why must honesty, openness and integrity be important in a good doctor? Under what circumstances might a good doctor be justified in being less than perfectly honest or open in the course of their professional practice?

    The statement refers to some of the key principles of being a doctor; being truthful to the patients they treat and making patients aware of the details such as those regarding their conditions and possible treatment options. To act with integrity is to follow your moral and ethical convictions and carrying out the ‘correct’ actions in all circumstances. Quite a technical introduction, really defining the terms clearly.

    Honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as they are key to building up trust and developing a strong patient-doctor relationship. This is since there is reduced hostility from the patient, enabling the doctor to learn more about the patient to make an informed diagnosis, thus leading to more effective care. Could possibly link to treatment outcomes as well, better adherence to treatment. (The idea being that it helps in all aspects from the start of diagnosis to treatment adherence)

    In addition, these actions are important in a good doctor as the law states that patients have the right to demand and obtain accurate information about their healthcare, forbidding doctors from deliberately misinforming patients. Patients have autonomy and have the right to make their own decisions; these details about themselves are vital in enabling the patient to make an informed decision about their healthcare, and being misinformed can alter the patient’s final decision. Good point about patient's autonomy.

    However, it could be argued that there are in fact circumstances in which a doctor being less than perfectly honest or open is still justified. The role of the doctor is to improve the quality of people’s lives through medicine, considering mental wellbeing in addition to the patient’s physical state, with both factors being equally as important. There are certain situations in which revealing all of the information about a patient’s condition to the patient can be damaging, and so a doctor may have to produce ‘white lies’ in order to not appear too overwhelming. For example, revealing to a patient, who has just been in a traumatic car accident, that the passenger is in a critical condition may not be wise, since the patient is unlikely to be in a strong enough mental state to deal with this information immediately. Do qualify that by stating ultimately if the patient asks explicitly for his prognosis, the doctor is obliged to inform him. (correct me if I am wrong). Another possible counter-argument could be that a doctor might choose at times to withhold possible but unconfirmed diagnosis until it is further verified to avoid alarming the patient. Alternatively, another counter-argument I read, referred to the scenario where the patient is below the age of consent and the parents are making the decisions on behalf of the child, for the child's best interests, the doctor could be requested to withhold the information from the child.

    Overall, honesty, openness and integrity are important in a good doctor, as these traits are mentioned in the GMC’s guide ‘Good Medical Practice’, and are important when providing patients with autonomy. Despite the fact that there are some situations in which being less honest is justified, the overall majority of circumstances would be best dealt with a doctor being honest, open and acting with integrity.
    Otherwise, the essay answers the question quite well! Do take a look at my essay which will be uploaded shortly
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    (Original post by iras)
    Hey could someone have a look at this please? Would greatly appreciate it!

    The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that medicine does in fact do more than amuse the patient. To what extent do you think Voltaire is correct?

    The statement is implying that the discipline of medicine is dependent on disease and illness in a patient being cured naturally by the human body. Medicinal drugs only play a part in keeping the patient satisfied psychologically with the hope that they are being treated.

    However, this is an extravagant claim that undermines the true effectiveness of what medicine offers. There are many medicinal drugs and treatments which have a legitimate and proven basis upon which they work. Chemotherapy, for example, works on the heavily researched idea of killing cancerous cells with radiation. It is absurd therefore to claim that medicine only relies on nature to cure disease. If it was nature that cured disease, surely terminal illnesses, and those which no one seems to recover from, such as Alzheimer's, wouldn't exist. However, they continue to exist and this alone shows how vital human involvement is in curing disease.

    Voltaire's statement is not completely false however. The statement says "consists", implying only a part of medicine involves natural healing. It can thus be argued that in some cases medicine does indeed merely amuse the patient whilst the body heals itself. For example, in cases such as small wounds, drugs such as painkillers may only distract from the pain, whilst the curing is done by the body's natural process of repairing. Drug trials where placebos are involved also highlight how it is reasonable to think in some cases the medical condition is treated without human intervention, and the idea of being given treatment alone comforts the patient until they are cured. Therefore, I believe the statement is true in certain situations, although it cannot be made as a general statement for all of the medical discipline.

    Reading back, I've clearly missed a main point about the compassion part of medicine, but hopefully the points I've made alone would be sufficient?
    Don't just randomly declare a claim as "extravagant"; It appears incredibly one sided.
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    Could someone take a look at my essay?


    “Physicians make the worst patients.”

