Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

The medical profession has a muddled and contradictory association with its approach toward the tobacco industry. While the profession now firmly opposes to smoking and vigorously publicizes the serious, even fatal, health hazards associated with smoking, this was not always so. Advertisements for tobacco products, including cigarettes “… became a ready source of income for numerous medical organizations and journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), as well as many branches and bulletins of local medical associations” (Wolinsky & Brune, 1994). Physicians and reference to doctors and smoking were once common in tobacco industry advertisements. The story of physicians and promotion of smoking can be found in “The Doctors’ Choice Is America’s Choice” (Gardner & Brandt, 2006). Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

The role of physicians in the current opioid crisis is now under scrutiny on television (Farmer, 2019) by trade publications (King, 2018), peer-reviewed journals (deShazo, et al, 2018), and by physicians themselves (Hirsch, 2019).

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, research the history of the association of doctors with tobacco companies and tobacco advertising. Read about the association of doctors with the opioid crisis. Then, address the following:

Textbook: Chapter 12 Lesson 1, 2 Link (library article): The Doctors’ Choice is America’s Choice”: The Physician in US Cigarette Advertisements, 1930-1953 ( url= live&scope=site) Link (library article): The Opioid Epidemic: Who Is to Blame? ( direct=true&db=ccm&AN=131448427&site=eds-live&scope=site) Link (article): The Opioid Epidemic: It’s Time to Place Blame Where It Belongs ( Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook and noted readings) Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

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Follow-Up Post Instructions Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.

Writing Requirements

Grading This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:

Course Outcomes (CO): 3, 4, 5, 6

Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday Due Date for Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday


DeShazo, R.D., Johnson, M., Eriator, Ike, Rodenmeyer, K. (2018). Backstories on the U.S. opioid epidemic. Good intentions gone bad, an industry gone rogue, and watch dogs gone to sleep. The American Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

Farmer, B. M. (2019, August 25). The opioid epidemic: Who is to blame? 60 Minutes. Retrieved from blame-60-minutes-2019-08-25/

Gardner, M. N., & Brandt, A. M. (2006). The doctors’ choice is America’s choice: the physician in U.S. cigarette advertisements, 1930-1953. American Journal of Public Health, 96(2), 222–232. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2005.066654

Hirsch, R. (2017). The opioid epidemic: It’s time to place blame where it belongs. Missouri Medicine. Retrieved from

In what way are the two situations comparable? In what way are they different? Apply the concept of moral equivalence. Is the conduct of doctors in relation to smoking and the tobacco industry morally equivalent to the conduct of doctors in the opioid crisis? Explain your position and be very specific.

Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up) Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source) APA format for in-text citations and list of references Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

Link (webpage): Discussion Guidelines

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King, S.A. (2018). The opioid epidemic: Who is to blame? Psychiatric Times. url= direct=true&db=ccm&AN=131448427&site=eds-live&scope=site

Wolinsky H., & Brune, T. (1994). The serpent on the staff: The unhealthy politics of the American Medical Association. Tarcher/Putnam.


( Sheffield (Instructor) Jun 22, 2020 Comparative Reasoning in Medical Profession

You are only required to post an initial answer post and ONE follow-up post in each required discussion, each week.

Please make your TWO posts each week between Monday and Sunday. Your posts must occur on different days with the first post occurring by Wednesday. If there are extenuating circumstances, please communicate with your professor.

Reasoning with Analogies

Analogies are comparisons applied to some specific intellectual purpose

Reasoning with Analogies Involves the Following:

Argument by analogy or reasoning by analogy

Used to explain by comparison

Used simply to give a vivid description or to spice up a narrative

new and unfamiliar to more familiar abstract and intangible to tangible things

Similarity Difference Relevance

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Edited by Sonja Sheffield ( on Jun 22 at 12:40pm

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Finally, in order to Evaluate an Argument by Analogy follow the steps below:

An argument by analogy involves reasoning from one situation to an analogous, or similar, situation; a conclusion is reached about something on the basis of it being similar to something else. The form of an argument by analogy is this: A has/is X, and so B applies; C also has/is X, so be sure also apply. For example, an orange is rounded, and it rolls; this ball is also around, so it should also role.

The strength of an argument by analogy depends on whether there are sufficient relevant similarities and no relevant dissimilarities. The more relevant similarities there are, and the fewer relevant dissimilarities, the stronger the argument. For example, roundness is relevant to rolling: since both the orange and the ball are around, they are similar in that relevant feature.

Consider this. A week analogy is one in which few of the relevant features are similar; in such a case, your conclusion follows only weakly from your premises (and should therefore be accepted with minimal confidence). A false analogy is one in which none of the relevant features are similar, or worse, they’re dissimilar in the relevant aspects; in such a case, you’ve made a faulty comparison and the argument should be rejected.


Tittle, P. (2011). Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason. Routledge, New York, NY.

Inferential: to infer conclusions Argumentative: to support or defend controversial positions Useful to distinguish the items compared by the roles they play in the comparison Analogue(s): the item(s) used as the basis of the comparison Target(s): the item(s) about which conclusions are drawn or explanations are offered

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