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Case Archive

National Case Archive

Regional Case Archive

Case Index: 2012-2022

Searchable by topic/keyword
2021-2022National1The Price of KnowledgeThe creation of websites like Sci-Hub, which illegally hosts and distributes millions of research papers for free, has drawn both praise and legal action. Supporters of the site argue that the website democratizes education, levels the playing field for universities without as much funding, and speeds up the research process. Any profit lost by websites like Sci-Hub is not affecting researchers, but rather publishing companies. These publishing companies argue that Sci-Hub impacts their ability to provide high-quality science, as well as encourages intellectual property theft.Science, research, access, information
2021-2022National2Banking on CashAt the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many stores stopped accepting cash, and are still rejecting the payment method. This is because of the inefficiencies when dealing with cash, such as slow lines, counterfit bills, and the time it takes to process the money. However, by excluding cash payments, a business may be unintentionally discriminatory towards people unable to open a bank account.Cash, economics, fairness, commerce
2021-2022National3Yucca'tta Be Kidding MeBecause of the Climate Crisis, many people have been advocating for the expansion of nuclear energy, which produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than current sources. The major issue of nuclear energy is the nuclear waste that is produced, being highly radioactive and remaining so for thousands of years. The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository was created 100 miles away from Las Vegas to store up to 70,000 tons of nuclear waste, but is inoperable due to concerns from citizens and stakeholders from Nevada not wanting to bear the burden of nuclear waste when they do not benefit from nuclear energy.Power, nuclear, safety, environment
2021-2022National4Married to the Name?Marriage has become a widespread and enduring practice across the world, but many worry about the aspect of marriage where the woman assumens the husbands last name. In 1981, Quebec adopted a policy that effectively prevented women from taking their husbandsÕ last name on legal documents, but could still use it socially. While this could be seen as a protection of womenÕs rights, it was also seen as paternalistic as well, not giving women the choice to choose which name they want.Names, marriage, sexism, history
2021-2022National5Privatized ParenthoodPrivatized adoption has long been seen as an act of selflessness, but in more recent years, issues have arisen about the ethics of how the private adoption industry operates. Many worry that these adoption agencies allow for the ÒshoppingÓ of children, filtering by race, disability, sex, and age, and that agencies may take advantage of women who may struggle to care for their kids to allow them to be adopted instead. Proponents of the industry say that it is an efficient way to give kids in need families.Parenthood, adoption, privatization, children
2021-2022National6Wilding OutJune is not sure how to manage her son Liam's emotional struggles. Although June has sought professional help many times, his behavior is uncontrollable since Liam is not motivated to change. Seemingly the final option June has is to send Liam to a wilderness therapy program. Proponents of this program claims to enact responsibility in the individual, resulting in a positive and sustainable behavioral change. Others believe the program leaves lasting trauma to the teens by way of endangering their mental and physical wellbeing. Paternalism, Rehabilitation, Harm
2021-2022National7CRISPR ConundrumThe innovative CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology allows scientists to pinpoint defective genetic material, opening doors to treating illnesses like sickle cell anemia. Another type of gene editing, germline, works on reproductive cells at the embryo level. Germline editing poses the risk of the level of control going as far as creating "designer babies" by selecting for desired traits. Genetics, Technology, Science, Medicine, Intentions
2021-2022National8Think Outside the BoxKhadijah, born in the U.S. to Muslim immigrants, has always questioned her racial and cultural identity. She struggles with knowing what box to check off on forms that asked about race. Although others who come from similar descent are classified as white, she struggled to identify as such since she didn't feel the priveleges associated with whiteness. As she often would, she checked off a box at random when filling out her college applications. After the fact, she worried that she expolited education policies like affirmative action that are mainly put in place to protect minority groups. Race, Education, Minority, Affirmative action
2021-2022National9Home for the HolidaysAfter learning about the cruelty involved in factory farming practices, Ellen became vegetarian in her thirties. She felt content in this decision until the holidays. Tradition is important in her family and her Italian family often servies non-vegetarian food at gatherings. Ellen's mom did not take the news of her daughter's diet change well and felt betrayed as though they could no longer share their beloved tradition of cooking their culture's recipes together.Tradition, Culture, Family
2021-2022National10Death and TaxesShannon amasses a net worth of $20 million and wants to bequeth this fortune to her children upon her death. Wanting to bypass the sizable estate tax she would have to pass on after her death, she consults a tax lawyer about her options, which mostly involve "tax dodging." With such tax planning strategies, Shannon could spare several million dollars for her children. Without these tax loopholes, Shannon fears that she wouldn't be fulfilling her civic duties. Money, Inheritance, Family
2021-2022National11Tips for Good LivingRonald and Tina have co-owned a beloved cafŽ for 10 years. Their current payment system for their workers has baseline hourly pay, which is almost three times as much as the federally required minimum, and is then combined with income from tips. Local activists in the area sparked a debate in which they argue for a "living wage" model. This model operates on the idea that tipping is discriminatory. Ronald and Tina have worries that they would not be able to sustain the proposed model, and that it may actually result in a pay cut for their workers. Money, Wage, Tipping, Sexism, Racism
2021-2022National12Unwarranted Interventions?Police officers are often present in emergency rooms with the guise of security, which makes it easy for them to get private patient information. Some states have mandatory reporting requirements where hospital staff are required to involve the police. Critics of this practice argue that it is opportunistic at the hands of police, and them to use hospitals as "traps" for those not yet convicted of crimes. However, this practice can also make hospital workers feel more at ease and effectively hold suspects responsible for their actions. Hospital, Medical, Policing
2021-2022National13All Eyes On YouAgustin is a tenth grader at a public school in Charlotte, North Carolina, who posted a picture one Saturday with his friends holding up various hand gestures. This photo was flagged as ÒsuspiciousÓ by his school, who had the school resource officer (SRO) question Agustin in school on Monday. Later, Agustin told his friend via an email on his school computer that he was feeling depressed and anxious about the SRO, which resulted in another visit from the police for a wellness check. These actions were taken for the protection of the school and of other students, but was invasive to AgustinÕs privacy.Public School, Privacy, Safety
2021-2022National14Predictive PolicingThe Pasco County SheriffÕs office recently created a program to identify Òprolific offendersÓ and try to empower them to live a lawful, productive, and fulfilled life. The PCSO also created a program to detect potential crimes and stop them from happening by creating a list of potential criminals and preemptively investigating them and checking in on them every so often. Many see this as an innovative way to prevent crime and provide help for those that may need it. Critics see this as an authoritarian overreach and leads to over-policing, as well as the invasion of privacy.Police, Crime, Predictive Policing
2021-2022National15Fake ViewsA ÒdeepfakeÓ is a manipulated piece of audio, video, or images using AI to make the alteration as realistic as possible. This technology has beneficial impacts, such as allowing fans to produce content based on films. One such deepfake included Star WarsÕ Grand Moff Tarkin, whose actor died in 1991. However, deepfake technology can also be dangerous, as many use it to make politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi or Former President Obama, say or do something that they never did.Technology, "Deepfakes", Manipulation
2021-2022National16Suffering in the WildHumankind is now able to do something they were unable to: reduce the suffering of animals in the wild. Many have argued that, because humanity is able to end wild animal suffering, we should when there arenÕt significant consequences. Humanity should do its best to make its impact on animals positive. Critics worry that this may disrupt complex ecosystems or meddle with the natural order. Others argue we should focus on ending the suffering humanity is responsible for, or that the task is so large it would be impossible to achieve.Wild animals, Suffering, Ecosystems
2021-2022Regional1The Social (Experiment) NetworkFacebook uses an algorithm that controls what a user will and will not see. In 2012, Facebook altered their newsfeed algorithm to conduct a psychological experiment regarding if emotional states are contagious via social media networks, but did not tell its users about this alteration. Facebook does, however, get consent to intentionally alter news feeds when a user agrees with the terms and conditions.Social Media, Facebook, Research, Psycology
2021-2022Regional2Trust the ScienceDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, news organizations were at the front of relaying scientific information to the public. Due to the rapidly-changing manner of news, as well as trying to retain the trust of news consumers, news organizations were faced with issues as it related to the pandemic. Many times, news organizations would have to report something opposite of what they had previously, such as the effectiveness of masks and whether or not vaccinated people could contract COVID. News organizations also could not properly portray the statistics, which led to further confusion and resistance to science.COVID-19, Science, Media, Clarity
2021-2022Regional3Boy, Bye: Or, On the Ethics of GhostingGhosting is the practice of cutting off communication (via text or otherwise) with no explanation or excuse from the person. Imani is a first year college student who wants to meet new people, so she downloads a few dating apps. Later, she decides online dating isnÕt good for her and wants to prioritize her wellbeing, as well as avoid the demeaning or inappropriate comments from guys. Her friend Jake tells her that thereÕs nothing wrong with ghosting and that she should do it if itÕs for her wellbeing.Ghosting, Dating, Relationships
2021-2022Regional4Suffering in the WildHumankind is now able to do something they were unable to: reduce the suffering of animals in the wild. Many have argued that, because humanity is able to end wild animal suffering, we should when there arenÕt significant consequences. Humanity should do its best to make its impact on animals positive. Critics worry that this may disrupt complex ecosystems or meddle with the natural order. Others argue we should focus on ending the suffering humanity is responsible for, or that the task is so large it would be impossible to achieve.Wild animals, Suffering, Ecosystems
2021-2022Regional5Predictive PolicingThe Pasco County SheriffÕs office recently created a program to identify Òprolific offendersÓ and try to empower them to live a lawful, productive, and fulfilled life. The PCSO also created a program to detect potential crimes and stop them from happening by creating a list of potential criminals and preemptively investigating them and checking in on them every so often. Many see this as an innovative way to prevent crime and provide help for those that may need it. Critics see this as an authoritarian overreach and leads to over-policing, as well as the invasion of privacy.Police, Crime, Predictive Policing
2021-2022Regional6AppleScarePrivate tech companies have been trying to balance keeping personal devices private and the demands of the government to give them access to phone data. One way that companies have avoided this issue is by using Òend-to-endÓ encryption, where data being sent from one userÕs phone to another is unable to be read by the company's server, thus making it impossible to hand over. In the spring of 2021, Apple partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to scan for ÒChild Sexual Abuse MaterialÓ on a userÕs hard drive by converting it from a photo to a numerical number.Apple, Privacy, Technology, Policing
2021-2022Regional723 & MemawNancy was given an ancestry test from her maternal cousins, and it led to a startling discovery; Nancy has a different grandfather than her two cousins, meaning their grandmother must have committed infidelity. Nancy is torn over telling her mother this, as both her grandparents, as well as her cousinÕs mothers, are dead. Nancy wants to know if her mother knew this, but also knows with her familyÕs religious background it may alter her motherÕs view on NancyÕs grandmother.Marriage, Infedility, Ancestry
2021-2022Regional8Art with an AsteriskAfter an art exhibition was postponed indefinitely at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the question about whether the work of artists needs to be revisited or recontextualized after questionable content. Many argue that the work of an artist has to be separated from the art, because if it is not, a lot of historical art must be taken down due to the actions of artists in their time. Others argue that if art can be ruined by the understanding of how it was made, then maybe it isnÕt as exceptional as it seems.Art, Controversy, Artist
2021-2022Regional9Priorities, Priorities...Due to the nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic, hospitals, specifically ICUÕs, have been operating at or above capacity due to increased numbers of people with the virus. Many of these patients are unvaccinated, where if they were vaccinated the risk of severe illness would drastically decrease. This has led many to wonder if the unvaccinated should be prioritized in hospitals since their illness was avoidable.COVID-19, ICU, Hospital, Vaccines
2021-2022Regional10Are You My Mother?In vitro fertilization (IVF) has allowed for many women to become mothers where they otherwise would not have been able to. However, this has led to many issues arising, such as the case of Adrea Patel, who went to an IVF center, had the wrong embryos implanted, and was then sued by the genetic parents of the children and forced to hand over custody. These errors, along with IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies, have come to redefine parenthood as it is known.IVF, Genetics, Reproduction, Birth
2021-2022Regional11Just the FactsDue to the nature of news and journalism, many reporters have been fired or banned from covering certain events due to ÒbiasÓ towards one aspect of the event they are not allowed to cover. News organizations see this as a way to maintain objectivity, which is impossible when a reporter has a strong opinion on what theyÕre reporting. Many reporters, however, believe that reporting on facts while addressing their point of view shows humility.Jounalism, Bias, Objectivity
2021-2022Regional12Paralympic Pay ParityAt the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, U.S. Paralympic athletes received the same monetary prizes for medaling as their Olympic counterparts. However, many nations still have a large gap in the prizes for Olympians and Paralympians, such as Canada, who doesnÕt pay paralympians for medaling, and Japan, who pays them less. Proponents of this pay gap argue that the Olympics are much more popular, and therefore more profitable.Paralympics, Pay Gap
2021-2022Regional13Fake ViewsA ÒdeepfakeÓ is a manipulated piece of audio, video, or images using AI to make the alteration as realistic as possible. This technology has beneficial impacts, such as allowing fans to produce content based on films. One such deepfake included Star WarsÕ Grand Moff Tarkin, whose actor died in 1991. However, deepfake technology can also be dangerous, as many use it to make politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi or Former President Obama, say or do something that they never did.Technology, "Deepfakes", Manipulation
2021-2022Regional14Familial ObligationsAmir immigrated to the United States from Lebanon, and has been living in Denver for just over 10 years. Due to working multiple low-wage jobs and medical issues in his family, Amir is poor. His extended family back in Lebanon, however, is much worse off, as his sister Yusra is a widow taking care of her 4 kids and their mother. Yusra had hoped that AmirÕs move to America meant that he would be able to send financial support back to Yusra and their family in Lebanon. Amir is not in any situation to do this, but puts on the facade that he is wealthy so as to not disappoint his family.Immigration, Money, Obligation
2021-2022Regional15All Eyes On YouAgustin is a tenth grader at a public school in Charlotte, North Carolina, who posted a picture one Saturday with his friends holding up various hand gestures. This photo was flagged as ÒsuspiciousÓ by his school, who had the school resource officer (SRO) question Agustin in school on Monday. Later, Agustin told his friend via an email on his school computer that he was feeling depressed and anxious about the SRO, which resulted in another visit from the police for a wellness check. These actions were taken for the protection of the school and of other students, but was invasive to AgustinÕs privacy.Public School, Privacy, Safety
2020-2021National1The Medical Brain DrainIn many poorer countries, such as Nigeria, people will seek to earn a medical degree in order to better their chances to immigrate to richer countries like the United States. This causes "medical brain drain," which is the act of medical professionals leaving their home country for better living conditions. This can be problematic, as it leaves countries like Nigeria without necessary healthcare workers, worsening the medical needs of the nation. Still, these doctors are seeking better lives for themselves and their families, taking advantage of the immigration system of richer nations.Immigration, Medicine, Nigeria, United States, Resources
2020-2021National2Clothing of CalamityAfrican countries, including Rwanda, have effectively banned the importation of secondhand clothing in order to protect the industry and integrity of their citizens. In Rwanda, secondhand clothing can be found for so cheap, potentially free, that it has devastated the textile industry. Not only has it had economic impact, but it also forces Western dependence upon Rwanda because of their inability to produce their own clothing and the threats against Rwanda for banning these imports, such as being excluded from a U.S. trade deal.Clothing, United States, Rwanda, Secondhand Clothing, Dignity, Integrity
2020-2021National3Drinking DilemmaJames loves to host parties at his house to celebrate with friends or coworkers, and alcohol is almost always involved in these parties. He believes that alcohol can be used to make people feel better, make conversation flow, and allow for more intimate relationships to form. However, the many risks involved, such as inappropriate jokes, undesired sexual contact, and even the potential of drunk driving. Drinking, Alcohol, Sex, Drunk Driving, Reward, Risk
2020-2021National4Cutting the CordIt has become more common than ever to share or borrow accounts to different streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu. It is estimated that this account sharing is costing these streaming services over $2.7 billion dollars. Many of these shared accounts are families where children have become adults and kept using their parents accounts. These companies wonder if they need to enact stricter restrictions to limit this sharing, which to them constitutes stealing.