    What do you understand the above statement to mean? Provide examples of why physicians might sometimes make bad patients and other times make good patients. What does this analysis suggest about physicians’ compassion toward their patients?



    The author suggests that doctors would not make for good patients as they tend to be more resistant to treatment regime and consequently recovering more slowly and making the jobs of their doctors tougher. This may appear paradoxical as doctors who best understand the implications do not act in the manner that best benefits them. However, this is possible as knowing and doing is different.



    Doctors may rationally understand the best course of action but emotionally refuse to follow that due to emotions like pride. It is difficult to overcome the feelings of helplessness after being the one in power for the longest time. Apart from that, the painful side effects of certain therapies may disrupt their lives, deterring them from following the rational course of action.



    Conversely, it could also be argued that doctors make good patients as they tend to take more active roles in treatments. Doctors are generally equipped with higher scientific literacy than the bulk of the population. They could then pursue a better understanding of their diseases, providing valuable inputs to their treatments. Playing a more active role in their treatments, doctors might be more invested in it and have better adherence. Doctors, with more experiences with illnesses, could also be better mentally equipped to deal with it, allowing them a better recovery.



    As can be seen above, there is a myriad of ways a doctor could respond to illnesses and that is because they are as any other group is, composed of fundamentally different individuals. However, the very existence of doctors who might not adhere to treatment regime suggests that it is significantly easier to prescribe than to actually follow a regime. Doctors who do not recognize that are unable to connect to their patients and are not empathetic or compassionate. It also suggests that a doctor’s compassion is important as it would allow him to help the patient make sense of the illness and bridge the sometimes life or death gap between knowing the importance of treatments and actually following it.





    On hindsight, as I transcribed the essay, I realized that it is a bit repetitive and at some point went off tangent. Hmm what do y’all think? Mind giving me some feedback and suggestions J
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    ''A little bit of pain is good for you''
    What do you understand of the statement above? Give examples that illustrate how pain can be useful and others that illustrate the opposite.


    Pain is a natural response that our body has to dangerous stimuli. It is a negative reaction that has allowed us to avoid danger and increase chances of survival for millennia. For example, when we touch a hot saucepan, we feel pain and that urges us to remove our fingers. Pamela Anderson is stating that little amounts of pain is actually beneficial (which sounds oxymoronic, but there are a few instances where this appears to be the case.


    Our bodies are not perfectly accurate in assessing whether an activity is negative; for example, exercising and revising for exams may be stressful (a form of pain), but it can lead to longevity and achieving better grades in exams (long-term happiness). In essence, it can be said that a painful action is justifiable if it brings happiness in the long-term. In addition, humans judge experiences by comparing them with previous ones and as such, pleasure cannot be truly appreciated if one has never experienced pain. Therefore, to live more colourful and satisfying lives, it can indeed be a good thing to experience pain.


    On the contrary, there is no avoiding that we instinctively dislike pain. Using the concept of utility, we should only strive towards actions that lead to overall happiness; it has an intrinsic value. This is why it is acceptable for painkillers to be prescribed even when they huge risks (anaesthetic allergies). To reconcile these differences, we should assess the short and long term effects of our actions and an action can be justified if it leads to either a reduction in overall pain (quitting addictions) or an increase in happiness.
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    Mapping of the Human Genome has compared with putting a man on the moon

    Both the mapping of the human genome and the landing of the first man on the moon have proven to be significant milestones – not only in human achievement but also in opening doors to new possibilities. However, though it can be generally accepted that these milestones were significant, they differ in terms of their ethical debate and their contributions to society.

    Prior to the mapping of the human genome, conclusions and assumptions could only be made based on the outcomes of surface level observation. For example, a child would be predicted to have cystic fibrosis when born if both her parents had the disease, but the general understanding of the mechanism by which this was determined was lacking. In the same way, much of astronomy was based on theory, and it was difficult to verify conclusions made based on these theories prior to space exploration.

    In the same way that these areas of science have contributed to understanding, they have also been contributed to by the advent of technological advancements – there would be no escaping the atmosphere, and similarly, no ‘escaping’ past surface level, and into the deeper workings of our genetics. In this way, both astronomy and genetic biology hold milestones for technological advancement in humans, and thus for many people, come as a source of pride in human achievement.

    However, there are some discrepancies with the ethical implications of these subjects. Genetic biology raises new questions on ethics, due to the possibility of techniques such as gene editing, genetic screening and cloning, for example. Whilst the verification of genetic biology tends to the good of society and not for malicious purposes is under constant debate, it is generally accepted that space exploration contributes to the increasing knowledge and understanding of humankind. Thus, whilst human genome discussion may be regarded as taboo, many scientists are happy to discuss advancements in space exploration. This reluctance may hinder the advancement of genetics, whilst allowing space exploration to flourish.

