Hot Topics: Ethics

Blog Posts (27)

March 17, 2017

Ethics of the Trump Budget: The Social Contract is Dead

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

President Trump released his blueprint for a 2018 federal budget. From an ethical standpoint, the President seems to operates from a Hobbesian standpoint—life is nasty, brutish and short.…

March 10, 2017

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 10, 2017

Politics White House Slammed by Federal Ethics Chief for Not Disciplining Kellyanne Conway U.S. government’s official ethics watchdog blasted White House for not taking disciplinary action against senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s products on TV Trump’s Ethics Order Seen as Boost for Shadow Lobbying President Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress … More Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 10, 2017
February 24, 2017

Good facts, calm deliberation, and wise counsel

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” – Aldous Huxley, Proper Studies (1927)

A recent exchange on the bioethics listserv began with a panicked message that the Presidential bioethics commissions website (bioethics.gov) has gone dark.…

February 21, 2017

User Beware: Privacy Settings just a Facade

By Brenda Curtis, Ph.D. Social media platforms continue to improve and refine their privacy settings as the demand for advanced user protections increases. Although enabling catered privacy settings to online profiles allows users to indicate who they would like share personal information with, it does not necessarily protect them from the platforms – i.e. websites … More User Beware: Privacy Settings just a Facade
February 17, 2017

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 17, 2017

Politics Trump Ethics Monitor: Has The President Kept His Promises? To track Trump’s ethics-related promises, NPR checked debate transcripts, campaign speeches and press conferences Trump’s South Florida estate raises ethics questions Ethics questions and possible conflicts surrounding President Donald Trump’s frequent trips to his sprawling Mar-a-Lago property, especially in regards to the invitation of Japanese Prime … More Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 17, 2017
February 3, 2017

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 3, 2017

  Politics Betsy DeVos’s ethics review raises further questions for Democrats and watchdogs Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee to lead the Education Department, promised to divest from more than 100 entities to avoid potential conflicts of interest with her new job. Questions left unanswered. Donald Trump warned over ‘unprecedented’ plan to appoint cabinet without ethics office … More Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 3, 2017
January 30, 2017

Bioethics and the Problem of Silent Neutrality in the age of Trump

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of the most contentious of all issues in bioethics has been whether as a profession, we should take a stand against issues.…

January 30, 2017

Diagnosis at a Distance Continues to Undermine Public’s Ability to Evaluate Trump Policies

President Donald Trump’s first week in office was spent signing executive orders regarding the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, visa and refugee programs and a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, all which sparked nationwide demonstrations and protests. Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign and more frequently over the past week, media outlets and select “experts”  have … More Diagnosis at a Distance Continues to Undermine Public’s Ability to Evaluate Trump Policies
January 26, 2017

Two Wrongs Do Not Make A Right

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A draft of a new executive order that would re-open CIA black site prisons (facilities outside the United States where more torturous forms of interrogation are not prohibited) and restart the use of enhanced interrogation techniques (which many consider to be torture) was made public on Wednesday.…

January 13, 2017

Fordham University’s Dr. Celia B. Fisher on Bystander Apathy

  Since the election of Donald Trump in November, there has been a 35 percent increase in hate crimes across New York City, according to Straus News.  Throughout the presidential campaign, reported NYPD statistics of the city’s hate crime count has doubled in a year with 43 incidents in the 27 days following the election. The … More Fordham University’s Dr. Celia B. Fisher on Bystander Apathy

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Published Articles (9)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 4 - Apr 2017

Catholic Social Teaching and the Duty to Vaccinate Paul J. Carson & Anthony T. Flood

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 4 - Apr 2017

Psychiatric Genomics and Mental Health Treatment: Setting the Ethical Agenda Camillia Kong, Michael Dunn & Michael Parker

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 4 - Apr 2017

Psychiatric Genetics in a Risk Society Nicole Martinez-Martin

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 3 - Mar 2017

The Precautionary Principle and the Tolerability of Blood Transfusion Risks Koen Kramer, Hans L. Zaaijer & Marcel F. Verweij

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 3 - Mar 2017

Using Social Media as a Research Recruitment Tool: Ethical Issues and Recommendations Luke Gelinas, Robin Pierce, Sabune Winkler, I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch & Barbara E. Bierer

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Feb 2017

Problematic protocols: An overview of medical research protocols not approved by the LUMC medical ethics review committee Derek Gideon Tersmette & Dirk Peter Engberts

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Feb 2017

Online public reactions to fMRI communication with patients with disorders of consciousness: Quality of life, end-of-life decision making, and concerns with misdiagnosis Jennifer A. Chandler, Jeffrey A. Sun & Eric Racine

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 11 - Nov 2016

Diagnosis by Documentary: Professional Responsibilities in Informal Encounters Alistair Wardrope & Markus Reuber

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 10 - Oct 2016

Governance of Transnational Global Health Research Consortia and Health Equity Bridget Pratt & Adnan A. Hyder

News (40)

March 22, 2017 9:00 am

Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents (New York Times)

The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto.

