health illness society

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Grading Criteria for Essay Questions

What I look for in responses to essay questions (such as in Makeup/Replacement Exams or Final Exams) is considerably more than just a summary of what was presented in class or in the textbook. A response that does THIS reasonably well will start out earning 3 credit points—to be either REDUCED (for misinformation or confusion) or AUGMENTED (for evidence that you are actively engaging with the class material and MAKING IT YOUR OWN).

The very best responses (worthy of a full 5 points credit per question) will accomplish the following:

  1. Address ALL ASPECTS or parts of the question (or set of questions);

  1. Bring up (and either support or refute) as many pertinent viewpoints (e.g., perspectives on controversial issues) as possible, so as to demonstrate broad comprehension of the material; and

  1. Perhaps most importantly, provide SPECIFIC and DETAILED true (or at least true-to-life hypothetical) stories to illustrate and “flesh out” your points—showing how the concepts you have been studying apply to people’s real day-to-day life experiences.

1. Consider the important differences betweensex and gender. Assume that over the next twenty years men increasingly adopt behavior patterns traditionally associated with women, and women increasingly adopt behavior patterns traditionally associated with men. What changes would you expect to see in the health of men and of women? Explain your answer.

2. What roles do industrialize nations and multinational corporations play—whether intentionally or not—in fostering illness in the less developed nations? Give two or three detailed illustrative examples, describing the mechanisms whereby particular kinds of action or policy result in adverse health consequences.

3. Most individuals assume that illness is an objective, biological category. Your textbook, on the other hand, argues that illness is a moral category and a social construction. Argue for or against this position, and summarize the evidence supporting your argument. Be sure to address the issues likely to be raised by those holding the opposite view.

4. Suppose researchers have identified a gene that, if present, indicates a significant risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at a young age. Alzheimer’s disease causes people to gradually lose their memory and mental abilities. Imagine that you are a family practice doctor. Explain to a concerned patient two arguments for and two arguments againstgetting tested for the gene.

5. How has the public’s health benefited from access to high-technology medical interventions? Would the health of the public be better or worse if we spent less on high technology and more on primary care—lessening access to high technology while increasing access to primary care? Why? Be sure to address the issues likely to be raised by those holding the view opposite to your own.

Resource presentations:

Mohr, Catherine. 2009. “Surgery’s Past, Present and Robotic Future.” Retrieved October 31, 2018 (https://www.ted.com/talks/catherine_mohr_surgery_s_past_present_and_robotic_future).

Heineman, Matthew and Susan Froemke. 2012. Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare[film]. Trailer retrieved October 31, 2018 (http://escapefiremovie.com/).

Lindenmayer, Michael. 2013. “Escape Fire’s Director: Fighting to Rescue Our Healthcare System.” Forbes, March 16. Retrieved October 31, 2018 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellindenmayer/2013/03/16/escape-fires-director-fighting-to-rescue-our-healthcare-system/#1a4e1fc7297f).

6. Briefly summarize the historical roles of each of the following in the repeated failures of attempts to enact universal health coverage in the United States: (a) the American Medical Association (AMA), (b) organized labor, (c) the insurance industry, and (d) pharmaceutical manufacturers. What other specific factors—perhaps NOT mentioned in the Quadagno (2004) article or in class—mightyou want to consider as possible explanations—and why?

Reference article:

Quadagno, Jill. 2004. “Why the United States Has No National Health Insurance: Stakeholder Mobilization against the Welfare State, 1945–1996.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior45(Extra Issue):25–44.

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