Physician: In order to investigate diseases caused by hormonal imbalances, a certain researcher wants to study, amon...

Brett on September 1, 2018

Can you explain why D is incorrect?

I understand why E is correct after reading your explanation in the other message thread for this question. But why doesn't "not constitute a medical condition" satisfy the sufficient condition of the argument's contrapositive regarding the likelihood of of research to reveal important information about a "medical condition"?


Mehran on September 2, 2018

Hi @Brett, thanks for your post. The principle set forth in the physician's argument is "medical research should be permitted [PMR] only if it is likely to reveal important information about a medical condition [LRII] AND is known to pose only a minimal risk to the subjects [KPMR]."

This can be diagrammed as:

The contrapositive is:
not LRII or not KPMR ==> not PMR

Answer choice (D) says that although hormonal imbalances can cause disease, such imbalances themselves do not constitute a medical condition. But, because they can cause disease (a medical condition), research about such imbalances may reveal important information about a medical condition. Put differently, just because the cause (here, hormonal imbalances) underlying a medical condition (here, disease) is not itself a medical condition does not necessarily mean information about that cause will not lead to important information about medical conditions. You are reading the "LRII" condition too narrowly.

Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.