    Although these events are similar, being both milestones of new understandings and markers for technological advancements, there are issues raised when it comes to the futures of their respective fields, where future development and attainment of understanding may be hindered by scientific taboo.

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    (Original post by Bossmanjacks)
    ''A little bit of pain is good for you''
    What do you understand of the statement above? Give examples that illustrate how pain can be useful and others that illustrate the opposite.


    Pain is a natural response that our body has to dangerous stimuli. It is a negative reaction that has allowed us to avoid danger and increase chances of survival for millennia. For example, when we touch a hot saucepan, we feel pain and that urges us to remove our fingers. I'd say this previous sentence were uneccessary. Yes, I understand that the point needs to be clear, but your first sentence is clear enough. Pamela Anderson is stating that little amounts of pain is actually beneficial (which sounds oxymoronic, but there are a few instances where this appears to be the case.)


    Our bodies are not perfectly accurate in assessing whether an activity is negative; for example, exercising and revising for exams may be stressful (a form of pain), but it can lead to longevity and achieving better grades in exams (long-term happiness). In essence, it can be said that a painful action is justifiable if it brings happiness in the long-term. In addition, humans judge experiences by comparing them with previous ones and as such, pleasure cannot be truly appreciated if one has never experienced pain. Therefore, to live more colourful and satisfying lives, it can indeed be a good thing to experience pain.


    On the contrary, there is no avoiding that we instinctively dislike pain. Using the concept of utility, we should only strive towards actions that lead to overall happiness; it has an intrinsic value. This is why it is acceptable for painkillers to be prescribed even when they huge risks (anaesthetic allergies). To reconcile these differences, we should assess the short and long term effects of our actions and an action can be justified if it leads to either a reduction in overall pain (quitting addictions) or an increase in happiness.
    Overall, the ideas are well spoken and informed by examples. It sounds well thought through.

    I am just having issues with seeing the links between some of the sentences. It can sound quite disjointed. This may be due to the use of bracketing, which I would suggest to jus replace with a sentence-long explanation that would improve the flow and communication of your ideas.
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    (Original post by try hard)
    Could someone take a look at my essay?


    “Physicians make the worst patients.”

    What do you understand the above statement to mean? Provide examples of why physicians might sometimes make bad patients and other times make good patients. What does this analysis suggest about physicians’ compassion toward their patients?



    The author *this statement* suggests that doctors would not make for good patients as they tend to be more resistant to treatment regime and consequently recovering more slowly although this is an introduction, I think an explanation of what it means to be 'more resistant to treatment regime' means here, i.e. do not follow the advice of their doctors etc./disagree with their doctors etc. and making the jobs of their doctors tougher. This may appear paradoxical as doctors who best understand the implications do not act in the manner that best benefits them. However, this is possible as knowing and doing is different. Just need some clarification on knowing ____ and doing ____. It's a bit too generalised and there is a lack of communication of ideas - needs specifying.



    Doctors may rationally understand the best course of action but emotionally refuse to follow that due to emotions like pride. A better way to word this would be, 'but refuse to do so based on emotional grounds, such as the sense of pride.' It is difficult to overcome the feelings of helplessness after being the one in power for the longest time. Apart from that, the painful side effects of certain therapies may disrupt their lives, deterring them from following the rational course of action. This is somewhat unrelated to the previous point. There needs to be a clearer link, i.e. they may have experience with the nature of some treatments, and be more informed than most, leading to a greater understanding of the disruption to their lives, and therefore deterring them from the rational course of action.



    Conversely, it could also be argued that doctors make good patients as they tend to take more active roles in treatments. Doctors are generally equipped with higher scientific literacy than the bulk of the population. They could then pursue a better understanding of their diseases, providing valuable inputs to their treatments. Playing a more active role in their treatments, doctors might be more invested in it and have better adherence. Doctors, with more experiences with illnesses, could also be better mentally equipped to deal with it, allowing them a better recovery. This is a new point, and although it supports your previous argument, it is an unjustified one and unless you have time to justify it, I would just leave it out.



