Argument

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.

Analysis of an Argument:
In this argument, the author asserts that UltraClean should be supplied at all the hand-washing stations throughout the hospital system to prevent serious patient infection. To support it, he cites that a laboratory study shows UltraClean produced a 40 percent great reduction in the bacterial population than did other liquid hand soaps. In addtion, a subsequent test of UltraClean at the hospital in Workby which reported fewer cases of patient infection than any of the other hospitals is provided. After careful scrutiny, I find that the argument suffers several logical flaws. To begin with, the UltraClean in the laboratory study is a concentrated solution. So the reduction in bacteria population may due to the extreme high concentration. As a common sense, with the increasing of the concentration of the liquid hand soap, it will correspondingly more active and effective in killing or decreasing the number of bacteria. The author assumes that the UltraClean used in the hand-washing station will be the same condition. What is more, other kinds of liquid hand soaps may also increase the capability of reducing the bacteria population when they are more concentrated. So without controlling the concentration of the liquid soap, the assumption that UltraClean is better in reducing the number of the bacteria population is unconvincing. Secondly, in the subsequent test of UltraClean in the hospital in Workby may be in the absence of significance of statistic and representation of all the hospitals. No evidence is supported that the situation and condition is the hospital in Workby is similar to other hospitals. Perhaps in their hospitals, the number of patients are small and before using the UltraClean the population of bacteria in this hospital is less than other hospitals. More it is probably the nursing standard is higher and better than others, or patients in their hospital are trained with the protection against the bacterial infection and pay more attention to the sanitary problems. As a result, there are fewer cases of patient infection. So without ruling out other factors influencing the patient infections, the test in one hospital is groundless in supporting the final conclusion.

Finally, the author assumes that UltraClean is significant in reducing the serious infection is unwarranted. In the argument, there is no information provided that this hand soap is effective in preventing the serious infections. Maybe the decreasing in patient infection in the test is largely from the slight patient infection. And even it can reduce the serious infection, no evidence is offered to ensure that there will be no side effects with UltraClean. Usually when a soap strongly fight with the bacteria, it may also do harm to the human skin, which may lead to the irritation, allergy and corrosion. So if it is used in all the hand-washing station, it brings more healthy problems instead of reducing the patient infection. In sum. The argument is unjustified with several unwarranted assumptions at the best. To bolster it, the author should take the concentration which influences the property of reducing the population of bacteria into consideration. And more information and dates about the hospital condition is given to prove that UltraClean is suitable and effective in the serious infection in all the hospital. Finally, the potential side effects of the hand soap needed further study before widely used in all the hand-washing station. The following appeared in a memo from the director of a large group of hospitals.

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