This investigative case module was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Selected Cases at Beloit College in June 1999. The cases, resources, and implementation strategies were developed by participants for use with their own students. We invite you to adopt and adapt the following materials.

The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Investigative Cases
The Case: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Sade was born to well-educated parents in the United States. Her father was a sociologist and her mother was a contemporary historian. Her mother died of aneurysm when Sade was just two months old. She was flown back to Africa to be raised and nursed by her uncle’s wife. Sade knew her Uncle and Aunt only as her true father and mother.

At the age of twelve, Sade had an uncle visit her home and during an interaction with her uncle, she was accidentally told that her parents were not her true parents. In a total panic, Sade ran to her “father” crying and asked if he was her father. "Yes, of course" was the reply from her father. There was never any further discussion on that issue.

On the day Sade was to get married, the cousin whom she has always called her brother was involved in a ghastly car accident. He required an immediate blood transfusion. Sade volunteered to donate her blood, but her brother died that same day due to blood loss.

Stunned by the news, Sade shouted at the doctor, "Did I not give you my blood for my brother? Why did you not tell me that he needed more blood?"

It was then the doctor told her that her blood was not compatible to her brother’s. Since she was a Biology major, she then knew that something was wrong. She started to doubt her identity and her parents.

Case Author:
Olatunde Okediji Albany State University

Case Analysis

Can we identify ethics or beliefs as to child raising in Sade’s two cultures.
Who is to blame for Sade’s brother’s death?
Was Sade’s Uncle wrong in letting the cat out of the bag?
Is Sade’s “father” wrong in not telling her about her true parent?
Will Sade ever become close to her “parent”?
Is anyone to blame in this scenario?

Option: Include a know / need to know chart like the one below:

What do you know?
What do you need to know?

Learning Goals


Biology of blood types
Tissue typing (Histocompatibility)
Cultural beliefs and society’s acceptance of parenting.
Examining the moral teachings and ethical methods of major religious traditions that have shaped our culture by focusing on some contemporary problems in bioethics.
How do we reason or think about complex moral questions?
And, what culture or religion bring (or not bring) to the moral issues in the case.



Investigations and Activities

Ask students to identify the kinds of scientific investigations that they consider relevant to the question.



Inquiry to Life by Sylvia Mader, 10th edition, 2002
Biomedical Ethics, Eds. Thomas Mappes & David De Grazia, Fourth Edition, Bonnie Steinbock, “Surrogate Motherhood as Prenatal Adoption
Human Genetics by Ricki Lewis, McGraw Hill, 2001,


Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling pp.1-123
Martin Buber, “On the Suspension of the Ethical, “in Eclipse of God, pp. 115-120
Plato, The Euthyphro. Munson, “Introduction,”pp.1-58
Ronald M. Green, The Ethical Manager, Chapters 2 and 3
Munson, chapter. 6.
Bertrand Russell, “A free Man’s Worship”; William James, The Will to Believe”
R. M. Hare, “The Simple Believer.” George I. Mavrodes, “Religion and the Queerness of Morality” in Robert Audi and William J. Wainwright, Rationality, Religious Belief, and Moral Commitment
R. M. Green, Religion and Moral Reason, Ch.1
Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society, Introduction, Ch. 1
Chris Bohjalian, Midwives
Ronald M. Green, “Enough Is Enough! Fear and Trembling is Not about Ethics, “ Journal of Religious Ethics, 21/2 (Fall 1993), 191-209.

Students will usually obtain additional references or resources
to help answer or explore their questions.

Special Data Items dosing/drugs dosing.html

Public Folder Information:

Copies of the syllabus, and some readings, lecture outlines, handouts, questions for discussion or for your term paper, and other important information can be found in the “Religion 11” folder on the Public File Server.

For Macintoshes:
1. Select “Public File Server” under Apple Menu (or go to “Hosts” and “Dart files” to locate “Public”)
2. Open “public” icon on your screen
3. Open Folder “Courses & Support”
4. Open Folder “Religion”
5. Open Folder “Religion 11”
6. Select and drag to your desktop whatever you want to copy

1. girl.jpg


Student Products

Students are expected to complete a laboratory report and term paper focusing on the core issue of the case (Morality, Cultural beliefs and behavior

Assessment and Evaluation Plan

Students will be assessed on laboratory report and term paper on the core issue of the case. These two criteria will account for twenty five percent of their grade. The two assignments are due a week before the end of term.



Course name:
Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of the Human Genome Project (ELSI).
Likely sequence in syllabus:
Second week of classes
Time during term:
Second half of class period
One hour
Students in course:
Undergraduate Biology and Non-Biology majors
Collaborative elements:
Work in groups of four, Share access to resources, Can discuss cases outside of class.
Additional notes:
Students can visit the Cultural Museum of History



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