The first step should be to consider that using an experiment in clinical conditions is a bad idea. An ethnographic study might be a better approach. The next step should be to consider what is really being studied. Is the point of the study to determine how physicians treat female nurses when compared to male nurses, or is it to determine the degree of difference? Would the individual’s gender (both that of the doctor and that of the nurse) make a difference? The results of a study would not be valid without considering the possibility that it is gender, not sex, that makes the difference.
If pressed to design this experiment, I would gain permission to do the observation (or experiment, if you prefer). Then I would ask the doctors and nurses involved to participate in training vignettes. I would film the vignettes so that my work could be triangulated by other researchers. I would have a research assistant play the role of a patient, but would not disclose to the doctor and nurse that this was not a real patient. I would ask the doctor(s) to film the training vignette, perhaps of the way to decide whether or not to order a particular type of test, twice. The first time they would be given a male or female nurse; the second time, the reverse. The videos would be observed by myself and a research diary kept, with my personal feelings about the vignettes and the participant’s actions recorded so that any bias could be accounted for later. I would write my conclusions about the individual’s behaviors. Then, I would have two other researchers do the same. The conclusions of the three researchers would be compared and if two of the researchers had the same opinion about the behaviors of the physician, that opinion would be recorded as the official observation. The outlier observation would be recorded and archived.
If the time was available I would film each physician six times: with a masculine male nurse, with a feminine male nurse, with a masculine female nurse, with a feminine female nurse, and with an obviously transgender male and female. The repetitive nature of doing this could easily be explained by saying the “client” was not clear what they wanted yet.
2.In what ways is the “fight-or-flight response helpful to humans in emergency situations?
The fight or flight response helps the individual who is in an emergency situation to get the “blood pumping” so that the body can effectively run, or fight. The heart rate goes up; the individual may sweat or develop goose bumps. The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system governs flight or fight. Once the emergency is over – or perhaps, there never was an emergency, but the person believed there was – the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system takes over and helps calm the body down. The parasympathetic system stores energy for the next time it is needed in an emergency. The simplistic answer to this question is that fight or flight helps the human body prepare to survive.
3 Much research is being conducted on repairing faulty sensory organs through devices such as personal guidance systems and eyeglasses, among others. Do you think that researcher should attempt to improve normal sensory capabilities beyond their “natural” range (for example make human visual or audio capabilities more sensitive than normal)? What problems might this cause?
This is both a question of science, and of ethics. We may be able to do something (even without unwanted side effects) but this does not mean we should. Once the capacity exists to better ourselves through technology, individuals who are in competitive situations will want this technology to make themselves more competitive. Perhaps a cochlear implant, for example, can be used not only for the non-hearing to hear, but to make the hearing have something resembling super-hearing, without being detectable by others. It is easy to foresee a situation where CEOs would want this implant to make it possible to hear what members of the board are muttering, or that football players would want it so they can hear what the opposing quarterback is saying in the huddle.
From a technical perspective, however, the human body is not comprised of stand-alone parts any more than a car or truck is. The body is put together in a system. The body’s parts are designed to work together in a particular way, much the same way that the carburetor, air filter, engine, spark plugs, and cooling system are designed to work together in a vehicle. The vehicle cannot work correctly if the driver of a 68 Mustang takes out the fuel pump designed for that vehicle and inserts one designed for a 2002 Humvee. The frame is not the same; the engine is not the same. Parts are not plug-and-play; they are not interchangeable. They have to be matched. In a car, trying to string together parts designed for a variety of vehicles will result in one of three outcomes: either the parts won’t work together as a whole, they will work together but badly, or they will work together and then blow out prematurely. The human body would be exactly the same. One size does not fit all.