Ethics & Society Newsfeed: April 17, 2015

Family Releases Final Brittany Maynard Video as California Debates Right to Die
Earlier this month, the 29-year-old Maynard made a posthumous appearance in a video at a California senate committee hearing, in which she urged support for the passage of the state’s End-of-Life Option Act. Maynard wrote and taped her statement only weeks before her death.

Renowned Bioethics Professor John Arras Passes Away
University of Virginia professor served on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and his research explored topics such as synthetic biology, research ethics and whole genome sequencing.

Bioethics Commission Plays Early Role in BRAIN Initiative, Releases Gray Matters, Vol. 1
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released volume one of its two-part response to President Obama’s request related to the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The report, Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society, includes four recommendations for institutions and individuals engaged in neuroscience research including government agencies and other funders.

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Perspectives on Moral Worth: What We Owe to Others and Why

Joseph Vukov (left) discusses perspectives on moral worth on April 15, 2015

Joseph Vukov (left) discusses perspectives on moral worth on April 15, 2015

Many ethical questions require us to carefully consider the meanings of personhood and moral worth, in order to determine what we owe to others, and why. Fordham University Department of Philosophy Ph.D. Candidate and Research Fellow Joseph Vukov addressed this question at a Center for Ethics Education Faculty Seminar on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in Keating Hall on Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus.

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Is the moratorium on editing the human genome ethically justifiable?

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Last month, leading scientists called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of new technologies that would enable editing of the human genome. If put into practice, this technique has the ability to alter human DNA that is inherited, thereby changing the human germline and potentially controlling human heredity.

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Fordham RETI Fellows Publish in Ethics & Behavior Special Issue

E&B cover

Six Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) fellows recently published articles in a special issue of the most recent issue of Ethics & Behavior. The special issue – guest edited by RETI and Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher – highlights ethical issues in the responsible conduct of HIV research.

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Fordham RETI Santander Universities Fellow Tackles HIV Prevention in India through Research & Clinical Practice

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Dr. Arunansu Talukdar

Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) Fellow Dr. Arunansu Talukdar is not just conducting research on HIV prevention – as a physician, he is practicing it as well.

Talukdar is a member of the fourth cohort of RETI fellows, and was the 2014 recipient of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education / Santander Universities International Scholarship, which covers the cost of his travel to Fordham for two consecutive summer training institutes, as well as the cost of his mentored research project (MRP). His MRP examines voluntariness of consent to research involving women participating at a clinic-based HIV intervention trial in Kolkata, India.

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Measles Outbreak: A Public Price for the Preeminence of Autonomy?

By Ken Ochs

The recent measles outbreak has led to policy discussions among 2016 presidential hopefuls, a systematic mobilization of public health groups to combat the surging number of cases, and the near-inevitability that tougher laws on vaccinations will soon be debated and subsequently passed in legislatures across the country.

Historically, states have dealt with the issue in remarkably different ways, with very little in common aside from their tolerance for exemptions for medical reasons. California, the source of the current outbreak, allows for “religious” and “philosophical” exemptions—the types of dispensations that would be targeted by new regulations.

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Fordham RETI Fellow Publishes Editorial in The Lancet on Trafficking, Migration & Health

Shira Goldenberg Lancet Global Health Feb 2015

Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) Fellow Dr. Shira Goldenberg of the University of British Columbia recently published an editorial in The Lancet discussing human trafficking, migration, and health.

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