This discussion board forum will focus on Chapter 7 of the textbook, Vulnerability and Marginalized Populations, Jennifer Doudna’s TED talk, How CRISPR Lets us Edit our DNA, Lujun Wang’s TED talk, How to Create a World Where No One Dies Waiting on a Transplant, and the Believed podcast, The Parents. Please see attached instructions and text pages if you wish to write on that.

 Jennifer Doudna: How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA | TED Talk 

 Luhan Yang: How to create a world where no one dies waiting for a transplant | TED Talk 

 The Parents Who Were, Unwillingly And Unknowingly, Witnesses To Their Children’s : Believed : NPR 

203© The Author(s) 2016
D.H. Barrett et al. (eds.), Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe,
Public Health Ethics Analysis 3, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-23847-0_7

Chapter 7
Vulnerability and Marginalized Populations

Anthony Wrigley and Angus Dawson

7.1 Introduction

Public health practitioners attempt to identify and then remove, or at least reduce,
threats of harm. However, harm does not affect everyone in the same way. Some
people and communities are resilient, whereas others are more susceptible to poten-
tial harm. Much public health work is carried out by, or on behalf of, government s.
Where people or communities are at great risk of harm, government has a clear and
fi rm responsibility to protect its citizens. One way of describing a potential source
of such a risk of harm is to focus on the idea of vulnerability . This introduction
explores the concept of ‘vulnerability’ and the role that it may play in public health.

Vulnerability is a concept often used in public health ethics and more broadly in
bioethics —but its exact meaning is unclear. Roughly, it indicates that an individual
or group is thought to have a particular status that may adversely impact upon their
well-being, and that this implies an ethical duty to safeguard that well-being because
the person or group is unable to do so adequately themselves. This concept, although
important, consistently eludes precise defi nition. The diffi culty in defi ning the con-
cept arises from disagreement as to how to characterize the idea of “special status”
and to whom it applies. As a result, more and more categories of individuals and
groups are being classifi ed as vulnerable in an ever-increasing range of situations.
This raises the concern that almost everyone can be classifi ed as vulnerable in some

The opinions , fi ndings , and conclusions of the authors do not necessarily refl ect the offi cial posi-
tion , views , or policies of the editors , the editors ’ host institutions , or the authors ’ host
institutions .

A. Wrigley , PhD
Centre for Professional Ethics , Keele University , Staffordshire , UK

A. Dawson , PhD (*)
Center for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Sydney School of Public Health ,
The University of Sydney , Sydney , Australia
e-mail: [email protected]



All posts should be written in your own words and be referenced and cited with at least one scholarly peer-reviewed journal article to support your position. That means even if you are replying to another person’s posts, your post still needs to be original, and referenced, and cited with a scholarly peer-reviewed journal article. The reason that PRJA citations and references are a requirement is that it elevates the discussion. The citation also allows readers to understand exactly what portion of the post is paraphrased from the reference. No direct quotes are allowed – paraphrasing is expected.

The source in which you are required to reference and cite in your discussion posts needs to come from a peer-reviewed journal article. A book (textbook or otherwise) is not appropriate. Your post and reference need to be original – not something that another student has posted and or used.

You must include an APA or AMA formatted citation and reference in your post. Discussion participants may include the instructor or students. The post must pertain to the discussion board issue in which it is being posted.

Posts must be respectful of peers and show an insightful response to a topic related to ethics in health care.

Your post will be evaluated using the following criteria:
Quality of Post (content, logic, depth, breadth) – 8 points: The quality (8 of the 20 points) of the post is of primary importance. The content, logic, depth, and breadth of your post are central to my assessment of the post’s quality. It should be your original writing and the material you cite and reference to support should be of the highest quality. It is not purely a message indicating your opinion. The support must come from at least one Peer-Reviewed Journal Article (PRJA). The lack of a PRJA affects the overall quality of the post.

The support of a peer-reviewed journal article – 4 points: How the PRJA supports the content of the post is critical (4 of to 20 points). The PRJA should provide meaningful evidence to the cited portion of your message.

Grammar, construction, academic tone – 4 points: The tone of the Required Discussion Board forums is formal. It is wise for you to evaluate the writing of your post using an editor, like The basic editor (not the premium version) is an essential tool for you to use. is free and gives you nearly immediate feedback with suggestions for improvement.

Reference properly constructed – 3 points and Citation properly constructed – 1 point: The reference (3 points out of 20 points) and the citation (1 point out of 20 points) should be properly constructed. A folder on the course website contains resources that will help you with APA and AMA style. These two styles are the only ones accepted in this class. Pick one and use it throughout an assignment.

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