From Terri Younger: The 2010 National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference took place during a very important time in America’s Healthcare debate. This year’s conference took place at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. The theme was very fitting, Bioethics in Obama’s America. The areas of focus covered how far health care has come, as well as the up and coming issues that bioethicists will face during this major change in American health care. Guest speakers were from many different areas that are important in the study of bioethics such as philosophers, lawyers, religion professors, medical doctors, and research scientists.
One particular event that brought UNF students to this year’s conference was the Bioethics Bowl. This is similar to the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl that fellow students have participated in, only this competition was more applied to the field of bioethics. Teams were given four weeks to research the case studies that were distributed, and were judged on the soundness of their reasoning, as well as focus on and sensitivity to ethically relevant factors.
This conference impacted my career path by opening doors to specific areas of bioethics that need to be addressed. The networking opportunities were endless, as the panel speakers also acted as representatives for graduate programs in Bioethics. I was introduced to authors and professors that are in charge some amazing duel Juris Doctorate/master’s in Bioethics programs at very prestigious universities, which otherwise I would have very few opportunities outside of this conference. Two years ago I had a sense of what I would do with a degree in philosophy, but now as I prepare to walk across the graduation stage, my graduate field of study is now set. I had wondered how my dreams of law school and love of bioethics would be able to interact, and receiving Transformational Learning Opportunity Scholarship has shown me how to make that possible.
I learned that there is no right or wrong answer, but the point is to find out as much as you can about every side of the controversies in health care, and work together to make these difficult decisions together. Overall, the most important thing I learned at NUBC is that after all of the debate comes to a close for the day, the decisions made will have an impact on America’s health system far greater than you can ever anticipate.