Profits, Streaming, Borrowing, Pirating
2020-2021National5It's Just a Joke!Nick, Tyrone, Grasyon, and Zack have known each other since Kindergarten and been good friends since Middle School. Recently, Zack's girlfriend Della has been joining them for their High School lunch break. One day, Della is invited to game night, but is unable to go because of her self defense classes. All the friends are excited to learn more, and impressed by what she is able to do. When Della said that she wanted to learn knife throwing, Nick jokingly warns Zack, and jokes that if she ever pulls a knife on him, all he needs to do is pull out some bread, mayo, and ham and her instincts will kick in. This offended Della, and Nick was forced to defend his joke.Jokes, Friends, Relationship, Offensive, Inclusive
2020-2021National6Man's Best FriendDogs have long existed as man's best friend, and with 48 million American households owning a dog, they will continue to hold this title. However, because dogs are typically pets instead of workers, people have started to question the need for purebred dogs. Purebreds are genetically predisposed to certain conditions that lower their quality of life. Purebreds are, however, still used for many necessary reasons, such as guide dogs, protection, and hunting. Not all purebreds are guaranteed to have genetic conditions, and if breeding is done away with, these dogs will no longer be born to be adopted, having no life at all. Dogs, Breeding, Working, Ownership, Genetics
2020-2021National7Don't Check That Box!Students applying for college are not submitting their race at higher numbers than ever seen before because of its consideration in admittance. Proponents of not including race into acceptance consideration believe that these factors stereotype and discriminate against certain groups, such as Asian-Americans, whose race can be harmful to their acceptance. Those in favor of race-based admittance believe that it allows people to further express themselves and allows universities to understand their applicant pools.Race, Affirmative Action, Education, Disrcimination
2020-2021National8Killer ArtThe arrival of postmodern art has brought with it many controversial pieces of art. Some of these art pieces have included physical harm to people, the death of animals, and the destruction of ancient art. These led to an international debate over what is art and what should be limited. If art is limited, it could potentially protect certain thoughts, ideals, or even people and animals. However, if art is limited, it restricts the avenues that artists can use in order to convey a message.Art, Harm, Limitations, Intentions, Message
2020-2021National9Sleeping on HomelessnessCities across the United States have turned to hostile architecture to curb the homeless population within their cities. Hostile architecture is anything that makes a place less hospitable, such as spikes under an overpass or ridges on a bench to prevent sleeping. These are seen as a quick fix and could potentially benefit businesses by making the cities seem cleaner and potentially deter crime. However, the architecture does nothing to help the homeless, actively taking city funds that could be directed towards helping these people better their lives.Homelessness, Hostile Arcitecture, Businesses, Crime, Cleanliness
2020-2021National10Do You See What I See?The release of Bird Box immediately had people comparing the story where people had to go blind to survive to how blindness, and disability as a whole, is perceived in society. Bird Box's actors and actresses are not blind, and can easily misrepresent what living with blindness is really like. Many people see an issue with casting an actor who does not belong to the group that the main character of the story belongs to. It also sparked a challenge where people wore blindfolds to do everyday things, which was interpreted as lowering blindness to a game. Others see no issue with it, as acting is the ability to portray something that you are not. Blindness, Birdbox, Acting, Disability, Portrayal
2020-2021National11All the Opinions Fit to Print?
2020-2021National12Left Behind, at Warp SpeedWith the release of three vaccines for the COVID-19 variant, the Coronavirus pandemic is finally starting to look up. However, the pandemic has thrown the disparity between economic classes into full view. Vaccines are taking longer to get to those of a lower economic status, especially outside of Western countries, such as the United States and those in the EU. Countries unable to afford COVID vaccines are all relying on the same international fund to supply them, but it will take much more time and money for these nations to see a vaccination rate on par with the United States. COVID-19, Costs, Economics, Distribution, Vaccination
2020-2021National13Universal Basic IncomeUniversal basic income or UBI is a guaranteed stipend provided by the state to its people. Ex-presidential candidate Andrew Yang wanted to provide citizens a monthly 1k. Supporters say that this would give the people a safety net when considering and taking financial risk, as well as pursuing their personal goals without worrying about poverty. Others argue this by saying that providing income to those who don't put enough into earning it is unfair to the ones that do, since indirectly these are the people who would be funding the UBI. Should the UBI have more specific terms on who receives it? Is this unfair to those who work hard for their financial success?Income, policy, president, labor market, financial, money, poverty,
2020-2021National14Digital BlackfaceBlackface is when a white actor assumes a black identity for means of humor. In the 21st century, it has taken more of a digital form, like GIFs, memes, videos, and etc. However, this humor is often seen as extremely offensive, especially when the character is playing to the negative stereotypes of African-Americans. Some people don't see it this way, and claim that shunning blackface puts a barrier around the grounds of humor, segregating what comdians and actors alike can do based off race. Should white people be more thoughtful in their use of humor involving a black person? Should digital blackface be banned all together, or will that be too restricting.Blackface, stereotype, GIF, humor, African-American, actor
2020-2021National15Pride, Inc.WorldPride planned to be held in conjunction with NYC's annual Pride festival. Lots of LGBTQ members saw this as just a way for companies to profit off of a group that they don't even agree with or truly support, so there was an alernate event held. Many companies provide sponsership to events like these, meanwhile they contradict themselves with also aiding other entities that are anti-LGBTQ, giving members of the community a reason to believe the companies are solely here for their own profit. Although, as these events become increasingly popular, it gets harder and harder to refuse any help from mega-corporations. Should the mega-corporations financial aid enough in this social justice movement?Pride, LGBTQ, corporation, discrimination, sponsorship, advocacy,
2020-2021Regional1Factory FarmingMany animal products that can be found today in stores come from a factory farm, which are industrial scale farming facilities that process large amounts of animals in a condensed area. These factory farms allow for cheap and widely available meat products across the United States, bringing necessary nutrients to American diets. However, factory farming has many negative costs, such as pollution, poor working conditions, and negative health effects to consumers.Agriculture, Industrialization, Corporations, Food, Animal Rights, Environment
2020-2021Regional2Tik-Tok InfamousTik-Tok, a social media app, has quickly risen to be one of the most popular social media platforms among younger generations. However, many different countries, such as the United States and India, have taken measures to ban the app because of its ties to the Chinese Government. Because Tik-Tok is owned by a Chinese company, the Totalitarian regime of China can demand access to user data gathered by Tik-Tok, making Tik-Tok an alleged threat to national security in the eyes of many lawmakers.Social Media, Government, Spying, China, United States, User Data
2020-2021Regional3(Un)Charitable DonationsMary had leftover money in her budget for the month, so she decided to donate it to charity. She decided that Kiva, a charity that offers microloans to women entrepreneurs, was her charity of choice. When she told her friend Sam, he warned her that microloans can cause more harm than good, and encouraged her to give her money to GiveDirectly, a charity that gives money to the poor with no conditions on how to use it. Charity, Donations, Money, Control, Incentive
2020-2021Regional4No More Teachers, No More BooksWith the continuation of COVID-19 into the 2020-2021 school year, people were divided on whether or not K-12 students would be virtual or in-person. People argued that because of the low risk that children faced from the virus, it was safe to send them back to school. Some parents need a safe place to send their children while they work. Still, many argued that while children have less risk, much is still unknown about the virus's long term effects, and that adults would have to gather in order to teach the children. COVID-19, School, Children, Education, Teachers, Parents
2020-2021Regional5What's In a NameAcross America, many universities and other institutions have struggled with the racial inequality in America's past as it relates to the namesakes of many buildings. Many universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have found it within their best interests to change the names of buildings whose namesakes were directly involved in enforcing racial inequality. Many people argue that these buildings should keep their namesakes because they are not as bad as their contemporaries, while others argue that it is demoralizing to see these racist names on campus. Racism, Inequality, America, Names, History
2020-2021Regional6Dining Out During a PandemicA pastime of Megan and Andy's before the COVID-19 pandemic was to explore new restaurants. When COVID hit, and the government shut down all non-essential businesses, they were unable to do this. When restrictions started lifting, Megan and Andy continued to explore while following safety precautions. Megan was worried that what they were doing was too risky, putting the workers and their families in danger. Andy assured her that what they were doing was ok: with so many unemployed, it was good that people were going back to work and to support the businesses that did not permanently close.COVID-19, Restaurants, Unemployment, Government, Control, Safety, Risk
2020-2021Regional7The Korean Pop Industrial ComplexSince 2014, Korean pop music, or K-Pop, has become increasingly popular all over the world. Many see this rise in popularity as a good thing, as it allows for the rest of the world to experience and connect with new cultures. However, many K-Pop artists are forced into grueling contracts, and experience everything from long hours and high demands to forced plastic surgery and sexual exploitation. Many still see K-Pop as a net good since performers willingly sign their contracts and because a high work ethic is valued in South Korea.Korea, K-Pop, Globalization, Forced Labor, Contract
2020-2021Regional8Who Gets to be Fashionable?Fast fashion, the practice of large companies producing trendy, low cost items, has become more controversial with the more clothing waste that it produces. Many major fast fashion brands, such as H&M and Gap, produce items at high rates to keep costs low, but at the expense of quality and major environmental impact. These brands do however provide nicer clothing to those who may not be able to afford sustainable and designer brands. Fashion, Waste, Pollution, Affordable, Sustainable
2020-2021Regional9Wholesome DisciplineThe aim of discipline has often been to punish a person for wrongdoings that they have committed, but this has a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged students. Instead of punishing students to discipline them, many schools have turned toward wholesome discipline. Rather than punish for something done, schools try to rehabilitate the aggressor to understand their actions and return them to a state before they commit a wrongdoing. This leads to a more supportive environment with accountability, but makes academic and disciplinary outcomes worse.Punishment, Discipline, Wholesome, School, Education
2020-2021Regional10Dating After PrisonAntoine and Jack recently sat down and talked about what dating was like after being released from prison. Antoine went to prison at eighteen for a crime he didn't commit, while Jack admits to committing the crime, but has changed his ways while in prison. When the two of them are looking for a relationship now that they are free from prison, they struggle with when and how they should tell their dates, or even if they should since it does not define them as anymore.Prison, Dating, Crime, Wrongful Conviction, Openness
2020-2021Regional11Contraceptive ControversyJeremy and Ayla are both involved in the Heritage High School PTA, which is trying to decide on a better way to prevent teenage pregnancy at school. One person proposed the idea of providing condoms in the bathrooms for the students, destigmatizing sex and allowing the students to partake safely. Jeremy believes that providing condoms is a bad idea as it would encourage students to have sex who may otherwise not, thus bringing more problems to the school.Sex, Pregnancy, School, Education, Parents
2020-2021Regional12Harper's BizzareIn July 2020, Harper's Magazine published an open letter saying that the ability to freely exchange ideas is currently being constricted. This is due to what has become known as "cancel culture," the practice of preventing certain people from being able to freely exchange information because of the negative or derogatory nature of the content. While some see this as an attack on democracy, those in favor of "cancel culture" attest that some ideas should not be allowed to be spoken to create a better society.Harper's Magazine, Free Speech, Free Exchange, Politics, First Amendment, Cancel Culture
2020-2021Regional13(De)funding the PoliceProtests erupted in the summer of 2020 over the killings of two African-Americans at the hands of the police. This led to a national call to "defund the police." This desire to "defund the police" has those in favor split into two groups: those who want to abolish policing, and those who want to take money from the police and put it into other community initiatives. There are still many Americans who do not want the police abolished or defunded, citing worries about safety and a lack of an alternative.Police, Police Brutality, Defund, Policing, Abolish
2020-2021Regional14American DirtAmerican Dirt, a novel about the journey of a mother and her son seeking refuge in the U.S. was released to mixed reviews. Many immediately attacked the book upon release, saying that it was stereotypical and did not accurately show the challenges Latin Americans face, and that it lifted the voice of a white person who has never experienced these issues. Those in support of the book believe that it may be able to reach a wider audience than other books on the same topic.Books, Immigration, United States, Latin America, Culture
2020-2021Regional15The Tiger KingThe documentary Tiger King tells the story of many eccentric big cat collectors and their community as a whole. This doumentary pitches Joe Exoctic, the owner of many big cats against the Animal Rights group Big Cat Rescue and its starter Carol Baskins. The presentation of the story sparked controversy, as it portrays Exotic as a sympathetic figure even though he abused his animals and employees, and Baskins as an antagonist even through her conservation efforts. There is no body that dictates how a story must be told in filmmaking, which has led to the makings of ethically dubious shows such as this.Documentary, Tiger, Presentation, Joe Exotic
2019-2020National1Are You My Mother?In vitro fertilization (IVF) has allowed for many women to become mothers where they otherwise would not have been able to. However, this has led to many issues arising, such as the case of Adrea Patel, who went to an IVF center, had the wrong embryos implanted, and was then sued by the genetic parents of the children and forced to hand over custody. These errors, along with IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies, have come to redefine parenthood as it is known.IVF, Genetics, Reproduction, Birth
2019-2020National2Digital BlackfaceBlackface is when a white actor assumes a black identity for means of humor. In the 21st century, it has taken more of a digital form, like GIFs, memes, videos, and etc. However, this humor is often seen as extremely offensive, especially when the character is playing to the negative stereotypes of African-Americans. Some people don't see it this way, and claim that shunning blackface puts a barrier around the grounds of humor, segregating what comdians and actors alike can do based off race. Should white people be more thoughtful in their use of humor involving a black person? Should digital blackface be banned all together, or will that be too restricting.Blackface, stereotype, GIF, humor, African-American, actor
2019-2020National3Pride, Inc.WorldPride planned to be held in conjunction with NYC's annual Pride festival. Lots of LGBTQ members saw this as just a way for companies to profit off of a group that they don't even agree with or truly support, so there was an alernate event held. Many companies provide sponsership to events like these, meanwhile they contradict themselves with also aiding other entities that are anti-LGBTQ, giving members of the community a reason to believe the companies are solely here for their own profit. Although, as these events become increasingly popular, it gets harder and harder to refuse any help from mega-corporations. Should the mega-corporations financial aid enough in this social justice movement?Pride, LGBTQ, corporation, discrimination, sponsorship, advocacy,
2019-2020National4Trolling for a RefundLinda is planning to get married on a budget so she decides to do her own planning, including picking the photographer. Turns out, the photographer that was sent to take the photos the day of was a completely different photographer than the one she met with, and the pictures he took a bit short of ordinary quality. Linda tries multiple times to contact the company for a refund, but each time was met with no response. Linda's reaction was to notify everyone who attended the wedding to blast the company with bad reviews, but Linda's best friend, Viola, has always been against trolling. This hesitation is causing conflict in the relationship. Should Viola give into what her friend wants for the sake of the relationship?Wedding, photography, troll, friend, social media, marriage
2019-2020National5NandiÕs ChoiceBriefly after marriage Nandi was fortunate enough to receive great news. One, he and his wife was expecting a daughter, and he was offered the opportunity to get his bachelor's degree in America. He promised his family he'll come back after his education and left. 4 years later, he was awarded another opportunity to pursue his Ph.D. After a few years, his father dies and they rush back home. Upon Indian tradition, the son must take the mother into his home, but it makes it difficult when they both see different places as home. Should Nandi abandon his academic pursuits in the name of his family? Marriage, career, university, family, Ph.D, college, education, India
2019-2020National6Burning Cash47,000 acres were burned by an accidental fire caused by a teen who threw fireworks into a canyon. The judge sentenced the boy to $36 million in restitution, 152 apologies to the ones endangered, and 1,920 hours of community service. The judge also stated it is possible if there are no crimes committed and he follows up on his payments, apologies, and hours, his debt will be forgiven. Some say this is extremely absurd due to the likelyhood of a teenager being able to complete this, but the judge states that the debt is equal to the damage he cost. Should this punishment be permissable?Fire, fireworks, consequence, judge, teenager, probation, crime,
