Category Archives: Bioethics

Compassion Across Borders: International Disparities in the Vocation of Healthcare Providers

The following essay was the first-prize winner of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education’s 2014 Dr. Kuo York and M. Noelle Chynn Undergraduate Prize in Ethics, an essay competition to stimulate self-examination about concepts of ethics and morality encountered personally or as a concerned member of society. The Chynn Prize is funded by the Chynn Family Foundation. 

By: Michael Menconi

Patient names have been changed to ensure confidentiality and protect privacy.

A bed in the hospital in Colombia. Photo by Michael Menconi

A bed in the hospital in Colombia. Photo by Michael Menconi

Healthcare professionals often refer to their careers in medicine as a life purpose—their “calling” is to treat the sick, mend the injured, comfort the vulnerable, and instill courage in those who have lost all hope. Doctors have a moral, ethical, and professional obligation—or perhaps duty—to do no harm and perform acts of healing, both of which were fundamental virtues established by the Hippocratic Oath over five centuries ago. For a field with such an extensive, prolific history of emphasizing compassion and care for those in need, it is expected (and often assumed) that healthcare providers treat every patient with a fundamental respect for the human condition, unwavering empathy, and superior levels of social and cultural competency.

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Was it ethical for the American missionaries to be treated for Ebola ahead of Liberians? Dr. Celia B. Fisher weighs in

Players of the ”L’Etoile de Guinee” football team poses with a sign reading ”Stop to the ebola epidemic” prior to a football tournament gathering youth from Guinea near the Koumassi sports center in Abidjan on August 10, 2014. West Africa was counting the cost of measures to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic on August 10, as unprecedented restrictions caused snarled transport, food shortages and soaring prices.  Photo credit: SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

As the world comes to terms with the recent Ebola outbreak, several ethical questions have arisen, many of which relate to the distributions of Ebola vaccines, and who should be given priority.

Was it ethical for the two American missionaries to receive treatment for Ebola ahead of the local Liberian population?

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Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the HIV rebound in the Mississippi baby and importance of HIV research ethics

Photo via dem10/iStockphoto.com

Photo via dem10/iStockphoto.com

The Friday, July 11th episode of the PBS News Hour featured a presentation on the young child from Mississippi who had been treated with early and unusually aggressive drug treatment after birth and then was seemingly virus-free for two years.

However, official just announced that the girl, now almost 4 years old, tested positive for HIV during a follow-up appointment last week. When asked about the trial that was to begin, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases emphasized the need to be ethical in the design of the study.

Please visit the PBS News Hour website for a video and full transcript of the program.

What can you do with a degree in ethics? Video of Careers in Ethics Panel now available.

Dr. Adam L. Fried with the other members of the Careers in Ethics Panel

Dr. Adam L. Fried with the other members of the Careers in Ethics Panel. Click on photo to watch a video of the panel discussion.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of ethics, it is relevant and necessary in everything from medicine, business and journalism, to psychology, law, and environmental studies. Ethics is interesting to study, but what are the career options in the field?

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Promotion for ethics group in the American Public Health Association

logo-apha

The Ethics Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG) of the American Public Health Association (APHA) is slated to become to an official section of the organization in July. While this may appear to be merely a structural change within an organization, the promotion of the ethics group of APHA has wider implications for the discipline.

“The transition from a SPIG to a formal Section will position public health ethics as a full participant at the multidisciplinary table,” explained Lisa Lee, Ph.D., M.S., chair of the Ethics SPIG and Executive Director of the President Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.  “Our primary aim is to integrate ethical decision making into the fabric of public health practice so ethics is viewed as and becomes a facilitator of great work rather than an obstacle.”

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Humanitarian intervention: what are the ethical challenges facing aid workers, and how should they be addressed?

Dr. Ramin Asgary, M.D., M.P.H.

Ramin Asgary, M.D., M.P.H.

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D. Recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the Arab Spring resulted in an increase in short-term medical volunteerism. This type of medical practice raises many ethical issues for both the medical practitioners and their institutions. Dr. Ramin Asgary, Assistant Professor in New York University’s Department of Medicine, has experienced these ethical issues from two perspectives: as a physician working abroad in humanitarian settings, and as an academic examining the ethics of short-term medical volunteerism, and aid workers in general. Continue reading

Center for Ethics Education Hosts Careers in Ethics Panel

Are you interested in studying ethics, but have questions about future careers in the field? The Center for Ethics Education’s second annual Careers in Ethics panel will give students the opportunity to learn and ask questions about potential careers in the interdisciplinary field of ethics.

“Our exciting panel showcases the amazing achievements of our alumni from the Ethics and Society program, as well as professionals affiliated with the Ethics Center who are engaged in ethics-related careers,” said Adam Fried, Ph.D., assistant director for the Center for Ethics Education,  director of the M.A. in Ethics and Society, and interdisciplinary minor in Bioethics, and moderator of the event. “Panelists will discuss their own professional paths and explain how students can pursue careers in ethics in a wide variety of professions, including those in health care, business, law, and compliance.”

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