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Please Grade this argument and issue task

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Please Grade this argument and issue task [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2018, 16:10

Issue question:
An ailing patient should have easy access to his or her doctor’s record of treating similarly afflicted patients. Through gaining such access, the ailing patient may better determine whether the doctor is competent to treat that medical condition.

Issue answer:
Within the medical community, confidentiality is sacred. It is essential for a patient to be able to trust their doctor with their life and with their privacy. But, when that confidentiality threatens the life of another patient, what shall one do? It is extremely difficult to place one's trust in a doctor while not knowing their success with patients that held similar ailments. Because of this, a very strong argument can be made for allowing patients to have easy access to their doctor's record of treating similarly afflicted patients.

First of all, the act of allowing an ailing patient to have access to their doctor's record allows the patient to trust the doctor. This trust is something that must hold for any kind of transaction of service, after all. Would one allow their car to be repaired by a mechanic with no experience of the car's issue? Would one allow an inexperienced chef serve them puffer-fish? Of course not; doing so inherently threatens the life of the consumer. And it is the the same with a doctor and a patient. It seems incredibly strange that someone would be able to see the reviews of a car dealership but they are not able to see the success rate of, for example, a cardiologist's ability to perform open-heart surgery. The patient should be allowed to see the doctor's success rate with similar ailments before being treated as if that doctor is inexperienced or is simply incompetent with a specific issue, the patient's life may be at stake.

Additionally, allowing the patient to have easy access to their doctor's record allows the patient to decide on whether or not they should receive a second opinion on their ailment. Through being able to access their doctor's record, a patient can see what other patients have decided to do when faced with a similar ailment. Have other patients trusted this doctor to make the final say on their ailment? Or have they gone to other doctors to make sure that what this doctor is saying is true? If these patients have gone to other doctors, were they diagnosed with the same ailment? For example, within the United States there is an epidemic in which women are misdiagnosed by male doctors when experiencing symptoms of endometriosis. Women who are suffering from this condition are often told that they are being too sensitive about common menstrual pain, when they are actually suffering from a condition that may lead to infertility without treatment. If a woman is able to discover if other women went to other doctors for their pain and that they were diagnosed with endometriosis at other doctors, she may be able to access proper medical care faster and more efficiently than if she trusted a doctor who does not believe that she is in pain.

However, there is a strong argument against allowing patients to easily access a doctor's records of treating patients. After all, this could threaten the confidentiality of past patients. A patient has the right to keep their ailment and treatment plan as confidential as possible, so allowing other people to look at the records may jeopardize that confidentiality. However, this issue can easily be remedied by making the names of patients confidential. This way, a patient can access a doctor's records and thus determine whether or not they would like to place their life in this doctor's hands without potentially breaching another patient's confidentiality.

All in all, allowing patients to access their doctor's records of treating similarly afflicted patients simply makes sense. Being able to access these records allows patients to decide whether or not they are actually being offered the highest quality medical care that they can, instead of simply hoping that their doctor is trustworthy. When it comes to serious, life-threatening illnesses, being able to access a doctor's records may even save one's life.

“The Smith Corporation should not be permitted to develop the land that is now part of the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve. This sanctuary is essential to the survival of the 300 bird species that live in our area. Although only a small percentage of the land will be sold to Smith, the proposed development will have disastrous consequences for our area. The company plans to build a small hotel on the land. Although they have promised to ensure the preservation of the sanctuary, there is no way that their plans will do anything but harm the sanctuary. There are no circumstances under which this sale will benefit our community, which relies on tourists who visit primarily to see our magnificent bird population.”

Argument answer:
The argument that the Smith Corporation's development of the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve is logical at first glance. However, when analyzing the argument it begins to crumble as it is based on several unsupported assumptions. Because these assumptions are not backed up with fact, this argument is not effectively convincing and more research will have to be done before the public is convinced that this development is negative to the bird population or to the community.

First of all, the author of this argument assumes that the Smith Corporation has not done research regarding the bird population at the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve. Bird biodiversity is an extremely complex subject, and every single bird species has a different ideal environment. How does the author know that the bird species that are occupying the land which the Smith Corporation plans to development are unable to live in an environment in which there is also development? More information on the bird species in the area is needed before any assumptions on how their habitat needs to be managed are made.

Secondly, the author assumes that the tourists that visit to witness this magnificent bird sanctuary already have a place to stay when visiting. The author directly states that the community around the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve depends on the tourists which visit for the bird population. Does it not make sense then to build a hotel for those tourists to stay in while they witness this magnificent bird population? As long as the hotel is built and managed in a sustainable way, the addition of a hotel should increase the amount of people coming to visit this community rather than reduce it.

Along with that, it is made clear by the author that only a small percentage of the land is being sold to the Smith Corporation. It is impossible to determine whether or not the bird population will be affected by this sale at all until a full bird point count study is performed in the area of land that is being sold. It is entirely possible that this area of land is not ideal for bird species due to a variety of abiotic factors. Perhaps the soil in this area is too poor to produce an adequate amount of vegetation for the bird population to feed on? Perhaps there is not a large enough insect population to maintain insect-eating birds? A piece of land such as this would not be beneficial to the bird population at Youngtown Wildlife Preserve, and the selling of this land for something such as a hotel, which may benefit the preserve and the community around it, would make perfect sense. Because of this it is clear that the author must find more information about the quality of this land before deeming the selling of this land entirely despicable.

In conclusion, while the author is not wrong in the fact that it is concerning when a wildlife preserve sells its land, several factors go into deciding whether or not this decision is a poor one. In fact, the building of a hotel to service tourists which fund this wildlife preserve may bring more tourists in, leading to more money for the preserve to use to improve the land that it still has. After all, in this situation it is the preserving of the bird populations that inhabit the sanctuary's land that is the most important. If preserving those populations is made more possible through the generation of more revenue, the building of a hotel may not be a negative one.
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Re: Please Grade this argument and issue task [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2018, 14:46
Expert's post
Please post the issue and the argument in two different posts. It is better to evaluate what you have written.

However, they are good but should be organized better and the style should be improved.

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Re: Please Grade this argument and issue task [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2018, 15:37
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I just read the issue essay. Your argument is good, but try to avoid repetition of words/phrases. Also, the take on opposite position could be elaborated by discussing the credibility of doctor's records, which becomes easy to fake with your suggested remedy - Confidentiality.
Re: Please Grade this argument and issue task   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2018, 15:37
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