2019-2020National7Foreign ActivistsIn 2018 Ireland held an abortion referendum. Pro-life advocates from America travelled all the way there to convince the people of Ireland to vote pro-life. Lots of critics have a problem with foreign\outside opinions and tactics being pushed on another country, especially when these Americans don't know much about Ireland values and culture. Others quote MLK in the sense that "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Do outsiders have a right to interfere with other countries civil endeavors? Is there a line between the ones they should be allowed to and the ones they shouldn't?Foreign, activist, abortion, civil,
2019-2020National8Ethics Bowl vs. PromJake, a highschool senior, made a promise to his girlfriend, who is also a senior, that he'd take her to prom. Jake is also apart of his highschool ethics bowl team along with two other junior members, in which they just moved into nationals. Unfortunately, both events conflict with each other and there's no way he can go to both. There is also no one that can take his place at the national ethics bowl. Jake prefers to go to prom and this upsets his two teammates. Should Jake reconsider, even though he and his girlfriend are seniors while his teammates can try again next year?Ethics Bowl, Prom, promise, school, national, girlfriend, senior, junior
2019-2020National9Self-Interested VotingFang is considered a wealthy professional making about 130K a year. It is election day and she still cannot decide on who to vote for. Governor Date plans to implement a tax increase on wealthy civilians, as well as make healthcare more accessible for everyone. Senator Full plans to make financials easier on wealthy civilians, by decreasing tax on them. Personally, Fang benefits more from Full, but she knows generally and morally she should vote for Date. Should Fang vote on what would benefit her more or what would benefit most of America?Election, vote, politic, governor, government, debt, democracy
2019-2020National10Universal Basic IncomeUniversal basic income or UBI is a guaranteed stipend provided by the state to its people. Ex-presidential candidate Andrew Yang wanted to provide citizens a monthly 1k. Supporters say that this would give the people a safety net when considering and taking financial risk, as well as pursuing their personal goals without worrying about poverty. Others argue this by saying that providing income to those who don't put enough into earning it is unfair to the ones that do, since indirectly these are the people who would be funding the UBI. Should the UBI have more specific terms on who receives it? Is this unfair to those who work hard for their financial success?Income, policy, president, labor market, financial, money, poverty,
2019-2020National11The Wishes of the DeadYvonne and Zaina have been married for years, until Yvonne passed away and made 3 wishes before her death. One, for Zaina to never drink coffee again, due to her believing this was the cause for her terminal illness without any proof. Two, Yvonne wants the money she left to be dedicated towards research on the negative effects of coffee. Third, Zaina can never marry again. After years of following through with her promise, Zaina begins to wonder if there's any point to the silly demands, especially since she has found a new love interest who is ready to be married. Would Zaina be wrong to break her promises?illness, promise, marriage, caffeine, terminal, research, coffee
2019-2020National12Working While SickKate, a fast food employee, has gotten sick. Her job does not offer paid leave for people who do catch any sicknesses, and Kate desperately needs the money she would lose if she did decide to take off, especially since they already cut her hours. If she chooses to go to work, she can endanger her fellow employees and also spread the sickness to the food and to the customers, which is bad for business. Is Kate morally permitted to continue work in hopes of getting no one sick, or should she take off, risking getting fired and losing the money she needs?Jobs, sick, work, restaurant, COVID-19, coronavirus
2019-2020National13ÒJustÓ Discrimination?Female gold Olympic medalist, Caster Semenya, has a medical condition called hyperandrogenism. This causes her testosterone levels to be higher than that of an average female. Officials see this as an unfair advantage and force her to lower her levels 6 months before competition. This seems odd given that they are implying Semenya has too much talent, when talent is neccessary for this level of competition. Should it be permissable for officials to control Semenya's levels?Olympic, hyperandrogenism, transgender, athlete, female, sex, gender, natural, testosterone,
2019-2020National14Saving the World, Barbie StyleAn Instagram account has been created with the pictures consisting of a Barbie Doll photoshopped into images of 3rd world locations. This is an attempt to mock outsiders who claim they come to help these places but actually make it worst. People have begun to label this as voluntourism. There are many benefits to helping but sometimes it can result in makign the situation worse, especially when the person coming to volunteer themselves aren't actually trained in building and other task. Can this still be considered as good work, even if it could be self-serving and just for a picture on social media?Instagram, volunteer, image, abroad, voluntourism, corrupt, savior,
2019-2020National15The Pernkopf AtlasToday Steve has his first full shift as a surgeon, with his first patient being a common case that should go smoothly. Although, with the nerves of it being his first time, Steve wants to go over a reference book to calm his nerves and get a brief refresher. The problem is the only book the hospital has to offer, is a book with Nazi roots. Knowing the history behind the book and the pain that was ignored in order to obtain that knowledge, Steve is conflicted towards using it or taking the high ground. Steve knows the procedure is relatively easy and the likelyhood of it going wrong is slim, but a small glispse of the book would further lessen the chances. Would Steve be wrong for choosing to avoid the book, which could but highly unlikely cause harm to his first patient?Medical, surgeon, Nazi, hospital, emergency, surgery,
2019-2020Regional1Bearing Witness, Bringing Change, or Trauma Porn?Many don't know the true reality of what goes on in American prison systems. Photographs give people from the outside a chance to see the horrific violence that actually occurs. Some say these photographs would encourage others to strive for social justice , or at least to bare witness to the harsh realities of jail. Others critize these images due to the potential mental harm they can cause, rendering them an attempt that causes more pain than good. Is there any moral value or benefit to outsiders viewing these images, or are the greusome photos too vulgar for mostly no other reason than negatively impacting the viewers' mind?Prison, photographers, trauma, obligation, injustice,
2019-2020Regional2Plantation WeddingMallory and Ross want to have a beautiful wedding like any other couple. They both grew up in the South and their families heritage traces back to pre civil-war days and slavery. Their families want them to get married on a plantation that has a good chance of being connected to slavery, and offered to fund every dime being spent. The couple thinks the plantation is the most beatiful of option, and not having to pay helps as well. On the other hand, the couple doesn't want their marriage to begin on the backbone of something resembling such a hateful and harmful period of time. Should Mallory and Ross choose to have their dream wedding paid for, or choose a less wanted and more expensive option in avoidance of what the plantation symbolizes.Slavery, plantation, wedding, marriage, southern,
2019-2020Regional3A Grave DilemmaA city ordiance prohibits using a historical grave for recreational purposes, including walking a dog, but Jade does it anyway. She figures that since she's never seen anyone visit the grave to honor someone, and that others ignore the law by walking and exercising, it's okay for her to do it as well, and that she would leave if someone asked her to. Is there anything wrong with Jade's actions, or anyone's actions involving using the gravesite for their own recreational purposes despite the law?Grave, cemetary, dog, animal, law,
2019-2020Regional4Forced Chemotherapy17 year old Cassandra, battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, refuses to take chemotherapy due to the harmful toxic chemicals not being worth the decrease in life quality. Her family and her would rather explore other options, but since she is a minor and that decision will likely lead to her death, Supreme Court has the power to deny her opinion, forcing her to undertake chemo. Is it morally correct to force such a decision upon a minor, even if it's her life and she doesn't agree with it?Chemotherapy, cancer, medical, minor, Supreme Court, patients, lymphoma, drugs, radiation
2019-2020Regional5Old-Fashioned GrandparentsSam has noticed her grandparents have displayed on multiple occassions racist and transphobic traits, as well as disrespect for the environment. Her parents tell her to not attempt to talk to them about it because it would be seen as disrespectful and pointless. Should Sam attempt to talk to her grandparents about their ignorance, despite the chance of it damaging their relationship?Environment, LGBTQ, elders, racist, discussion, respect, transgender, homophobia
2019-2020Regional6To Forgive or Not to Forgive?The student debt crisis is steadily raising by the year. Candidates like Bernie Sanders promise to totally delete all debt, while some promise to severely decrease it. Despite how good this sounds, there are a lot of critics surrounding this. Some say it's not fair for others who have handled their financials in a way where they need no loans. Would this policy be unfair to those who went about things differently? Should this policy be accepted to strengthen the middle class, therefore strengthing the economy since they'd be able to actively participate?Election, debt, crisis, economy, finance, loan, tax
2019-2020Regional7Companionship or Commodification?There is a difference between service dogs and ESAs (Emotional-Suport Animals). Service dogs spend hours and hours training on how to be both extremely obedient and helpful to those with disabilities before ever publicly interacting with one. ESAs on the other hand usually get their certificates from online and don't require much training if any. Allison sees a problem with this, given that when it is usually an ESA that acts poorly, trained service dogs receive the bad rep from their actions as well. Some people only label their pets as ESAs as an excuse to get them into places they usually can't. Should there be more standards set in place when it comes to labeling a pet as an ESA? Should the distinction between service dogs and ESAs be more distinct?Dogs, animal, service, mental health, emotion
2019-2020Regional8Extra! Extra! DonÕt Read About It!Retired Nike executive Erik Hagerman has decided to block all aspects of the news from his life in the name of self care. He feels that since his decision to stay out of politics, his mental health has improved tremendously. Some critize this since part of being an American consist of being an active citizen, especially when it comes to politics. A man of his stature can help in ways most can't. On the other hand, some say that it is his life, so he can do what he wants as long as it makes him happy. Everyone avoids things that stress them out and Hagerman is doing just that. Is Erik Hagerman failing some kind of moral obligation to the country?News, politic, civic, democracy, ethic, society, citizen, privlege
2019-2020Regional9Teacher StrikesIn multiple states teachers held a strike to garner attention towards their low wages. Students depend on their teachers to give quality lessons in order to learn material and it is unlikely this will happen if the teacher is stressed out with their low wage. On the other hand, teachers going on strikes causes students to miss these lessons completely, as well as cause headache for some families that depend on their children going to school. Does this violate a teacher's duty? Should states be more appealing towards their teachers?Teacher, education, strike, children, wage, pay
2019-2020Regional10Belief vs. ActionKayla, an environmental ethics teacher, has just been asked to be the adviser of an environmental club due to her perceived envolvement with preaching on how to make the world a better place. Although, Kayla's personal life is an exact opposite of what she teaches in the classroom. She feels like a fraud taking this position, but figures that being able to convince others to change their ways holds more weight than what she allows herself to do. Should Kayla come clean and still decide to advise the club? Is she making the right decision by saying nothing and agreeing?Environment, Earth, ethics, club, life, fraud
2019-2020Regional11Billionaire BackfireAfter the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris wealthy indivuduals rushed to donate their money, giving the cathedral more than what it needed. Even though this act contributed to rebuilding something that symbolized great things, some are sketipcal on why the wealthy acted so fast and efficient for a building, meanwhile they turn a blind eye to bigger issues such as hunger, poverty, environmental issues, and etc. still exist. Others say there is nothing wrong with prioritizing something of personal value when it comes to choosing when or when not to donate. Is there a moral obligation to pick the issue with the most impact? Should the wealthy be called out on how they spend their money?Billionaire, altruism, philantrophy, donation, charity
2019-2020Regional12Flying HighTraveling can bring about great memories, but what most are starting to realize is that those memories come with a huge contribution to climate change. On each trip planes emit an unhealthy amount of greenhouse gases. Although, if one person decided to quit using planes and that way of travel, that would not stop the planes from taking flight everyday. Is there any point in stopping? Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?Travel, vacation, plane, enviornment, carbon footprint, emissions, distinations
2019-2020Regional13Is it O.K. to Punch a Nazi?A public racist Richard Spencer got punched by an unknown assailant during an interview. The incident went viral through memes and online coverage. Spencer now claims that he is worried it might happen again if he spoke his views. Some people think violence is the only thing most blatant racist respond to, and others think since Spencer is still a human being he should not have to worry about being harmed. Is violence a justifiable method in changing extreme political views?Nazi, violence, politic, racist, supremacist, attack, meme
2019-2020Regional14Project PreventionProject Provention aims to stop drug addicts from having kids due to the negative stigma of how they treat their children. There are a number of critics u[on this topic, due to the fact that the project seems to be taking advantage of people when they are in no shape to make the judgement of sterilization or not. Is it wrong to offer this to someone going through a drug addiction? Do drug addicts hold an obligation tot their potential children to get better first?Drug, addiction, child, birth, birth control, pregnant,
2019-2020Regional15Involuntary CommitmentInvoluntary commitment, when an addict's family admits them into a facility without their consent, is becoming increasingly popular. They often see it as the last line of defense and if the addict won't do it for themselves it's up to them. Some states include prison into some of the facilites an addict can be admitted to instead of a regular rehabilition center. Is it wrong to interfere with someone's life if it is for a perceived better good? Is admitting an addict to a prison around violent criminals morally wrong?heroin, opioid, epidemic, overdose, addict, prison, crime
2018-2019National1Cash BailIs any bail system that uses monetary deposits unjust given widespread wealth inequality in the U.S.? Why or why not? If so, how could this be mitigated?Criminal justice system, crime, bail, money, inequality, racism, prison, law, poverty
2018-2019National2Lock Them Up?Advocates of gun storage laws see it as a safety issue, and an important strategy for reducing gun injuries and deaths. Many gun enthusiasts balk at such legislation. Do safe storage laws violate gun owners’ right to self-defense? Why or why not?Guns, weapons, violence, death, gun safety, gun storage, legislation, children, gun control, law, firearms
2018-2019National3Family SpiesLocation tracking services and apps have become popular among smartphone users. Sasha’s and Jules’ mother uses an app to track their whereabouts. However, for Jules it has become overwhelming to deal with the tracking and all the subsequent questions. Due to this Sasha is now stuck in between their mother and her younger sister Jules, questioning whether these apps are really good or bad. To what extent, if any, do family (or friend) locator apps conflict with their users’ privacy? If it depends, what does it depend on?Location tracking services, privacy, relationships, family, apps, technology, surveillance, motherhood, parenthood
2018-2019National4In Pursuit of the Perfect ChildAdvancements in reproductive and genetic technologies have opened up numerous possibilities for the way we have children as well as which children we decide to have. Some people criticize prenatal testing—especially when it is used to determine whether or not to terminate a pregnancy—as an unnatural attempt to influence the genetics of the human race. Other defenders of current practices argue that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have the healthiest child possible—especially given that genetic disorders can sometimes create significant personal and financial costs for families and that many families do not feel like they are in a position to take on these additional costs.Pregnancy, prenatal testing, genetics, disorders, termination, abortion, genetic technology, CRISPR, motherhood, bioethics
2018-2019National5Who Owns a Dance?Fortnite is a free online multiplayer game very popular with teens. Although it’s free, its developers make a profit through add-on sales through the game’s store of things such as buying a new “skin” (a different outfit), or a new celebration dance. But Fortnite fails to get permission or give credit to the people who create popular dances within their game, as is the case with 2 Milly. Should a person who invented a dance have the right to prevent other people from using it without permission? Why or why not?Online gaming, profits, ownership, culture, dance, copyright, race, videogames, arts, creativity
2018-2019National6Desk RentThere is an emerging trend in primary and secondary education to teach financial literacy to students by structuring the classroom as a “simulated microeconomy.” Parents and teachers alike have praised the program for making the process of learning about financial responsibility fun for the students, and for teaching important life skills and values organically—“in the background” of their everyday class activities. However, one might worry that this program will merely recreate in the classroom the oppressive class structures that already cause so much trouble in the wider society. Education, teachers, classroom, economics, financial literacy, inequality, education, experiential education, poverty,
2018-2019National7(Adopting) A Dog’s PurposeMillions of animals are surrendered to shelters every year, many of whom are euthanized, and many of whom might have been kept by their families if affordable veterinary care were available. Frankie has always wanted to adopt a dog but doesn’t feel confident about having the time or money to properly care for a canine family member. Sam is the proud parent of Ellie, an adopted shelter dog. Sam doesn’t always have as much time to play with Ellie as they’d like but reasons Ellie is still better off bored living with Sam than she would be in a stressful shelter environment.Pets, dogs, adoption, finances, time, animal rights, freedom, obligation
