As part of the EPQ process, students must carry out a presentation, to be delivered to a non-specialist audience, using media appropriate to the type of project.
The presentation is then followed by a question and answer session, which is recorded as part of their project.
One of our students Bethany Bangbala has now changed her whole career path based upon the philosophical question she raised, which was: ‘Should self-inflicted illnesses caused by smoking be treated by the NHS?’ This was quite a controversial topic and prompted a lengthy debate amongst the students themselves.
Bethany writes: "I think this question is very interesting because it is controversial and features commonly in the news and is extremely relevant in today’s society because we are currently struggling to find enough money for the NHS and many people think that by not treating self-inflicted illnesses we could save money.
I concluded that it is very difficult to agree or disagree completely with this statement as there are so many variables to consider but overall, I think that smokers should not receive treatment on the NHS. I found that smoking being a choice was a stronger argument than other reasons for people smoking as the other reasons were all easily countered. One of my main conclusions was that the ethical concept of utilitarianism, whereby the right thing is to put the majority first, is one of the strongest arguments against treating smokers, as it is applicable to today’s democratic society. I also concluded that if smokers have given up smoking by the time of their diagnosis then they are entitled to treatment. I also discussed public opinion where 52% of the public agree that smokers should not be treated for free on the NHS. Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the world and in the UK tobacco, smoking caused almost a fifth of all deaths from all causes in 2015. If current trends continue, smoking will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century. Thus, I concluded that, refusing treatment for self-inflicted illnesses caused by smoking might be the first step in reducing this serious problem and saving many future lives by discouraging such an unhealthy habit."
We would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our Year 12 students to thank Mrs Rumboldt and her team for their expert teaching, guidance and support during the EPQ process and we will look forward to receiving the results