March 20, 2017 9:00 am

Informed Patient? Don’t Bet On It (New York Times)

As doctors, our goal is to help you, of course, and to do no harm. But we may actually hurt you, irreversibly. Not that this happens frequently, but it might. How does that sound? Ready to take the plunge? The secret is that informed consent in health care is commonly not-so-well informed. It might be a document we ask you to sign, at the behest of our lawyers, in case we end up in court if a bad outcome happens. Unfortunately, it’s often not really about informing you.

March 17, 2017 9:00 am

Beware emotional robots: Giving feelings to artificial beings could backfire, study suggests (Science)

Previous work has shown a discomfort with humanlike robots, with people ascribing more emotions to them. In a study published by the psychologists Kurt Gray of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Daniel Wegner in 2012, participants watched a brief video of a robot’s head either from the front, where they could see its “human” face, or from behind, where they saw electrical components. The ones who watched its face rated it as more capable of feeling pain and fear, and as a result they felt more “creeped out.”

March 15, 2017 9:00 am

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Hit With Unprecedented Lawsuit by Washington City (NBC News)

In January, the city filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Purdue Pharma alleging the drug maker “supplied OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies,” ultimately failing “to prevent the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market.”

While other suits against the company by states and municipalities have accused Purdue Pharma of deceptive marketing — allegedly playing up OxyContin’s effectiveness while playing down its addictiveness — Everett’s lawsuit is the first to claim the company knew its drugs were being diverted and did nothing to stop it.

March 10, 2017 9:00 am

Drugs are killing so many people in West Virginia that the state can’t keep up with the funerals (Washington Post)

Deaths in West Virginia have overwhelmed a state program providing burial assistance for needy families for at least the fifth year in a row, causing the program to be nearly out of money four months before the end of the fiscal year, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Funeral directors in West Virginia say the state’s drug overdose epidemic, the worst in the nation, is partly to blame.

March 3, 2017 9:00 am

A divided White House still offers little guidance on replacing Obamacare (Washington Post)

A meeting Friday afternoon between President Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, his former rival in the GOP primaries, had no set agenda. But Kasich came armed with one anyway: his hope to blunt drastic changes to the nation’s health-care system envisioned by some conservatives in Washington.

February 28, 2017 9:00 am

Biologists propose to sequence the DNA of all life on Earth (Science)

Yesterday, at a meeting here organized by the Smithsonian Initiative on Biodiversity Genomics and the Shenzhen, China–based sequencing powerhouse BGI, a small group of researchers upped the ante even more, announcing their intent to, eventually, sequence “all life on Earth.”

February 27, 2017 9:00 am

U.S. researchers guilty of misconduct later won more than $100 million in NIH grants, study finds (Science)

Overall, 23 of the scientists (roughly 8% of sanctioned researchers) received NIH funding after receiving an ORI sanction. Of that group, 17 researchers won more than $101 million for 61 new projects. Thirteen continued to receive funding from NIH grants that had been awarded before being sanctioned.

February 23, 2017 9:00 am

How Silicon Valley Is Trying to Hack Its Way Into a Longer Life (Time)

Rather than wait years for treatments to be approved by federal officials, many of them are testing ways to modify human biology that fall somewhere on the spectrum between science and entrepreneurialism. It’s called biohacking, and it’s one of the biggest things happening in the Bay Area.

February 14, 2017 9:00 am

French auditors criticize €5-billion science super-campus near Paris (Nature)

France’s government auditor has taken a sharp swipe at efforts to develop a science super-campus near Paris that, by 2020, was supposed to rival the world’s top campus universities, such as the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More than €5.3 billion (US$5.7 billion) in public spending has been earmarked for the Paris-Saclay science cluster, the Court of Auditors estimates in an annual report published on 8 February — but the original vision of creating a large integrated research university there is “at a standstill”.

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