2018-2019National8Boycott, Divest, SanctionCiting security concerns, in the early 2000s Israel began to build a wall across the occupied territories of the West Bank, effectively isolating and restricting the movement of 25,000 Palestinians to and from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the United Nations (UN) condemned the barrier, and so does the BDS movement. What are the most morally salient consequences of boycotting, in this case? What do you think about the moral efficacy of boycotting in general? What is the role of American politicians in speaking about Israel?International Court of Justice, the UN, Israel, Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, security, barriers, walls, violence, human rights, apartheid, peace, boycotting, American politics
2018-2019National9Dining In“Tech cities” like San Francisco have not experienced the kind of widely-shared economic growth that would be expected. One partial explanation of this is that many of these tech workers interact less with the local economies than is expected. For example, employees in these large firms often get their meals from in-house dining facilities. Now some legislators support a policy that would ban the construction of any new on-site workplace cafeterias. Is there any moral reason that firms should “share the wealth” with local communities in the specific way that local communities desire? Tech companies, cities, finances, taxes, local economy, wealth, lifestyle, community spirit, law
2018-2019National10Supervised Injection SitesSupervised injection sites aim to reduce health and safety issues related to public consumption of illicit drugs by providing people a place where they can use drugs under the observation of trained staff. Many argue that these sites encourage their users to seek treatment for substance abuse. Some argue that money spent on them would be better directed elsewhere, such as to programs that aim to prevent drug use in the first place. What obligations do we have to help those who suffer from addiction? To what extent does the establishment of supervised injection sites promote and/or conflict with those obligations?Drugs, substance use, substance abuse, addiction, recovery, supervised injection sites, harm reduction, public health, bioethics
2018-2019National11Friendship and the Wedding Industrial ComplexJo’s childhood best friend Teddy is engaged to be married and has asked Jo to be in the wedding party, to which Jo agrees. Other members of the wedding party keep asking Jo to split the costs of things related to the wedding shower and the bachelorette weekend. However, Jo feels conflicted as the time and money involved in these events begins to add up.Friendship, wedding, bridal party, trips, gifts, finances, time, traditions, expectations, etiquette, inequality
2018-2019National12Deception in Dementia CareAmara works in a dementia care home, where the patients are in various degrees of physical and cognitive decline. Barry suffers from dementia and can’t remember his wife died years ago. Amara wonders whether she should lie to him. Some think that lying to patients with dementia is inappropriate, but others defend lying in dementia care by saying that the diminished mental capacity of dementia patients justifies it. Are there circumstances in which we are morally required to lie to dementia patients? Healthcare, doctors, caregivers, patients, dementia, lying, Alzheimer’s, bioethics, deception, honesty, illness
2018-2019National13Believing in OthersTamir and Sharon have been friends since their first year of high school. Sharon went on to school for arts and dreams of starring on Broadway. Tamir went on to school for philosophy and dreams of becoming a professor. After Sharon gets turned down for a role in a local production she begins to question whether she should move to NY and asks Tamir what they think. Tamir is unsure that Sharon will be successful in NY and wants to be supportive, but also doesn’t want to lie to Sharon. What does it mean to believe in someone? Does it mean believing that they will achieve their goals, even when the evidence says that they won’t?Friendship, goals, dreams, support, lying, deception, obligations, relationship, care, ambition
2018-2019National14Golden State KillerIn 2018, authorities discovered the identity of the Golden State Killer by running crime scene DNA evidence against an online genealogy database that is ordinarily used to connect people to long-lost relatives. Few people find the fact that the perpetrator has been arrested on the basis of DNA evidence to be problematic. However, some find the methods of obtaining this evidence to be problematic. To what extent do companies that collect private data about their users have a responsibility to protect that data from being used in ways that their users would not consent to? Golden State Killer, police, crime, evidence, DNA, genealogy, privacy
2018-2019National15It’s Just a PreferenceJason was recently encouraged by his friends to try online dating. After a few days of no hits, he finally matches with someone only for them to send a message saying, “Sorry, accidentally swiped right. Not into Asians”. While racial preferences seem to be common in online dating many claim that these trends in dating preferences are racist. Others argue that desire is deeply rooted and one shouldn’t feel obligated to go against it. To what extent are racial preferences in dating an individual character flaw? A broader social problem? Neither? Both?Relationships, dating, online dating, desire, preferences, race, racism, stereotypes
2018-2019National16Love IslandLove Island is a reality television show in which contestants compete for a cash prize. In the 2016 season of the show, (then) Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland appeared. Holland, during the show, engaged in sexual activity with another islander in the Hideaway Bedroom, which was caught on camera, after which she was stripped of her crown. Some think that this decision was rooted in sexism. Do public figures, such as beauty pageant winners, have a moral responsibility to maintain a certain image, in virtue of being role models? If so, what sort of image are they responsible for maintaining?Reality television, privacy, sexism, sex, beauty, reputation
2018-2019Regional1Company WomanRavi and Amaia work as data analysts for a large tech company. Given his dissatisfaction with the job, Ravi has decided to quit and go back to school but asks Amaia not to tell. Has Ravi acted unethically? Was Amaia right to tell Ed of Ravi’s decision to go back to school? promotions, work, quitting, secrets, deception, friendship, honesty, fair pay
2018-2019Regional2Private Money in AcademiaUniversities are increasingly accepting private money to fund academic centers, programs, and faculty. Often, this money comes from sources that have clear political agendas. Proponents of private funding in academia argue that as long as the supported research and teaching meet the standards of acceptable scholarship, it doesn’t matter how it is funded. universities, research, money, funding, donations, political agendas, dirty hands, higher education, bias
2018-2019Regional3Liver AllocationGiven that donated organs have a limited time frame for their viability, the U.S. is divided into 11 geographic areas for liver-donation purposes. A new policy change will work to mitigate this geographic disparity. Is it fair to distribute organs by geographic availability? What should we use as the primary criteria for determining how to distribute livers and other vital organs?medical ethics, bioethics, organ transplants, liver transplants, geographic disparity, policy, equality, organ donation
2018-2019Regional4China's Social Credit SystemOn June 14, 2014, China’s State Council announced a plan to establish a social credit system, which would assign “social credit scores” to citizens based on their behavior. Chinese State Council say being rewarded for good behavior will make citizens want to be better, but critics view this as an invasion of privacy and personal freedom. How can a community balance its interest in encouraging its members to engage in socially desirable behaviors with community members’ interests in individual privacy and liberty?China, government, social credit, control, psychology, behavior, honesty, privacy, personal freedom, autonomy, liberty, social capital, civic engagement
2018-2019Regional5Dear DiaryOne weekend, when Genevieve was house-sitting for Nico and Tomas, she noticed a notebook in an open drawer in Nico’s desk. She couldn’t resist pulling it out and opening to a random page, though she could tell it was a diary. Is reading someone’s diary without their knowledge morally wrong? Why or why not? family, friendships, dating, secrets, regret, shame, guilt, anger, betrayal, confusion, trust, privacy
2018-2019Regional6Fake FollowersThink of some of the athletes, musicians, actors, political figures, or businesses you most admire. Chances are, at least some of them have paid companies to generate followers, “likes,” and comments for their social media accounts. Some influencers admit that buying followers is wrong, while others regard it as merely a tool of the trade. Is it wrong to buy followers and likes on social media? social media, followers, influence, money, terms of service, trust, endorsements, click farms, corporations, business ethics, celebrity
2018-2019Regional7Love DrugsIn the United States, approximately 40% to 50% of marriages end in divorce. With new scientific interventions, we may be able to reduce this number by increasing or prolonging feelings of love. What, if anything, makes loving relationships (including romantic relationships) valuable or important? How, if at all, would “love drugs” add to or detract from that value or importance?romance, love, emotions, relationships, marriage, medication, bioethics, love drugs, oxytocin, authenticity
2018-2019Regional8De-extinctionProponents of de-extinction argue that humans have an obligation to bring back species that were driven to extinction by human activities, such as the dodo bird. Opponents of de-extinction point out that de-extinction will draw away resources and attention from other scientific efforts to preserve biodiversity. extinction, endangered species, science, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity, human intervention, science, biotechnology
2018-2019Regional9Picnic Nit-PickSome neighborhood kids are crowded around Lisa, age seven, who is easily beating one second-grader after another in chess. Immediately, Randy sees that Lisa is cheating, subtly moving pieces when the others aren’t looking, and making up rules that suit her as the games progress. children, cheating, dishonesty, speaking up, interfering, privacy, intruding, fairness
2018-2019Regional10Drawing the Line on GerrymanderingA longstanding complaint about gerrymandering is that the politicians in office during the redistricting process frequently engage in drawing maps that help themselves and their political allies retain seats or gain additional power. Some argue that critics underestimate the force of larger cultural and demographic trends in driving politically lopsided districts and thus gerrymandering isn’t a problem. What interests do citizens have in fair electoral maps? Are there any interests that all citizens have in maintaining fair electoral maps?politics, government, elections, gerrymandering, demography, districts, advantage, influence, voters, equality, dishonesty, race, minorities, strategy, political ethics
2018-2019Regional11Unauthorized DumpingA month ago, Jessica heard a rumor that Amit cheated on her with one of her friends. Devastated, she confronted him and he admitted that it was true. Determined to make it work, Jessica stayed. But then, out of nowhere, Amit sat Jessica down and told her that he was ending the relationship. Is there anything morally praiseworthy about someone who attempts to mitigate the harms caused by their future bad behavior, when they are not willing to do what they can to not behave badly in the first place? relationships, love, cheating, confrontation, hurt, breakup, heartbreak, anger, betrayal, honesty, bad behavior, romance
2018-2019Regional12Data ViolenceSome software developers and commentators have claimed that complaints about data violence are overhyped. However, others find this response to be little more than an attempt to avoid responsibility for the way in which their own actions help to reinforce and reproduce biases and injustices. What does it mean for something to be sexist or racist? Can we consider software sexist or racist, even though it doesn’t itself have intentions or attitudes?software, computer algorithms, online data, biases, racism, sexism, social injustice, responsibility, data violence, programming
2018-2019Regional13Tsk Tsk, Tusk TuskThe World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that poachers kill 100,000 elephants each year for their tusks. Some countried hav chosen to burn their ivory stockpiles to send a message to poachers. However, destroying so much ivory only makes it scarcer, which threatens to increase both its value and the motivation for further poaching. poaching, ivory, tusks, protected species, trade, money, policy, international, elephants
2018-2019Regional14Shhhh!Carol is a terminally ill woman on life support, who’s health has rapidly declined over the past week. Her children argue about her future loudly, and a nurse must decide whether to kick them out or not. On the one hand, their arguing is clearly disruptive to the other patients and their families as well as to the hospital staff. Yet, on the other hand, what Carol’s children are faced with is understandably extremely difficult and, nurse, terminally ill, life support, death, advanced directives, next of kin, family, difficult decision, disagreement, bioethics, consideration, conscience, kindness
2018-2019Regional15Gun ControlIn the wake of many recent mass shootings, gun control has taken center stage in public debate in the United States. Those who advocate much stricter gun control point to the bad effects of the continued availability of so many guns in the U.S. Opponents of gun control often appeal to the right to self-defense to argue for their position. How should a society balance the individual rights of its members to protect themselves with its responsibility to promote public safety, more generally? firearms, weapons, gun control, killing, mass shootings, accidental death, public safety, right to self-defense, personal security, 2nd amendment, constitution, liberty, rights
2017-2018National1Electoral College in QuestionThe founders of the USA adopted the Electoral College as the system of choosing the president. People now ask if it is still appropriate. Proponents argue that it protects against the election of unqualified candidates and that it guarantees that larger states cannot exercise tyranny over smaller states. Detractors argue that its origins undermine its use and that it leads to the overrepresentation of the interests of smaller states.Electoral College, American politics, elections, Hamilton, voting, tyranny, political public office, US government
2017-2018National2Dry WeddingAparna is attending Mary's wedding. No alcohol is being served so Aparna has brought a flask. The day before the wedding, Aparna discovered that Mary struggles with substance abuse. When Mary sees the flask and grabs it from Aparna, asking for a sip, Aparna does not know what to do. friendship, wedding, substance use, substance abuse, alcohol, sobriety, trust, autonomy,
2017-2018National3Oh, SNAP!SNAP provides US citizens who have very little or no income with assistance covering food costs. Some have advocated reforming the SNAP program so that it cannot be used to purchase unhealthy foods, such as soda. Soda is not necessary and it may increase public health costs. However, others argue that SNAP beneficiaries ought to retain their autonomy in food choices. SNAP, EBT, welfare state, social service, poverty, low income, public assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance program, benefits, obesity, public health, health, soda ban, autonomy, Medicaid,
2017-2018National4Confederate MonumentsWhat roles do Confederate monuments play in American society and public spaces -- are they valuable or problematic? Some Americans think that they should remain as they are in public spaces, while others argue that they should be moved or destroyed.Confederate monuments, memorials, collective memory, slavery, racism, public spaces, American history, Civil War, free speech, heritage, Mitch Landrieu, Robert E. Lee
2017-2018National5Wool and LeatherXi does not eat meat because of its link to the suffering and death of animals. But she isn't sure if she can still wear animal products, like wool and leather, ethically. What if they are second-hand? What if they are environmentally responsible than their alternatives? animal rights, leather, wool, animal ethics, vegetarianism, meat, non-human animals, environment, environmental ethics, moral integrity
2017-2018National6No Fly ListsThe US FBI has maintained a No Fly List since shortly after 9/11. As of 2016, there were approximately 81,000 people on the list, though only 1,000 of those were US persons. Some argue that the list is an unjustified violation of civil liberties, since a person need not be convicted of a crime to be added to the list. The list also can lead to false positives. However, the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center argues that it is an important counterterrorism measure. counterterrorism, 9/11, no fly list, no-fly list, civil liberties, ACLU, FBI, liberty, security, safety, terrorism, human rights
2017-2018National7Paying for High Test ScoresUS students often lag behind their peers on international tests in science and math. Recently some have proposed that cash incentives to students and/or teachers for higher test scores can help solve this problem. These might be funded by public or private sources. But there are many ethical controversies surrounding the practiceSTEM, incentives, unintended consequences, funding, education, students, teachers, AP, advanced placement, Gates Foundation, cash incentives
2017-2018National8Male CircumcisionIn the US, male circumcision is very common. For some religions, male circumcision is an important initiation rite. And some proponents stress its medical benefits. However, others claim that these medical benefits are overblown and that it is morally wrong as a result. Still others argue that it is morally wrong whether or not it has medical benefits. circumcision, public health, health, Judaism, Islam, male health, autonomy, bodily integrity, female circumcision, surgery, body modification
2017-2018National9Eminent DomainIn many developed countries, governments can claim the power of eminent domain in order to seize private property for public use. Under what conditions is it appropriate to seize property from someone against their will? And how should the government best determine just compensation for such property? fair market value, US Supreme Court, eminent domain, Kelo, New London, public projects, development, urban development, real estate, private property, public works, community, public property
2017-2018National10#ExposeTheAltRight?In August 2017, the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA turned violent, and sparked controversy over the white nationalist, alt-right, and KKK ideologies that many demonstrators espoused. On social media, photos of the demonstrations were widely circulated and @YesYoureRacist began to gather and release the names of right-wing demonstrators in the photographs using the hashtag #ExposeTheAltRight. The photos, with identifying names and hometowns, were retweeted tens of thousands of times and demonstrators faced real-life consequences. What, if any, right to privacy does someone who attends a public event have? This practice, called "doxing" currently takes place related to many different issues and events. Under what conditions, if any, is it morally permissible?alt-right, KKK, neo-Nazi, Charlottesville, doxing, privacy, vigilantism, white nationalist, identity, harassment, defamation, justice, public event, rights, Twitter
