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March 22, 1990 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-22

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 22, 1990 - Page 5
Confronting ethnic biases

Courses offer students chance to learn

Demonstrating for elections
During protests in Taiwan demanding direct presidential elections yesterday, demonstrators surround the car
of Nationalist Assemblyperson Luo Wen-tang as he arrives to cast his ballot for president. Shortly after, the
protestors smashed the car.
'Right to die' discussed in
lecture at Medical School

by Cherie Curry
First in a two-part series
The courses offered in the Inter-
group Relations and Conflict pro-
gram are designed to help student
overcome fears or biases they harbor
towards other ethnic groups.
The courses are part of Alice
Lloyd's Pilot Program and Program
on Conflict Management Alterna-
tives. They provide students with the
opportunity to confront interpersonal
conflicts as well as learn about other
ethnic groups.
"One of the specific goals of the
program is to advance students' un-
derstanding of and respect for diver-
sity, and to increase their skills in
responding to iP'ergroup conflict
through the courr es and dialogues of-
fered," program coordinator X imena
Zuniga said.
"The program focuses particularly
on relations between groups that
have had a history of con flict or po-
tential for conflict - Blacks and
whites, men and women, heterosex-
uals and homosexuals etc.," Zuniga
said.
In the past, Intergroup Relations
has offered upper-level courses such
as "Ethnic Identity" and "Intergroup
Relations."
This semester the program of-
fered "Asian American Ethnic Iden-
tity", a minicourse which examined

personal and theoretical views on
Asian Americans, and "Black/White
Relations", another one credit mini-
course.
Although the courses are open to
all students, the majority of students
who take them live in Alice Lloyd.
"This is because the courses are of-
fered in Alice Lloyd ," said Zuniga.
"We have two rationales for do-
ing this. The first is to combine liv-
ing and learning," Zuniga said. "It's
much more real to study about eth-
nic issues when people are living
and learning together. They can
bring in their own experiences to try
and understand the tensions."
The second rationale is that Pilot
Program courses often break from
conventional topics. "Because of its
history of innovation, we have tried
to teach topics that are traditionally
difficult to handle," Zuniga said.
Intergroup Relations coordinators
try to create a personal atmosphere
in each class by minimizing the
numbers of students and meeting in

about each other
the residence halls.
In addition to the upper-level
courses and minicourses, the pro-
gram provides "Dialogue Groups",
face-to-face meetings of one or more
ethnic groups which explore com-
monalties and differences. Last
semester's dialogue groups were
Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and
Jews, and Women of Color and
White Women.
"They help to establish a closer
link between issues brought up in
class and one's personal experi-
ences," explained Zuniga.
Zuniga attributed the success 'of
the Intergroup Relations courses to
the multicultural composition.
"Sometimes it takes active recruit-
ment to make sure we have a nice
balance. The composition of the
class really shapes the direction it
takes."
Tomorrow the Daily will discuds
the reactions of course participants
and instructors to the program.

by Ruth Littmann
Daily Staff Writer
University philosophy Professor
Carl Cohen discussed a patient's
right to die yesterday at the Medical
School's 42nd lecture in a series on
medical ethics.
Cohen specifically addressed "The
Case of Nancy Cruzan and Her Right
to Die" which was argued before the
United States Supreme Court in De-
'cember 1989. It was the first right to
die case tried on a federal level, and
the court has not yet issued its deci-
sion.
Nancy Cruzan was in an automo-
'bile accident seven years ago which
left her in a "permanently vegetative
state." Though Cruzan's body will
likely function for many years with
the help of a gastronomy tube,her
family and physicians agree that
there is no hope for her "return to
any cognitive awareness,' Cohen
said.
Cruzan's parents want to remove
the tube and withhold food and water
,from their daughter, Cohen explained
to an audience of over 75 doctors,
students and faculty at the Medical
f ┬░School's South Lecture Hall.
He outlined the arguments
Cruzan's parents presented before the
*courts, and said the Cruzans believe

their daughter has the constitutional
right to die. They argued that their
daughter would not have wanted to
live in a permanent vegetative state,
and they, as her parental guardians,
have the right to fulfill her wishes,
Cohen said.
But the Supreme Court of Mis-
souri, which denied Cruzan's parents
the right to terminate treatment,
ruled that the court must protect "the
sanctity of life in general," Cohen
said. The Missouri court would only
permit termination of treatment

when it is in the patient's interest.
Cohen predicted that the Supreme
Court will uphold the Missouri
Supreme Court decision.
A brief discussion followed Co-
hen's speech. It covered such topics
as standards for determining brain
death and payment for prolonged
treatment of patients in permanent
vegetative states.

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