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  • In this activity, students explore ethical issues related to fighting infection. Students learn about the science involved and the associated ethical dilemmas. They have opportunities to discuss and deliberate before making their own decision that they can justify.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain some of the science involved in the issue
    • explain some of the ethical aspects of the issue
    • be able to make a decision about the ethical issue
    • be able to justify their decision.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do.

    Nature of science

    Discussions about ethics in science are strongly associated with the nature of science. In the nature of science strand, the 2007 science curriculum states students should use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them. They should explore aspects of an issue and make decisions about possible choices.

    Related content

    Explore futher – take a look at vaccination, the story of David Vetter and the history of vaccination, as well as current immunisation in New Zealand

    For more on our immune system see the The body’s first line of defence and The body’s second line of defence.

    The Ethics thinking toolkit uses common ethical frameworks to help you explore ethical decision-making and judgements with your students. 

    Useful links

    More information about the Boy in the bubble on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) website.

    Watch this animated video of the Edward Jenner story on YouTube.

    The Our World in Data website provides research and data with the goal to make progress against the world’s largest problems, including global vaccination data.

      Published 27 October 2010, Updated 26 October 2021 Referencing Hub articles
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