2017-2018National11Man's Search for MeaningAt the beginning of the second world war, Viktor Frankl was already one of the most eminent psychiatrists in Austria. By 1942, Austria was under control of the Nazis and Frankl, who was a Jew, was in immediate danger of deportation to a concentration camp. The American Consulate offered Frankl a visa to come to the US. There he could live safely and continue his important research. However, visas were not offered to his aging parents. What obligations do we have to our parents? What obligations do we have to our work if it affects others?Frankl, holocaust, filial piety, family obligations, parents, spouses, personal, vocation, children, Nazi, indecision, WWII, world war, obligation
2017-2018National12Feminist ChoiceBrandy was just accepted to law school but isn't sure if she should attend. She also deeply wants to be a stay-at-home mother, and she and her partner want to have children right away. She is deeply divided by these two options but her friend Wynona thinks it's obvious that Brandy should go to law school. If she didn't, she would throw away an important opportunity, she would be wasting her talents, and she would be betraying feminists who fought to expand opportunities for women. What values are at stake in this debate? Is the decision about what career path to pursue a purely personal decision?feminism, autonomy, freedom, liberty, stay-at-home, parents, work, women, gender, parenting, motherhood, maternity, relationships
2017-2018National13Felon DisenfranchisementVoting rights for convicted criminals vary dramatically from state to state. Critics argue that so-called felon disenfranchisement laws are anti-democratic because they relegate millions of people to second-class citizenship. Defenders insist that felons have viled to uphold their responsibilities as democratic citizens and thus deserve their right to vote. What qualities are important for voting responsibly? How, if at all, do racial disparities in felon disenfranchisement laws influence the justifiability of these laws. felon, disenfranchisement, voting, inequality, civil rights, civic responsibility, race, crime, public interest, social justice, criminal justice, incarceration
2017-2018National14You Can't Chant That!Cheyenne loves feeling involved with her school's spirit at an exciting basketball game against their biggest rival, but she feels conflicted about targeted chanting and heckling against the other team's players. What does it mean to be a good fan? On what does the ethics of heckling depend? heckling, groups, teams, sports, teasing, offense, offensive speech, athletics, rivalry, competition, school spirit
2017-2018National15Racial and Ethnic Matching in AdoptionIn recent years, several controversies have arisen over racial and ethnic matching between parents and children in adoptions. Despite the fact that laws often prohibit such racial and ethnic matching on the grounds that it is discriminatory, supporters of matching continue to argue that adopted children are better off when placed with parents from the same racial or ethnic background. What rights do would-be parents have when it comes to adopting children? adoption, race, culture, background, parenting, appearances, children, ethnicity, obligation, rights, freedom
2017-2018National16Haunted by TinderWhat values are at play when determining how we should interact with people we meet through online dating platforms? When, if ever, is ghosting someone on social media ever acceptable? ghosting, online dating, Tinder, OK Cupid, romance, relationships, honesty, communication, obligation, social media, internet
2017-2018Regional1Bodily Identity Integrity DisorderJewel Shuping has BIID and has always wanted to be blind. BIID is a rare condition characterized by a conflict between a person's actual, physical body and their idea of how their body should be. Is it in the interest of someone with BIID to give them the body modification they want? If they are at serious risk of harming themselves, should doctors perform these modifications? Do BIID patients harm themselves by going through these modifications? self-harm, BIID, doctors' obligations to patients, severe body modification, health, mental health, autonomy, self-ownership, bioethics, harm, IEB, intercollegiate ethics bowl, disability
2017-2018Regional2Best Man or Worst Man?Bijan's best friend Mike is getting married. Bijan does not like his friend's fiancŽ and is unsure whether he should tell Mike about these feelings. If Bijan doesn't confront Mike, is he to blame for anything? What is the morally best way for Bijan to confront Mike if he chooses to? If Bijan shares his feelings, how should or could Mike feel about them?duty to friends, marriage, friendship, relationship, obligation, truth, uncertainty, personal, honesty, omission, deception, silence
2017-2018Regional3What Morals Should Drive Driverless Cars?Many are excited about driverless cars but a variety of moral questions arise as they are created and improved upon. What moral principles should we use to guide driverless cars in unexpected dangerous situations? If driverless cars are safer than human drivers, should we continue to allow human drivers at all? driverless cars, Trolley Problem, autonomy, driving, new technology, utilitarianism, safety, freedom
2017-2018Regional4Breed-Specific LegislationBSL refers to legislation or policy that bans or restricts certain breeds of dogs that are purported to be more aggressive. People that support BSL think that it will help to reduce dog attacks, while opponents of BSL think that it is unjustified. Is BSL morally permissible? If this kind of discrimination is morally wrong when applied to humans, is it wrong to apply it to animals? Are some versions of BSL more morally acceptable than others?animal ethics, discrimination, moral status of animals, bioethics, genetic discrimination, law, policy, danger, harm, aggressive dogs
2017-2018Regional5School ChoiceGilbert and Anne are getting ready to send their son to kindergarten, but they are conflicted about whether to send him to a new public charter school or to a traditional public school. The charter school seems to offer many more advantages, but Gilbert and Anne know that if they send Fred to the charter school, the traditional public school system will lose some funding as a result. They very much value a strong public education system and don't want to be implicated in harming it individually or systemically. Is it morally appropriate for them to put their child's interests over the interests of other children? children, education, public school, charter school, parenting, utilitarianism, principle, avoiding harm, social structures, social trends, social justice
2017-2018Regional6The Case of the Missing Serial NumberCora was excited about the new bike she found on Craig's List for a great price, but six months after purchasing it a bike mechanic points out that the serial number has been scraped off. Cora worries that this means the bike is probably stolen, and she no longer has information about the Craig's List seller. Should she report the bike to the police and potentially lose it if someone has reported it stolen? Did she do anything wrong? What should Cora do? theft, uncertainty, restitution, bikes, Craig's List, anonymity, value, neglect, responsibility, unintended harm, intention, crime
2017-2018Regional7Smokers Need Not ApplyTobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the US but prevalence of smoking is decreasing. However, this decline is not equal across various groups within the US. For several reasons, some employers are adopting anti-tobacco hiring policies, especially in healthcare settings. These policies disproportionately affect minority groups that have relatively higher smoking rates. Is it morally permissible to discriminate on the basis of tobacco use? How much control should employers have over (potential) employees' lives?social justice, healthcare, bioethics, hiring, employment, policy, anti-tobacco, autonomy, paternalism, discrimination, health insurance, wellness, productivity, hospitals, clinics, minorities, smoking, choice, representation, addiction, medical costs
2017-2018Regional8The CullIn 2015, Ann Arbor, MI implemented a deer cull in an effort to reduce car accidents, mitigate damage to local flora, and to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. Those who oppose the cull argue that these are not important enough to merit the cost of the cull or the killing of innocent animals. When, if ever, do benefits to humans outweigh harms to non-human animals like deer? Is culling the most humane way to address overpopulation?animals, civilization, conservation, habitat, nature, population control, benefits, harms, overpopulation, non-human vs. human, environmental ethics, safety
2017-2018Regional9Questions of LoyaltyThe Prime Minister of Singapore recently criticized citizens who would leave Singapore at the drop of a hat in times of hardship or for better opportunities. He argued that they have a debt to the nation for all the benefits they had enjoyed through citizenship. Do we have moral duties to contribute to our nation? What is morally good or morally bad about having a sense of loyalty to country?Singapore, loyalty, patriotism, brain drain, nation, national identity, freedom of movement, autonomy, community, cosmopolitanism, duty, debts, belonging, states, immigration, emigration
2017-2018Regional10Appearances at the OfficeMaria's parents think that she would be more respected and appreciated at her new job if she bought new clothes and spent more time and money on her appearance. Maria has little interest in and money for this. She also resents the gender roles that govern workplace politics and expectations. But she does want recognition for her work. Should Maria follow her parent's advice? How far is it appropriate for an individual to go when modifying their behavior to follow norms they consider unjust?gender, equality, work, respect, recognition, style, grooming, clothes, women, men, inequality, reputation, employment, autonomy, freedom, expression, authority, implicit expectations, social justice, workplace, social norms
2017-2018Regional11Science UnfairValentina and Gerald are paired up for a science project, but Gerald is uninterested and unprepared. Valentina does not want to jeopardize her grade so she asks Gerald not to contribute anything significant to the project and he consents. Is academic laziness ethically problematic? What if Gerald wants to contribute to the project? Should the teacher know about this agreement?school, assignment, collaboration, laziness, responsibility, grades, student, teacher, honesty, fairness, desert
2017-2018Regional12Contributing to GentrificationDave wants to move into an up-and-coming urban neighborhood but is concerned that he will contribute to gentrification and the displacement of established residents and communities. Assuming that gentrification does directly cause displacement, should Dave feel guilty if he chooses to move into this neighborhood? Does anyone have a right to live in a particular neighborhood?gentrification, economic disparity, change, individual vs. group, right to housing, social justice, urban politics, urban renewal, community, race
2017-2018Regional13Losing Admission to HarvardHarvard recently rescinded several students' admission due to their posting inappropriate content on social media. Should students' social media presence play a role in the college admissions process? Should offensive social media use lead to rescinding admission? If so, how should we decide what is offensive enough? And how should the line between public and private social media be drawn?education, punishment, free speech, social media, technology, privacy, offensive speech, hate speech, university
2017-2018Regional14HR ConfidentialA HR representative knows an employee of their company has a record of reports of sexual harassment and is seeking employment at a friend's company. Should the HR employee illegally inform their friend of information that they would not otherwise have access to? Is it acceptable to violate company rules to bring about a morally desirable outcome? Is it fair to alter behavior towards someone accused of something even if they aren't found guilty?uncertainty, sexual harassment, accusation vs. guilt, professional integrity, knowledge vs. belief, interpersonal obligations, workplace, employment, gender
2017-2018Regional15Sperm of the DeadA recent widow wants to have a child with her deceased husband's sperm. Some of his family members are uneasy about this and argue that she does not own or have a right to his sperm. Husband and wife had previously agreed that they would like to have a child together. How relevant should their prior conversations be in this decision? How relevant should his family's opinion be? Would it make a difference if her husband's religious beliefs precluded organ donation after death?reproduction, marriage, tissue rights, organ donation, family rights and obligations, agency after death, children, consent, reproductive, bioethics
2016-2017Regional1Virtual and Augmented RealityVirtual reality technology allows users to experience an immersive virtual world while augmented reality allows for "enhanced" experiences. Does replacing real experiences with virtual experiences involve a loss of value, even if the virtual experience creates equally real emotions? What is the value of "real" experience? Is there a morally relevant difference between virtual and augmented reality?reality, value of real experiences, benefits of the real world vs. simulations, loss in authenticity
2016-2017Regional2A hoodwink and a nudge?Using "nudge marketing," companies subconsciously influence the behavior of customers, sometimes for the sake of profit and other times for the sake of the customer's health and wellbeing. Is it moral for business or individuals to use nudge marketing to create a happier, healthier society? Are "nudges" an unavoidable aspect of life or a violation of personal autonomy?nudge marketing, autonomy, manipulation, ends vs. means, consequentialism v. deontology
2016-2017Regional3Working while sickKate, a server at a fast food restaurant, catches the flu and is unsure of what to do. Her employer does not offer paid sick leave and she cannot afford to take a day off without pay. If she goes to work, she risks infecting her coworkers and customers and damaging the reputation of the business. What determines whether a worker is morally permitted to work while sick?paid sick leave, infectious disease ethics, sickness, work, employee, company
2016-2017Regional4Banning religious garbSupporters of various French bans of religious garb argue that the laws promote national unity, decrease security risks, and protect Muslim women from oppression. Opponents argue that these bans unfairly target Muslims and infringe upon individual rights of freedom of expression and religion. When, if ever, is banning religious garb morally justified? Does wearing certain types of religious garb oppress women? religion, discrimination, safety of society vs. individual rights, assimilation, female oppression, secularism, freedom of expression
2016-2017Regional5Family and politicsRachel wants to talk to her 5 and 10 year old niece and nephew about politics. She wants to make the world a better place through politics and believes their father holds harmful, extremist views. What moral rules govern the political education of children? How much control should parents have over the process? At what age does it become appropriate to discuss politics with children?talking about politics, children, parents, family relationships, extremism, brainwashing, political activism, political influence, one-sided information, good intentions
2016-2017Regional6Public and private charitySupporters of entitlement programs ("public charity") believe they provide essential services that protect vulnerable populations while critics argue they violate the values of limited government and individual autonomy. What is the value of charitable donations that are coerced? Are public or private charities more effective? Do people have the right to be helped in some situations? Should each individual be fully in control of how to help others?welfare, entitlement, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment, positive rights, charity, limited government, individual autonomy, benefit to society, debt, coercion, mandated charity, dependence, personal sacrifice, public v. private, moral development, taxes, donations
2016-2017Regional7Suffering catSydney wants to own a Munchkin cat, a cat with dwarfism. Munchkin cats can experience a lot of pain and suffering. She tries for two years to adopt an existing Munchkin cat and eventually considers buying from a breeder. Is it morally permissible to breed, sell, or purchase Munchkin cats? Is it morally permissible to post pictures of the cat online if it motivates others to buy Munchkin cats as well?animal rights, breeding, pain, cats, pet adoption, disabled animals, health problems, discrimination, disability, responsible spending, ethical consumerism
2016-2017Regional8Tobacco 21Given the health and societal benefits, should the government change the age at which citizens can purchase tobacco to 21? Should happen to people between 18 and 21 be "grandfathered" into the law? At what age can individuals make decisions for themselves? smoking, tobacco, age, decisions, government, autonomy, addiction, health, healthcare, medical costs, choice
2016-2017Regional9Listen to the musicIs it wrong for Frankie to listen to the music of her favorite band if their lead singer regularly makes sexist comments in interviews, donates to political organizations she believes are harmful to women, and recently pleaded guilty to criminal harassment of his ex-wife? Can you separate the music from the musician?music, musician, art, artist, personal beliefs, sexism, political donations, economic support, social support
2016-2017Regional10Armed policeGiven that police violence disproportionately affects Black people, should police departments take away many of their guns? Do the good effects of disarming police outweigh the bad?police, police brutality, race, violence, systematic racism, safety, access to guns, crime, dangerous jobs, risky jobs, public safety, weapons
2016-2017Regional11Contraception controversyIt the birth control mandate of the ACA a violation of religious liberty or a necessary component of full and equal healthcare? Should the religious beliefs of business owners' supersede those of employees?contraception, birth control, Obamacare, religious rights, insurance, religious liberty, life begins at conception, unborn, government, companies, health, women's health, bodily autonomy,
2016-2017Regional12White Privilege IISince he benefits from being a white person in hip hop, how should Macklemore get involved in anti-racist activism and the Black Lives Matter movement? Do celebrities and people who benefit from systems of oppression have a stronger obligation to advocate around certain issues?white privilege, Black Lives Matter, obligation to support causes, activism, advocacy, helpful vs. harmful participation, marginalized communities, oppression, identity, profit from activism, role of white allies, celebrity, musician, artist, singer, rap, hip hop, race, racism
2016-2017Regional13Toastmaster disasterWas it ethical for Anne and Richard to pay a ghost writer to write their wedding toast for their sister? Does the quality and content of the purchased toast affect the morality? Should Anne and Richard tell their sister they bought the toast?family, authenticity, honesty, relationships, ghost writing, good intentions, ends v. means, pay, money, authorship, plagiarism, ownership of work, credit, lying
2016-2017Regional14Donor babiesWhen, if ever, is it morally permissible to bring a child into existence so they can donate tissue to somebody else? Does this cheapen the perceived value of human life, even if they are loved as much as other babies? bioethics, using people as means to an end, tissue donation, donor, painful medical procedure, save life, parents, baby, abortion, selfish reasons for having children, value of human life