    As can be seen above, there is a myriad of ways a doctor could respond to illnesses and that is because they are as any other group is, composed of fundamentally different individuals. However, the very existence of doctors who might not adhere to treatment regime suggests that it is significantly easier to prescribe than to actually follow a regime. This may have been where you started to go off on a tangent. Try to keep your conclusion to the point. Doctors who do not recognize that are unable to connect to their patients and are not empathetic or compassionate. It also suggests that a doctor’s compassion is important as it would allow him to help the patient make sense of the illness and bridge the sometimes life or death gap between knowing the importance of treatments and actually following it.





    On hindsight, as I transcribed the essay, I realized that it is a bit repetitive and at some point went off tangent. Hmm what do y’all think? Mind giving me some feedback and suggestions J
    Hi! Please see my comments in bold.
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    (Original post by try hard)
    Your essay raised quite a few interesting perspective, but the flow is slightly confusing. Overall, still a good essay! Hope my comments helped and I wasn't too harsh, I still think its a good essay!
    Okay thank you for your feedback!
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    It is ridiculous to treat the living body as a mechanism.

    What does the above statement imply? Give examples that illustrate why it might

    sometimes be sensible to treat the body as a mechanisms and others that illustrate the

    opposite. How might you resolve this apparent contradiction?


    One may deduce the statement as suggesting that, unlike a mechanism, the body is adaptive, possessing the capacity to respond to a diverse range of situations. This may be through hormonal changes or conscious thought- the statement deems comparing this to machinery injust.

    However, there does exist an innate nature of the body to act as a mechanism. This is evident when considering the interdependence of the various bodily systems, exemplified in the lymphatic and circulatory systems. During tissue fluid diffusion from capillaries to cells, excess fluid- unable to re-enter the capillary- is transported into the blood stream via lymphatic vessels. The mutual necessity of each mirrors that of cogs in a mechanical structure.

    In contrast, the body demonstrates qualities such as self-repair, evident in coagulation to form scabs, and regeneration- demonstrated through stem cells. Such properties appear inexplicable through classification as a mechanism, which limits the body to a repetitive and perpetual function.

    What is clear is that the body may be considered both as a mechanism and not. This predicament may be circumnavigated through ceasing to limit the body to a single term; in its complexity, consideration as an amalgam of organ systems is far more justified. A single term such as mechanism does not address the profound intelligence unique only to humans.

    I just realised this is way too short, even though I filled up the answer sheet. How is it for a first attempt? Thanks
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    (Original post by rhianyoung)
    Hi, would anybody be able to take a look at this, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

    The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that medicine does in fact do more than amuse the patient. To what extent do you think Voltaire is correct?

    The statement explains that those involved in the art of medicine, i.e. doctors, have no role in curing disease but only to uplift a patient's spirits through amusement. This should occur whilst the patient's immune system is targeting and curing the disease. [Straightforward introduction to directly answer the question.]

    In some cases, the ideas proposed are correct. Diseases such as common colds and most viral infections do not require any prescribed treatment. Of course, a doctor may direct patients to take painkillers but these will alleviate symptoms and not cure the disease. Hence, in this situation, the doctor's role is to reassure the patient that this is a viral infection which their immune system will attack without intervention. [Interesting point raised about reassuring the patient. Maybe you could point out that alleviating the symptoms also acts as a form of amusement as it allows for the patient to feel better.]

    This very idea is based around the idea that the body is a mechanism and that all bodies function identically. However, this is not the case, for example in autoimmune diseases it is the immune system that attacks organs or joints. Therefore, for a doctor to leave the disease to be cured by nature would be inappropriate as this is the very thing causing disease. As a result, in this situation a doctor's role would also require the consideration of treatments such as immunosuppressants to alter the act of nature. [I like how you led the reader into your counter argument by proposing an assumption made for your 2nd paragraph. Could possibly link it back to the need for doctors doing more than just amusing the patient.]

    Additionally, to amuse the patients suggests that the only role is to make patients laugh. Whilst a doctor should give patients hope through positive speaking, other communication skills such as empathy are vitally important. The body is incredibly complex and mental wellbeing effects how the body functions which can be to the extent of a doctor needing to provide further treatments or services and so simply amusing the patient would be inappropriate. [Good point raised!]

    Voltaire is correct in the fact that sometimes curing disease just has to be left to nature. However, in more severe conditions, doctors need to take treatment action and use wider communication skills to cure disease in the most appropriate way. [Short and sweet conclusion! However, I feel that you can maybe develop the conclusion more as it seems lacking some depth.]
    Overall, I really enjoyed the points raised in your essays! Good essay! Hoped my comments made sense haha
 
 
 
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