[The following appeared in a memo from the director of a large group of hospitals.]”In a laboratory study of liquid antibacterial hand soaps, a concentrated solution of UltraClean produced a 40 percent greater reduction in the bacteria population than did the liquid hand soaps currently used in our hospitals. During a subsequent test of UltraClean at our hospital in Workby, that hospital reported significantly fewer cases of patient infection than did any of the other hospitals in our group. Therefore, to prevent serious patient infections, we should supply UltraClean at all hand-washing stations throughout our hospital system." [Specific Task Instruction: Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.]|
While it may be true that they need supply another liquid antibacterial hand soaps at all hand-washing stations throughout their hospital system to prevent patient infections, the conclusion drawn by the director of the large group of hospitals does not make a cogent case for UltraClean based on current evidence. This argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to the conclusion.
The author reports the reduction of bacteria in a study of liquid antibacterial hand soaps, but there are no further explanations of the killed bacteria, such as the number of all the tests in this study, the specific environment of each test, the accurate population of bacteria in the preparations, and most importantly, the relevance between the bacteria killed by UltraClean and serious infections of patients. We don’t know what types of bacteria cause serious patient infections in the entire hospital system. And we don’t what’s UltraClean’s capability of killing these bacteria when medical workers are performing cleaning processes. Unless more details are revealed, this study can not be used to effectively back the author’s arguments.
UltraClean might not be the only factor to affect the result of the subsequent test at their hospital in Workby, that hospital reported significantly fewer cases of patient infection than did any of the other hospitals in their group. Is it possible that stuff worked in Workby cleaned longer and more careful than they usually do during this test, since they were aware of they were testing whether UltraClean would be used after? And it would be reliable if comparing in the same hospital the rates of the cases of patient infection during the test and before. We don’t know whether the hospital in Workby did report fewer cases of patient infection than others for a long time when the same soap is used, or the patients are significant fewer in the hospital than others.
And the patient infections reported in the subsequent test are not representatives of the serious infections mentioned in the director’s conclusion. We don’t know whether it is the same bacteria to cause infections in the tested hospital and the others, and we don’t know whether there is a kind of bacteria, which can be killed by the current liquid hand soap but not by UltraClean, is a main reason of serious infections in a specific hospital. UltraClean might be associated with a reduction of infections in Workby, but it does not follow that, as the author wishes, UltraClean will lead to a significant reduction of serious infections in all the hospitals in their group.
We all hope infections in hospital can be reduced to the most. However, this author’s argument is not likely remarkably persuade the entire system that UltraClean is a better choice for them all.