2016-2017Regional15Online privacyCISPA and CISA are laws that call for government agencies and businesses to share information about cybersecurity threats with one another and provide liability protection to private companies that share cyber threat indicators with the government. When is it morally acceptable for companies to share user information? When can the government infringe online privacy rights?privacy rights, surveillance of private citizens, internet, cybersecurity, public safety, government, business, online privacy, information, abuse, consumers, cyber threats, intelligence, security, voluntary information sharing
2016-2017Regional16Moral offsettingCan you balance harms that you cause by donating to charities that address those harms? When is moral offsetting appropriate and inappropriate?self-sacrifice, harm, more good than bad, moral obligation, charity, donation, money, good actions cancel bad actions, consumer behavior, ethical consumerism, personal behavior
2016-2017National1In it for the likes?Is it okay for Leah to make political posts on Facebook and attend protests for self-interested reasons, like impressing people? She cares about the issues for their own sake, but if she had no self-interested reason to engage in political activity, her overall engagement would decline.motives, self-interest, political activism, motivations, good actions, social media, social justice, protests
2016-2017National2Contributing to overpopulationIf current population trends are unsustainable, what does this mean for our individual procreative choices? Do we have a moral duty to limit how many children we have to address overpopulation?individual responsibility, children, parents, overpopulation, environment, global community, do individual choices make a difference, collective responsibility
2016-2017National3Hope for the best or plan for the worst?When Patrick's family is in a very bad financial situation, he puts on a brave face and tells his family that everything will be okay, knowing that his message is overly optimistic. His message of hope helps his family cope, but is it active deception or a morally permissible, if not required, part of caring for his family?family, lie, lying, false beliefs, optimism, faith, deception, good consequences, ends justify means, deceiving others v. oneself, pessimism, hope
2016-2017National4Up and downNaloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. Is naloxone enabling opioid addicts, and if so, do the harms outweigh the benefits? When it comes to drug policies, is it more morally important to promote the wellbeing of drug users or reduce rates of drug use?addiction, drugs, medication, accessibility, access, policy, overdose, opioid epidemic, personal responsibility, benefits v. harms, bioethics, harm reduction
2016-2017National5Taking care of parentsCharlotte is a college senior with a high-paying job waiting for her after she graduates. As they age, her extremely supportive grandparents ask her to provide for her financially irresponsible mother. To what degree is Charlotte obligated to financially support her mother? To what degree is she obligated to obey her grandparents' wishes?family obligations, filial obligation, loyalty, parents, grandparents, help, independence, responsibility, family needs, relationships
2016-2017National6Drone strikesAre drone strikes ethical, given that they save the lives of American soldiers, but can also make military personnel too cavalier about taking life. Is it morally better or worse to engage in violence remotely rather than in person?drones, war, soldiers, violence, killing, conflict zones, Americans vs. non-Americans, psychological trauma
2016-2017National7Teaching all sidesShould a high school teacher in a class that studies many controversial subjects teach all sides of every issue or favor some sides over others? Should she use her own judgement, teach all sides of public opinion, or defer to experts and scientists? What questions can she treat as open and what questions should she teach as closed?teacher, bias, public opinion, controversy, civic responsibility, authority figure, position of power, opinions, politics, education
2016-2017National8Nonhuman animals in biomedical researchBiomedical experiments often use nonhuman animals as test subjects. This can lead to important scientific advances but exposes research subjects to injury/death without the possibility of consent. How should we compare the value of scientific knowledge with the wellbeing of nonhuman research subjects?bioethics, animal rights, value of scientific knowledge, research, consent, costs v. benefits
2016-2017National9Standing up to hateSam goes over to their friend Jake's house for dinner, where Jake's father and brother make hateful, bigoted comments. Should Sam confront them and stand up to hate or stay silent because it is not Sam's place?bigotry, friends, family, relationships, respect elders, politeness, racism, sexism, homophobia, manners, role as guest, hate, intolerance, activism, justice
2016-2017National10Dirty handsLisa is a mechanical engineer whose only job offer is at a company involved in military technology. As a committed pacifist, she is conflicted about whether she should turn down the job to keep her conscience clean or accept the job to prevent a non-pacifist from taking the job.personal values, principles, obligation to make world a better place, compromise values, self-interest, job, career
2016-2017National11Gender and sportsShould there be such a binary division between men's and women's sports competitions? How should trans or nonbinary people enter competitions?gender, gender differences, sports, natural abilities, gender identity, transgender, nonbinary, athletes, competitive advantages, divide, sex reassignment
2016-2017National12Stuck in loveSarah and Chris were happily married until Chris became a paraplegic after a tragic climbing accident. Since then, their interests have diverged and Sarah no longer feels happy. Is there something morally bad about leaving your partner as a result of this kind of development? Is Sarah blameworthy for feeling unfulfilled?love, marriage, commitment, disability, break promise, vows, sickness, divorce, happiness, fulfillment
2016-2017National13Risky moral decisionsAn overseer at a large coal mine must decide who to save after an accident: a large group with a low chance of successful rescue or a small group with a high chance of successful rescue. What should he do? Is it morally problematic to make calculations with human lives?hypothetical, saving life, accident, rescue, assessing value of human lives
2016-2017National14Responsibility for implicit biasShould we blame people for having or acting on implicit biases, and if so how much? How should the fact that implicit biases are so widespread influence what we think about them?racism, implicit bias, moral responsibility, awareness, prejudice, blame, explicit vs. implicit bias, negative consequences
2016-2017National15Tip of the icebergThe only way for Erica, a waiter and primary bread-winner, to make ends meet for her family is to not report her tips as income to the IRS. Is stealing justified in this situation? Are we less morally responsible for lying, cheating, or stealing if our economic circumstances coerce us into doing so?taxes, stealing, economic circumstances, poverty, illegal activities justified, desperate times, steal out of necessity, coercion
2016-2017National16Almost kiss and tellJuan almost cheats on his girlfriend Julia but then doesn't for lack of opportunity. Is it morally permissible to keep this information from Julia? What constitutes cheating on a partner?love, cheating, relationships, commitment, honesty, trust
2016-2017National17The cases for and against reparationsShould Black Americans receive reparations for slavery and/or continuing discrimination? Does a person need to have cause a harm in order to be morally accountable for that harm, or is it enough that they benefit for the legacy of that harm?justice, equality, discrimination, racism, slavery, reparations, financial restitution, blame, government, accountability, punishment
2015-2016Regional1Too Young to Vote?Given that minors are directly affected by political decisions, should the voting age be lowered to 16? On what should the right to vote depend? voting, age, difference between adults and minors, rights, democracy
2015-2016Regional2Selecting for DeafnessA deaf couple decides to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select for a deaf child so they can be in a better position to parent the child. Is it morally wrong to select for a disability? Are they harming their child if the alternative is that embryo remains frozen?bioethics, disability and wellbeing, family, children, obligation, health
2015-2016Regional3Ice Water EthicsThe ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" raised millions of dollars for ALS research but drew criticism for encouraging "slacktivism." Furthermore, ALS is much rarer and more difficult to treat than diseases like malaria. Is it unethical for a charity to solicit more donations than it needs or for donors to give to charities when the money could be better used elsewhere?slacktivism, activism, moral licensing, donations, charity, allocation of resources, disease, social media, demands of morality
2015-2016Regional4A For-Profit 21st Century SchoolAltSchool is a for-profit school AND tech company. It collects data on enrolled students for research and the development of operating system for education that it will market to schools. However, this technology may further inequality since it is too expensive for many schools. Should schools partner with tech companies? Should schools conduct research on students?purpose of education, profit, business, research, experimental learning, new technology, inequality, access to education, corporate partnerships
2015-2016Regional5Reacting to Racist ChantsDuring a match, a black soccer play responds to racist chants with an "unpleasant gesture." He was suspended for two matches and the area where the most vocal fans sit was closed. Are athletes obligated to act professionally in the face of racist chants? Is it fair to punish a large number of fans because of the actions of a few? group punishment, racism, athlete, celebrity, higher standard of behavior, apologies, public, reaction, race
2015-2016Regional6Fire at the LouvreShould the curator of a burning art museum risk his life to rescue anything? If so, he can either save the Mona Lisa or an unconscious museum visitor. How does the value of art and a person compare?value of art, value of human life, culture, rescue, risk life, save, hypothetical
2015-2016Regional7Technology's GraveyardsMillions of tons of electronics are discarded each year and end up in developing nations, where they hurt the environment. Is it morally permissible for nations to sell potentially hazardous e-waste to willing buyers in developing nations? Do manufacturers have a moral obligation to create products with longer lifespans, even if they would earn less money as a result? How should manufacturers, governments, and consumers solve this problem?environment, pollution, perceived obsolescence, waste, law, government, global problem, developed and developing nations, ethical consumerism
2015-2016Regional8Reporting on a ScandalThe editor of the high school's newspaper learns that a community service group has not functioned according to school rules: they awarded service hours in exchange for money raised. The leader of the club expresses regret and asks the editor not to publish the allegations because they will hurt his chances of college admission. How should the editor weigh her journalistic responsibilities against a student's right to privacy?journalism, truth vs. individuals' right to privacy, reputation, mistake, professional obligation, abuse of system, cheating, community service, fundraising, newspaper, private citizens v. public citizen
2015-2016Regional9"Don't Help Me!"Tom has been twice cited for underage drinking and if he receives one more citation, he will lose his much-needed scholarship to college. While drinking with Kevin, Tom badly cuts his hand and then asks Kevin not to call for help. Should Kevin call for help or defer to Tom's judgement?blame, friendship, informed decision, alcohol, guilt
2015-2016Regional10Feeding Cover-UpShould nursing mothers have to cover themselves while breastfeeding in public places? When should business owners have a right to control the types of behaviors, like breastfeeding, that are allowed in their businesses?breastfeeding, public, nudity, natural behaviors, offend, business owner rights
2015-2016Regional11Transgender and MedicaidShould transgender care be covered under Medicare and Medicaid? Is there a morally relevant difference between treatment of gender dysphoria and other physical conditions? How does the morality of a cis and trans women's desire to have breast implants differ?transgender, gender identity, medical treatment, tax dollars, cosmetic procedures, healthcare, insurance, medical resources, societal expectations, physical appearance, private v. public insurance
2015-2016Regional12Ban the BoxIs it morally permissible for employers to ask about criminal history on an application? Is it morally permissible for the state to prevent employers from asking about criminal history on an application?
rights of private employers, criminal history, criminal justice, additional punishment, job, hire, former prisoners, ex-convicts, paid debt to society, race
2015-2016Regional13Paying a Ransom to Save Your FamilyThe US has a strict policy of not paying ransoms for hostages because it incentivizes the taking of hostages and funds terrorism. Is it morally justifiable the government to enforce this policy on private citizens who try to pay ransoms? Is it immoral for families to pay ransoms?terrorism, hostage, ransom, family, policy, role of government, private citizens, individuals
2015-2016Regional14Swimming for FreeAngel works full time but struggles to make ends meet, and Mark attends an expensive private college. Is it morally permissible for Angel to use his friend Mark's school ID to swim in the pool for free?stealing, need, victimless crime, inequality, theft, deceit, deception
2015-2016Regional15The Modern Debtors' PrisonPeople from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds are sometimes arrested and jailed for failure to pay their legal fees or fines for low-level offenses. Under what circumstances is it morally permissible to put people in jail for failing to pay their debts? How does the fact that those imprisoned tend to be undereducated minorities who are in some cases suffering from mental illness?debt, imprisonment, fines, equity, justice, deterrent, financial status, equal treatment under the law, marginalized people, harsh penalties, racism
2015-2016National1VT VaccineAmidst growing concern about undermining herd immunity, Vermont banned the use of philosophical, but not religious, exemption to the vaccination requirement for public school students. Do parents have a moral duty to vaccinate their kids? Is there a morally significant difference between deeply held secular and religious beliefs?religion, secularism, vaccines, public school requirements, parental rights, health, disease, mandatory vaccinations, religious freedom
2015-2016National2Prison WorkMany states make use of work prisons where prisoners "volunteer" to work and then receive a wage. Does this constitute exploitation of prisoners or is it necessary to reduce the high cost of the criminal justice system and help prisoners gain work skills? Is it ethical for a private company to pay workers in prison less than workers outside prison? Is it ethical for private companies to earn a profit from prison labor?coerced choice v. free choice, private prisons, prison labor, modern slavery, punishment, crime, criminal justice, inequality, race
2015-2016National3Religion at the HospitalAn emergency room physician, Betsy, knows that one of her patients, Steve, is going to die in the next day or so. Steve is not religious in any way and Betsy believes that unless people have faith, they will suffer eternal damnation. The hospital has a rule against medical professionals trying to spread their faith among patients, but Betsy believes the importance of Steve's eternal wellbeing outweighs the importance of hospital rules.religion, proselytizing, faith, heaven, hell, belief, ethical beliefs v. professional obligation, abuse of power, discussing religion
2015-2016National4Let Them Eat Cake?Some bakeries have refused to make wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because their religious beliefs prohibit them from taking part in the celebration. If a private business owner refuses to sell a product to people because they plan to use it in a ceremony they religiously disapprove of, are they engaging in discrimination? secularism, religion, discrimination, gay marriage, religious freedom, sexual orientation, religious rights of private businesses
2015-2016National5Warning, Warning, Don't Read All About It!Students have started to demand trigger warnings about potentially traumatizing material in the classroom. Critics of trigger warnings claim they threaten free speech as well as the role of higher education to train students to challenge their beliefs. Proponents argue that trigger warnings create a safe, supportive environment for students to learn more effectively. role of education, trigger warnings on the internet v. education, free speech, hypersensitivity, trauma, PTSD, moral obligation
2015-2016National6Family SecretsSybil shared many intimate stories (including ones about drug use and mental health issues) about her family members in her successful memoir recounting her difficult childhood. Her sister accuses her of violating her right to privacy and damaging her reputation. How does the value of writing a memoir weigh against values associated with friendship, family, privacy?substance abuse, depression, art, family, writing about sister v. parents, ownership of personal stories, right to privacy
2015-2016National7Acting UnnaturallyA struggling minority actor is offered a major part in a new sitcom. He will have many lines in what will likely be a hit show, but his character would essentially be acting out racial stereotypes for easy laughs. Should he accept the role?diversity, media, non-white actors, minorities, racist stereotypes, job, personal values, principles, race, compromise, career
2015-2016National8Climate DebtDeveloped nations are disproportionately responsible for climate change while developing nations are most vulnerable to its effects. Do developed nations have a moral obligation to do much more than developing nations to address climate change? To what extent to individual countries have a moral obligation to not cause harm to other countries?moral responsibility for actions of ancestors, international competition, global warming, response to climate change, reparations, greenhouse gasses, carbon emissions
2015-2016National9Cultural ArtifactsISIS is destroying history and profiting by attacking cultural heritage sites and looting antiquities. Is the US coalition doing enough to protect the country's cultural artifacts from ISIS? Are we morally required to preserve cultural artifacts? Are we morally permitted to purchase stolen cultural artifacts?cultural artifacts, terrorism, ISIS, ISIL, surveillance, air strikes, ethical consumerism, looting, cultural cleansing, heritage sites, stolen antiquities market
2015-2016National10Unpaid ItemJake, a busy college student, realizes at home that the grocery store forgot to charge him for a 24-case of bottled water. Given that it was the grocer's mistake, is Jake morally obligated to go back and pay for the item? How would the case be different at a small independent store versus a big chain store? What if the item cost several hundred dollars?stealing, theft, victimless crime, mistake, free item, shopping
2015-2016National11See Something, Say SomethingAt the airport, Susan (who fears Muslim extremists) notices a man in a turban acting suspiciously. Should she ignore him given her own biases and the fact that she may not have noticed him if he had been dressed differently, or should she err on the side of caution and say something? Is racial, ethnic, or religious profiling ever morally permissible?profiling, bias, discrimination, safety, anti-Muslim bias, security, terrorism, racism, Islamophobia, threat, airplane
