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Star Trek: The Next Generation: ETHICS order from Amazon
Instructor Information

 Video Questions | Vocab & Discussion | Answers

Content Areas: Medical ethics, medical technology, physiology, risk assessment.

 Grade Levels: 5-8, 9-12

 National Science Content Standards:

C = Life Science
E = Science and Technology
F = Science in Personal and Social Perspectives


After an accident injuring his spine, Worf must decide on whether to risk experimental surgery or survive with limited mobility. Emotionally unable to accept limited mobility, he chooses the experimental surgery. Only his alien physiology of redundant systems allows him to survive the surgery.

 Good Science: The descriptions of spine structure and functions are correct. The questions of procedures for medical experimentation discussed in the film are often discussed among professionals today.

 Bad Science: There is no known way for a matter transporter system to work. There is no known way to travel or communicate faster than light. It is not currently possible to transplant spines.

 Media Center Extension:

bullet Coordinate a class research project in which groups learn about science, ethics, and public policy. Topics could include genetic profiling, cloning, animal research, euthanasia, and stem cell research.

Web Resources:

bullet National Science Foundation:
bullet National Institute of Health (NIH):
bullet Codes of Ethics Online:


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Copyright 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh  Last modified: March 06, 2008