Guest blogger Malke recently experienced a new low in higher education.
Take it away, Malke!
On the Right Track?
A Guest Post by Malke
This week, I began teaching, for the second time, a course in medical ethics to nursing students at one of the country's colleges.
Like last year, I began with a famous problem in ethics known as "The Trolley Problem" - except that I call it "The Train Problem," because I don’t know how to say trolley in Hebrew… :-)
Basically, it goes like this: There’s a train (or trolley) speeding down the tracks, and tied to the tracks are 5 innocent people.
You don’t have time to stop the train or to untie the people. But you can flip a switch that will divert the train to another track, where there’s only one person tied. What do you do?
The point is to get the students discussing the problem and the moral differences between their answers.
The discussion was going rather well… until one student raised her hand.
The following represents the ensuing dialogue between me and said student - whom, I will remind you, is IN COLLEGE:
Student: You don’t have to do anything, because the conductor will know how to stop the train in time.
Me: No, he won’t.
Student: No, no, he will. They learn how to do that.
Me: Okay, there’s no conductor in the train.
Student: How can you drive a train without a conductor?
Your student’s parents must be so proud…