2015-2016National12Shame on YouSome are using social pressure in the form of "fat shaming" to address the obesity epidemic in America. Critics worry these campaigns will promote negative attitudes about people who appear overweight. How should we weigh the good and bad effects of fat shaming? Is there a moral difference between a comedian engaging in fat shaming and a hospital doing so?moral obligation not to offend, political correctness, free speech, obesity, overweight, fat, skinny, body image, social criticism, public health concerns, stigmatization
2015-2016National13Whose Photo Is It Anyway?Popular visual artist Richard Prince combined screenshots of Instagram pictures uploaded by famous and unknown users with his own comments and sold this piece for $90,000. Since Prince did not get users' permission to use their photos, his piece raises legal and ethical questions about art and ownership.appropriation, ownership, art, "New Portraits," digital age, social media, privacy, wealth, photography, permission, compensation, profit, public
2015-2016National14What's Your Age Again?Aubrey, a 19 year old, accidentally goes on a date with a 14-year-old who lied about her age when Aubrey asked. Given that the 14-year-old looked young in her dating profile, did Aubrey have a moral obligation to ask for proof of her age? How much caution should Aubrey have to take in his dating life?online dating, age, age of consent, lying about age, gender, relationships, internet, deception, minors
2015-2016National15Support for ParisIn the aftermath of the 2015 Paris terrorist attack, many around the world expressed strong support for Paris. On the same day as the Paris attacks, there were suicide bombings in Beirut and Baghdad that received relatively little global attention. Is it unreasonable for Americans to express support for Paris but not for Beirut or Baghdad? selective outrage, grieving, terrorism, support on social media, global attention, suffering, priorities, media
2015-2016National16South Korea's New, Young FacesExperts attribute the high rates of plastic surgery in South Korea to beauty standards, employers that require job applicants to submit picture with their resumes, and lack of regulation of the plastic surgery industry. Can it be good for a person to get cosmetic surgery to meet an unreasonable standard of beauty?plastic surgery, cosmetics, unreasonable beauty standards, oppression, "ghost doctors," job applicants, image
2014-2015Regional1Copying HomeworkVivian asks her friend Gabriella if she can copy a worksheet for a homework assignment she forgot to do. On the one hand, the worksheet is just busy work and Gabriella wants to help her friend. On the other hand, she could get in trouble and it seems unfair to all of the students who did the homework on their own.friendship, cheating, busy work, copying, breaking rules for a friend, fairness, homework, victimless crime
2014-2015Regional2Army Hairstyles2014 updates to US Army appearance and grooming protocol prohibit hairstyles that are common among African American women. Critics called the changes racially biased while supporters claim are necessary to maintain uniformity. To what extent should the military maintain uniformity versus embrace ethnic diversity?diversity, systematic racism, dress code, uniformity, safety, soldiers, gender, professionalism, policies, discrimination, hairstyle regulation, individuality, race
2014-2015Regional3Dating a Friend's ExIn what circumstances is it morally permissible for Logan to date his close friend Alex's ex-girlfriend? Alex tells Logan pursuit of the relationship amounts to a betrayal. Is this a morally permissible reaction?dating, relationships, betrayal, love, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, friendship, gender, romance
2014-2015Regional4Immunization Programs as a Cover for Spying OperationsA polio vaccination program was used by the CIA to help gain information on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Under what circumstances is the use of humanitarian programs for ulterior purposes justified? Should governments provide aid to countries known to harbor terrorists?counter-terrorism, vaccines, public health, humanitarian aid, ulterior motives, spying, safety, trust, volunteers, counterterrorism
2014-2015Regional5Writing Your Own Letter of RecommendationUnder what conditions, if any, is it ethical to write one's own letter of recommendation?victimless crime, teacher obligations, students, lying, cheating, exaggeration, college admission
2014-2015Regional6Heart Attack GrillHeart Attack Grill sells extremely unhealthy food, but is honest about how bad the food is for one's health. Should owner Jon Basso continue to operate the Heart Attack Grill after 2 regular customers died of heart attacks? Do people have the right to eat whatever food they want, even if it kills them?public health, obesity, freedom, honesty, business rights, free market economy, well-being of consumers, free choice, paternalism
2014-2015Regional7Blocking the Uninsured From RefuelingIn the U.K., closed circuit television will be used to block uninsured motorists from refueling. This technology (automatic number plate recognition) is already used on toll roads. Advocates of this system argue it will benefit those who have accidents with uninsured drivers while critics claim it violates privacy of, invasion of privacy, surveillance, law enforcement, mandatory insurance, tracking, recording
2014-2015Regional8Hurricane Katrina and Dr. PouDuring Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Pou injected several hospital patients with sedatives to ease their pain and focus on evacuating healthier patients. Did Dr. Pou do the right thing in hastening the death of some of her patients during Katrina? Whose life should doctors prioritize during emergency situations?informed consent, Do Not Resuscitate orders, prioritization, bioethics, emergency situations, survival, death, duty of physician, standards of care during crisis
2014-2015Regional9Lying to ParentsNoah's parents are morally opposed to drinking but Noah, age 21, occasionally drinks a little. Should Noah lie to his parents about his drinking, given that telling the truth will be detrimental to their relationship and may cause his parents to withdraw their financial support for him?moral permissibility of lying, family, children, ends justify means, truth, honesty, alcohol, obligations of adult child to parents
2014-2015Regional10World Cup ControversyWas it ethical for the Brazilian government to host the World Cup, when some of the public funds used could have been spent providing much-needed social services to its own impoverished citizens?government priorities, sports, soccer, athletic competitions, wealth, obligation to help those less fortunate, affluence, tourism, extreme poverty, international events, development, wealthy vs. poor nations
2014-2015Regional11Drunken RacismWhile drinking with her friends, Molly goes on a racist, hateful rant. The next day, Molly says her drunken statements are not reflective of her true self. To what extent is Molly blameworthy for her drunken behavior? Can we be blameworthy for bad thoughts that are unexpressed? moral responsibility, racism, apology, alcohol, blame, drunken behavior, unexpressed thoughts, hate speech, race
2014-2015Regional12Eating for FreeMilan is fired from her restaurant job for making herself free food when the restaurant closes at night. She did so because her manager and close friend Kai sometimes gave her permission to do so and she knew the leftover food was thrown away. What constitutes stealing? What moral obligations do managers have to subordinates who are also their friends?stealing, friendship, relationships, employee, breaking unfair rules, employer responsibilities, free meals, theft, victimless crime
2014-2015Regional13Anti-Depressants For Mentally-Ill AnimalsWhat responsibility do humans have to treat mental illness in non-human animals? Given that animals cannot "consent" to taking drugs, is giving them psychiatric drugs immoral?animal rights, mental illness, healthcare, consent, depression, drugs, treatment
2014-2015Regional14Photo-Shop FictionIf photo-shopping has negative psychological effects and misleads consumers, to what extent should the government regulate photo-shop in advertising? Does regulation of photo-shop intrude on a business's right to freedom of speech and expression?deception, free speech, limits of free speech, self-esteem, false-advertising, government regulation, cosmetics, retouching images, body image disorders, photoshop
2014-2015Regional15Violence Against BulliesAaron is bullied by Ryan, who makes fun of his family, interests, and racial background but never physically hurts him. Is it morally permissible for Aaron to punch Ryan? Do the consequences of the punch (i.e.. if it succeeds in stopping the bullying) affect its justification?bullying, revenge, permissible use of violence, bystanders, standing up to injustice, protest
2014-2015National1Giving to PanhandlersVicky chooses not to give money to a homeless beggar because she worries that he will use the money to buy drugs or alcohol and wonders how he became homeless in the first place. Is her choice morally justified? What moral duties do we have to the less fortunate?charity, demands of morality, sacrifices for the well being of others, trust, homelessness, poverty
2014-2015National2Ethical ConsumerismMaria wonders whether it is morally acceptable to buy cheap products manufactured by people working for low wages in bad conditions. Are we morally obligated to ensure that none of our actions indirectly harm others?child labor, exploitation, fair trade, organic, conscientious shopping, working conditions, factories, ethical consumerism
2014-2015National3Cheerleading and DisabilityCallie joined the high school cheerleading team despite being confined to a wheelchair due to her cerebral palsy. However, the school urged her mother to sign agreement restricting her to the sidelines due to safety concerns. Is this discrimination? Do safety concerns outweigh Callie's wishes to join the cheerleading squad? disability, cheerleading, safety, school sanctioned activities, risk, discrimination, ableism, parents, ability
2014-2015National4Offensive Lyric Sing-AlongNate wants to sing along to a popular song on the radio, but realizes the song has some sexist lines. Would singing the song amount to approval of the sexist sentiments the song reflects? When is self-censorship morally appropriate?sexism, harms, singing along, self-censorship, music, art, objectionable lyrics, offensive lines, artist
2014-2015National5Gifts from Questionable DonorsMany organizations that rely on donors for funding wonder whether it is morally permissible to accept gifts from donors who acquired their resources through questionable practices or engage in immoral projects. When, if ever, should nonprofits turn down donations that could help them realize morally good ends?gifts, university, nonprofit, individual vs. organizational cases, donations, complicit, moral statement, dirty money, non-profits
2014-2015National6NFL FandomIs being a fan of the NFL football morally defensible? Critics state the NFL treats players as faceless commodities, and football is a potentially dangerous and degrading activity. Supporters stress the importance of players' consent.sports, endorsement, football, concussions, consent to dangerous activity, risk
2014-2015National7Food DesertGiven that residents in food deserts do not have access to healthy foods, do owners of stores located in food deserts have a responsibility to sell lower-cost items? Do for-profit businesses have a responsibility to maximize their community's well being?gentrification, community, business, profit, moral responsibility of companies, grocery store, fast food, income inequality, poverty
2014-2015National8G.M.'s Failure13 deaths have been linked to faulty ignition switches in G.M. cars, a problem which some employees knew about beforehand. Who should be held responsible for the deaths? When workers collaborate on a product, to what extent are individual workers responsible for addressing a moral problem? What is the moral difference between deliberate action and deliberate inaction?moral responsibility, punishment, deliberate action vs. deliberate inaction, employee vs. employer responsibility, recall, car crash, profit
2014-2015National9HIPAA and Mentally Ill Adult ChildrenHIPAA prevents family members from accessing health information about patients over 18. Some have proposed making an exception for family members of patients with serious mental illness. Should concerns about mental competency outweigh a patient's right to privacy?mental illness, disability, psychological treatment, health care, right to privacy, mental competency, family, parents
2014-2015National10Alternative Beliefs in SchoolAdministrators prevented the school newspaper from running an editorial about being an atheist at a predominantly Christian public school. Should the school be able to censor material that is not defamatory or otherwise illegal? Is religious activity on school campus morally permissible?religion, public prayer, freedom of expression, Establishment Clause, free speech, press, journalism, censorship, education, atheism, religious activity, school newspapers
2014-2015National11Breaking Subway NormsTo what extent is it permissible to talk loudly on your cell phone on an otherwise quiet subway ride? Is it appropriate to be upset over someone talking on their cell phone in public spaces? To what extent are we obligated to follow social norms?social norms, overhear, noise complaint, cell phone, public spaces, annoying behavior
2014-2015National12The Status of Animals in DenmarkFirst, a zoo in Denmark euthanized a healthy giraffe because it did not have room for it and it did not want it to spend the next 20 years suffering. Second, Denmark has outlawed ritual animal slaughter methods required by Muslim and Jewish tradition because they are inhumane. Should animal rights ever take precedence over religious rights?animal rights, religion, euthanasia, zoo animals, animals raised for consumption, slaughtering methods, kosher, halal, animal welfare
2014-2015National13Losing TraditionShould efforts be made to preserve traditional cultures in the face of globalization? How do we distinguish between a cultural practice worth saving and a practice that should be eradicated?cultural relativism, female genital mutilation, economic advancements, technological advancements, traditional practices, cultural diversity, McDonalds, Starbucks, food culture
2014-2015National14A Child's Right to DieIs a new law in Belgium that allows terminally ill children to choose euthanasia morally defensible?euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, terminal illness, pain, death, age, capacity to make decisions, right to die, additional choice
2014-2015National15BatkidThe city of San Francisco and philanthropists payed around $105,000 to fulfill the dream of a 5-year old with leukemia to be Batman for a day. Was this contribution morally permissible, given that the money could have been used elsewhere to much greater effect? Should we allocate our money to produce the greatest good for the greatest number? A case borrowed from the Intercollegiate Ethics, utilitarianism, donations, allocation of resources, Make-a-Wish Foundation, IEB
2013-2014Regional1One Child Too ManyUnder what conditions, if any, should a government be allowed to limit the number of children people can have? In the US, families with many kids become famous through reality TV. What is the media's responsibility in covering these stories?One-Child Policy, China, reproduction, government regulation, overpopulation, reality TV, media
2013-2014Regional2FrankenburgerShould we support the research and development of synthetic, genetically-engineered meat? It would prevent the killing of animals but hurt the animal farming industry and use animals for research.animal rights, GMO, scientific advancements, technology, test-tube meat, vegetarianism, food
2013-2014Regional3Forgiving Political Sex ScandalsGiven that several politicians involved in sex scandals have made a political comeback, do politicians need to have good moral character? Is forgiveness of sexual indiscretion a demonstration of social progress or an erosion of ethics and values?values, politics, election, public officials, personal character, affair, cheating, forgiveness
2013-2014Regional4Compensation for College AthletesGiven that college athletes provide universities with windfall profits but are not compensated except through scholarships, is the current structure of NCAA sports exploitative? Should college athletes be paid?college athletics, sports, exploitation, role of university, NCAA, paying college athletes
2013-2014Regional5Compensation for Non-ProfitsState-subsidized non-profits have been criticized for executives having annual salaries of $100,000 or more. Should non-profit executives be paid competitive salaries? Critics argue that the money should be spent on helping people, while supporters argue that for non-profits to be successful, they must be able to recruit talented workers with competitive, salary, non-profit sector, private sector, government regulation, overpaid executives, CEO
2013-2014Regional6Legalization of MarijuanaThe legalization of marijuana is gaining traction in some states. Supporters claim legalization will help the economy and that it is an issue of racial justice because African-Americans are disproportionately arrested for drug use. Opponents claim that legalization is a "slippery slope" that could lead to the legalization of more dangerous drugs.systematic racism, racial justice, war on drugs, government regulation, slippery slope argument, decriminalization, recreational marijuana use
2013-2014Regional7Forced FatherhoodSome men feel that they should not have to pay child support for unwanted children. Is it ethical for men to be held financially responsible for children they did not want while women have the ability to get an abortion? How should gender inequalities affect the issue of forced fatherhood?gender inequality, abortion, family, child support, income inequality, women's rights, men's rights
2013-2014Regional8Endangered Animals on the LooseWhen 56 exotic animals were set loose in Ohio, law enforcement shot and killed 49 animals, instead of using tranquilizer darts. Was this morally permissible, given that many of the animals were endangered species? Is private possession of exotic or endangered animals ethical?animal rights, endangered species, private animal collections, government regulation, safety of local citizens vs. safety of animals
2013-2014Regional9Security versus PrivacyEdward Snowden was called a hero by some and a traitor by others for revealing that the NSA was collecting private communications from unsuspecting US citizens. Is it ethical for the government to collect private communication records between U.S. citizens? Is it ethical for government employees to reveal classified information entrusted to them?whistleblower, Edward Snowden, NSA, public safety, right to privacy, surveillance, probable cause, warrant
2013-2014Regional10Indian Child Welfare ActIn a 2013 child custody case, the Supreme Court ruled that Veronica, a native American girl, should not have been taken away from her adoptive parents. Her biological father had previously sued for custody and won by invoking the Indian Child Welfare Act. Should Veronica be returned to her adoptive parents or remain with her biological father?adoption, custody disputes, rights of native American Indians, rights of adoptive parents, rights of children, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), adoptive vs. biological parents, Cherokee, judicial system, Supreme Court case
2013-2014Regional11Deja vu: Arming Present Day FriendsIn the past, the U.S. has armed international military forces the State Department believed would advance US interests. Unfortunately, some of these weapons were later used against our own military forces. Is it ethical to arm rebels in countries we are not at war with? What criteria should be used to determine if a faction receives military aid?freedom fighters, contras, military aid, weapons, revolutionary factions, international intervention, Islamist militants
2013-2014Regional12The After PartyTom's dad was supposed to give Christine and Tom (who are dating) a ride home from a post-prom party. They cannot yet drive and are the only sober party-goers. When he picks them up, Christine notices that Tom's dad has been drinking. Christine doesn't want to disrespect an adult, but wants everyone to get home safely. What should she do?drunk driving, respect for adults, ethical standards for adults vs. teens, teenagers, party, prom, designated driver, alcohol, duty, friends, family, relationships, love, safety
2013-2014Regional13Physician-Assisted SuicideTerminally ill patients in some states can choose to die with physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Supporters argue PAS gives patients the right to die with dignity, while opponents call it a corruption of the ethical code of doctors. Under what conditions should physicians have the right to assist patients with suicide?suicide, end-of-life decisions, physician, doctor, health care, autonomy, right to die, terminal illness, death, Hippocratic Oath, incorrect diagnoses
2013-2014Regional14Conscientious ObjectionAll male US residents must register for the draft, but exemptions exist for "conscientious objectors." People can object if their religion prohibits participation in combat or they have strongly held moral objections to war. Under what circumstances, if any, should someone be able to object to military service?draft, conscription, warfare, just war, military, army, religion, secular, soldier, killing, patriotism, duty, nationalism, freedom
2013-2014Regional15Trayvon Martin and the Use of Lethal ForceThe shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, sparked a debate about racial profiling, concealed carry permits, and self-defense laws. When is it morally permissible to use deadly force against someone?racism, racial profiling, Black Lives Matter, self-defense, Stand Your Ground law, gun control, police brutality, right to bear arms, concealed carry, murder, manslaughter, jury of peers, role of attorney, role of jurors
2013-2014National1The Tradition of Segregated PromsSome Southern communities have segregated, invitation-only proms that are privately funded and organized. This is not breaking any laws, but is it morally wrong? Should schools be allowed to hold two separate proms based on race if the majority of students want it?segregation, prom, racism, party, discrimination, public vs. private, personal freedom, tradition, South, school
2013-2014National2The Last Abortion ClinicThere is only one abortion clinic left in Mississippi due to state laws regulating clinics and pro-life groups that intimidate patients at clinics. If it closes, it will become impossible for many women to exercise their legal right to abortion. Is it permissible for government funding to cover abortion procedures?abortion, bioethics, pro-life, pro-choice, law, government regulation, autonomy, women's rights,
2013-2014National3It's Just FashionKarlie Kloss, a non-Native American model, was accused of cultural appropriation when she wore a Native American headdress on a walkway. To what extent is it acceptable to wear accessories from another culture? What determines the acceptability of cultural appropriation?cultural appropriation, fashion show, celebrity, beauty, culture, stereotypes, social value of symbols
2013-2014National4The People's Pornography?David Cameron wants to restrict access to online pornography in the UK. What role should governments have in deciding if content is morally acceptable for children? Given Mr. Cameron's view that porn is morally corrosive to children, how should the UK balance the greater good against free speech and other rights?censorship, freedom, online pornography, online filter, restrictions, children, moral development, violence, objectification, government duty, free speech
2013-2014National5The Purpose of Public EducationGovernor McCrory argued against subsidizing liberal arts and humanities majors that he believes do not prepare students for jobs. Should the government subsidize majors that are most economically valuable, most fulfilling, best promote moral development, or that help build a democratic society?role of higher education, liberal arts, humanities, public university, private school, government subsidies, employment, jobs, art, literature, history, philosophy, college major, employment
2013-2014National6Gender and Sex in SchoolA transgender girl in Colorado sued the school system and won after being forced to use the boys' bathroom. Which bathroom should a transgender student be allowed to use? Should public recognition of a person's gender be determined by anatomy or personal identity?transgender, bathroom bill, HB2, school, gender identity, biological sex, right to privacy, discrimination, LGBT rights, LGBTQ
2013-2014National7Legal Personhood and the Status of Non-Human AnimalsSome animal rights groups insist that some non-human animals possess high-level cognitive abilities that entitles them to legal personhood and the associated fundamental rights. What restrictions should be placed on how we can use animals?legal personhood, rights of bodily liberty, capacity for reasoning, animal rights, Nonhuman Rights Project, animal testing, vegetarianism, meat, legal rights
2013-2014National8Caring for Adults with Severe Developmental DisabilitiesEva abandoned her developmentally disabled daughter, age 19, outside a bar and drove home. She claims that she lost her job and went into debt caring for her daughter. Do parents ever have the right to leave an adult child that needs care?disability, disabled adults, legal guardian, family, parents, care of children, legal responsibility, law for mental health rights
2013-2014National9Media Coverage of Mass MurdersIt has been argued that media coverage of the perpetrators of mass killings may instigate copycat killings. Should freedom of the press to cover mass killings be protected if it is shown that such coverage leads to more killings?freedom of the press, free speech, Colombine, Sandy Hook, First Amendment, school shooting, magazine, newspaper, media coverage, gun, shooter, mass murder, violence, news
2013-2014National10Obligations of Historical Fiction WritersTwo pieces of historical fiction portray the same historical figure very differently. Do writers of historical fiction have any obligation to represent events accurately? Is it morally wrong to depict a figure as more cruel than they really were?historical fiction, play, film, historical figures, suffering, harm after death, defamation of character, art, truthfulness, honesty
2013-2014National11Repatriating War Spoils and Cultural ArtifactsThere have been many examples of looted art in recent decades. Who has claim to cultural artifacts: researchers from all over the world, war conquerors, their original owners? Should a collector who unknowingly bought looted art return the items? art, Nazi art dealer, confiscated art, looted art, looting, war, ownership, cultural artifacts, war spoils, imperialism, cultural heritage, archeology, stolen artwork
2013-2014National12Wonder Medicine for Cancer TreatmentNick, a terminally ill patient, was denied admittance to a clinical trial that was the only means to access a potentially life-saving drug. Under what conditions is it ethical for drug companies to offer or deny drugs to patients that want them but are not eligible for the trials?compassionate use, cancer, drug company, FDA approval, scientific method, clinical trials, save life, medication, data, risk, research, open distribution of drugs
2013-2014National13State SecularismQuebec's government proposed a bill that would ban public-sector employees from wearing religious symbols. Should a government be allowed to require its employees to violate their religious beliefs?secularism, religion, government ban, atheism, religious symbols, public sector employees, Muslim, Christian, Islam, turban, burqa, Catholicism, discrimination, islamophobia, minority rights, neutrality, equality, religious belief, religious freedom
2013-2014National14Overbearing MamabearSpecial software allows parents to monitor their children's social media accounts and web searches. Some see this technology as intrusive, while others feel they protect children. Are parental monitoring apps morally permissible?technology, privacy vs. safety, parents, family, kids, spying, cell phone, teenagers, cyber predators, parental rights, bullying, trust
2013-2014National15Head TransplantMedical advancements have made head transplantation surgery seem possible. The body of a brain-dead patient could be attached to the head of those with advanced cancer. Some worry that vulnerable young people could be farmed for their bodies. Is this surgery morally permissible?bioethics, science, technology, identity, brain surgery, wealth, exploitation, organ donation, donor body, hybrid person, chimera, personhood
2012-2013Regional1Red Cross and the TalibanThe Red Cross was criticized for providing medical aid to Taliban fighters, but responded by stressing the importance of their neutrality. Should the Red Cross be allowed to provide first aid training to armed insurgents? Is neutrality in conflicts always a morally permissible option?neutrality, medical aid, war, NGO, non-profit, hospital, impartial organization, terrorism
2012-2013Regional2Facebook in HiringSome employers request access to an applicant's Facebook account to conduct a "virtual character check." To what extent is it morally permissible for employers to invade a potential employee's privacy to hire ideal candidates?invasion of privacy, rights of private employers, hiring practices, social media, background check, business rights, job
2012-2013Regional3Enhancing Academic Performance via Prescription MedicationsUnder what conditions, if any, is it morally permissible to consume prescription drugs to increase academic performance?drugs, steroids, Adderall, Ritalin, high school, standardized testing, SAT, ADD, ADHD, college students, black market
2012-2013Regional4"Charlie Hustle"Pete Rose was a baseball player and manager who holds many MLB records. However, he was ruled ineligible for the MLB Hall of Fame because he bet on games while being a manager. Rose has asked this ruling to be revoked and argued that players who gamble are not as morally culpable as those who use steroids.sports, cheating, performance-enhancing drugs, steroids, gambling, doping, baseball, athletes, awards, recognition, ban
2012-2013Regional5Title IX and Female AthletesTitle IX has allowed females to be on their school's baseball, football, and wrestling teams. Due to religious principles, a Catholic high school forfeited a championship game rather than face a team with a female athlete. Is it okay to ignore a group's religious beliefs in order to promote equality?religion, contact vs. non-contact sports, fairness, religious freedom, coed sports
2012-2013Regional6SAT DebateAlthough studies have shown a strong correlation between SAT scores and first-year college GPA, research has also linked higher family income to high SAT scores. Should SAT scores be required for admission to public universities?college admissions, high school, standardized testing, race, income, inequality, wealth, level playing field, SAT, ACT
2012-2013Regional7Academic IntegrityMany American students think of cheating as a normal, if not acceptable, means to an end. What constitutes cheating- should students be allowed to collaborate on homework assignments? Under what conditions, if any, is cheating morally permissible?culture of cheating, technology, social media, virtual cheating, collaboration
2012-2013Regional8Texas History TextbooksTexas' new history curriculum waters down the teachings of the civil rights movement, slavery, the US' relationship with the UN, and more. Is it morally acceptable for policymakers to select a curriculum that reinforces their own ideology? How should we select which events in history to include?education, partisanship, ideology, cultural and political knowledge, teaching, political bias, propaganda, brainwashing
2012-2013Regional9Jail Strip SearchThe Supreme Court ruled that jail strip searches are now legal regardless of the offense and individual has been arrested for. How should the need for jailhouse safety be balanced with an individual's right to privacy?unlawful search, fourth amendment, privacy rights, strip searches, security, crime, nonviolent offenders, "Florence vs. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington"
2012-2013Regional10Confidentiality in Juvenile CasesIdentities of juvenile offenders are often kept secret, even in case of sexual assault. After Savannah was raped, her attackers took a plea bargain she felt was too light and she was ordered to not publicly name her attackers. Did Savannah behave ethically when she later defied the court order and released her attackers' names?privacy, rape, sexual assault, crime, victim, juvenile offenders, under-reporting, criminal justice
2012-2013Regional11Racial Justice Act (RJA)In 2009, NC passed the RJA, allowing those sentenced to death to present evidence of racial bias in their cases to have their sentences reduced to life without parole. NC overturned the RJA in 2012, stating that overall patterns are not indicative of racial bias in any one case.criminal justice, racial discrimination, systematic racism, death penalty, use of statistics, race, proving racial bias
2012-2013Regional12Polar BearsIs increasing the number of polar bear exhibits in zoos an ethical way to attempt to save them?zoos, conservation, endangered species, animal rights, extinction, captive breeding, global warming
2012-2013Regional13Off-Shore DrillingShould off-shore drilling be more restricted because of potential effects of an oil spill, no matter how unlikely such a spill may be? Should oil companies have to prepare infrastructure for onshore oil cleanup?environmental activism, oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, Shell
2012-2013Regional14LifesaversA beach lifeguard was fired for going to help a drowning man in an unprotected "swim at your own risk" zone. Should company policy forbid lifeguards from helping people outside of designated company areas?lifeguard duty, swimming, liability, emergency situation, obligation to help, save life
2012-2013Regional15Health and Human Services MandateThe US government requires that insurance providers cover sterilization, abortion, and contraceptives. The mandate exempts churches and religious organizations, but not church-affiliated nonprofits. Is this moral or immoral?contraception, birth control, Obamacare, religious freedom, insurance, religion, unborn, government, women's health, bodily autonomy, employee rights, institutional morality, health care
2012-2013National1Open Markets for OrgansSome have suggested allowing healthy individuals to be legally allowed to sell their organs to stop people on the transplant list from dying due to organ shortages. Opponents point to the possibility of wealthy patients harvesting organs of the young and poor.bioethics, organ donation, kidney, organ donor, money, wealthy, transplant, free market
2012-2013National2Smoking on the ShoreThe Carolina Beach town council banned smoking on the town's beach. Supporters of the ban cited environmental, health, and aesthetic concerns. Opponents cite economic concerns and claim the ban intrudes on personal rights.smoking, health hazards, government regulation, law, personal rights, individual liberty, freedom, bans, tobacco
2012-2013National3Stand Your GroundThe Texas "Stand Your Ground" laws allow deadly force in cases of self-defense and don't require individuals to try to retreat from danger prior to "protecting" themselves. Legal protection for self-defense homicides increased the number of self-defense homicides, murder, and manslaughter. Are these laws ethical? deadly force, law, self-defense, danger, protection, harm, guns, shooting, vigilante justice, justifiable killings, Texas
2012-2013National4Creative SentencingSome judges have given criminals non-traditional punishments that involve public shaming. Supporters claim public punishments deter others from committing crimes while opponents point to the longstanding defamatory effects of public shaming.criminal justice, public punishment, defamation, ridicule, shame, cruel and unusual punishment, sentencing, role of punishment, rehabilitation
2012-2013National5Unmanned Drone AttacksAfter the Obama Administration was criticized for use of unmanned drone strikes that killed 3 US citizens in Yemen, they argued that when a high-level official decides a citizen poses an imminent threat of violence, the US may legally kill the citizen without any trial. Opponents argue this violates the right to due process.war, targeted killing, judicial process, unilateral power, lethal force, terrorism, Fifth amendment, sixth amendment, threat assessment, due process, national rights, national security
2012-2013National6DREAM ActThe DREAM Act allows undocumented immigrants who were brought in as children to apply for work authorization and not be deported for 2 years. Opponents argue it is morally wrong to forgive those who have broken the law, while supporters argue it is wrong to deport those who came to the US through no fault of their own. immigration, forgiveness, illegal immigrants, deportation, deferred action, DACA
2012-2013National7Newly Public ArtMedia sites published trivial but private details and paintings from the President Bush's email accounts that were submitted by a hacker. Some believe the innocent nature of the material wasn't worth publishing and intruded on the family's privacy.privacy, freedom of the press, hacking, Guccifer, civility, national security breach
2012-2013National8Eminent DomainAn affordable-housing complex that houses 1000 low-income residents has safety and structural problems. It was purchased by a company that turns it into a luxury apartment building and raises rent. The town mayor stated he wanted to use eminent domain to take the property and convert it to public housing, which the company claims is an abuse of power.gentrification, abuse of power, private property, rent, affordable housing, low-income residents, poverty, public housing
2012-2013National9Don't Touch My PhoneThere are now apps that allow people to track their friends' locations and intercept their text messages. People have used them to track their cheating spouses and make sure their children are not engaging in objectionable behavior.privacy, technology, safety, social media, spying
2012-2013National10Pay for PlayGiven the discrepancy between lack of income for college athletes and the revenue generated for their universities, should college athletes be paid?college athletics, sports, exploitation, role of university, NCAA, paying college athletes, education, stipend
2012-2013National11Who Pays for Climate Change?The countries that emit the most carbon dioxide catalyze climate change while countries that emit the least amount bear its consequences most. Peter Singer proposed that each nation has a right to produce CO2 up to a certain amount and countries that pollute below the limit can sell their emission rights to countries that produce warming, environment, pollution, cap-and-trade, national rights, national responsibility, global justice
2012-2013National12Conjoined Twin SeparationOne conjoined twin (Jodie) was born anatomically sound while the other (Mary) had severe abnormalities. Doctors determined that both twins would die if kept together, but Mary would die and Jodie would survive if surgically separated. The parents, devout Catholics, opposed separating the twins but the court ruled against them and ordered the twins be separated.bioethics, modern medical technology, religion, Catholicism, death, human life, law, family, parental wishes, faith, killing vs. letting die
2012-2013National13Go Fish!Proponents of corporate campaign financing argue that corporations have the right to support the candidate of their choice. Critics argue this system allows for corruption. Is allowing continued private funding viable?campaign finance, super PAC, political action committees, rights of corporations, politics, role of money in politics
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