Category Archives: Contemporary Ethical Issues

Professional Boundaries in Your Backyard: The Ethics of Practice in Embedded Communities

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Developing appropriate professional boundaries with clients/patients can be one of the most challenging therapeutic tasks to negotiate, irrespective of one’s level of training or experience. But what about practitioners who are embedded in communities in ways that transcend geographic overlap, in which there may be cultural or other aspects of commonality?

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Assistant Director Dr. Adam Fried is the editor of the ethics column of The Clinical Psychologist, a publication of the American Psychological Association (APA) and addressed that subject in his most recent column.

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The FDA, Finances, & Feminism: Why the third time was the charm for so-called “female Viagra”

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Money can’t buy happiness, but evidently is instrumental in gaining FDA approval for controversial drugs with low efficacy and significant side effects.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Addyi (Flibanserin) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, after denying approval in 2010 and 2013 because the risks of the medication did not outweigh the benefits.

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Fit to a “T”: Addressing the Unique Needs of Transgender Students



On Monday, August 3, several organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Education Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union released “Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools.” The report, which addresses issues such as names and pronouns, dress codes, and puberty and medical transition “represents an important milestone in reducing health disparities among transgender youth, something that we are also working toward at the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education,” stated Dr. Celia Fisher, Center Director.

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Asst. Director Dr. Adam Fried Takes Over as Ethics Editor for Clinical Psychology Publication

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Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Assistant Director Dr. Adam Fried is the new editor of the ethics column of The Clinical Psychologist, a publication of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Fried’s first column on affirming ethical responsibilities, appeared in the Spring 2015, Volume 68, Issue 1 of the publication of Division 12 of the APA comprised of professional clinical psychologists.

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When are Researchers Accomplices to a Crime? Navigating Moral Boundaries

On the run cover

By: Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

In her book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, sociologist Alice Goffman describes driving her passenger, “Mike,” a young man participating in her 6-year field study, looking to revenge the death of another young neighborhood man (Re: “Heralded Book on Crime Disputed” New York Times, C1, June 6, 2015). Irrespective of the legal implications of Dr. Goffman’s complicity in what might have been a felony, her honest portrayal of her own feelings of revenge and sorrow illuminates the ethical quandaries faced by researchers who immerse themselves in the lives of individuals living in crime-ridden neighborhoods. 

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What are we ready to risk? Academia, advocacy, and activism

Over the weekend, Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Postdoctoral Fellow and Program Administrator for the Adolescent Scientific Access Project Dr. Miriam R. Arbeit graduated from Tufts University with a Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development, and served as the student speaker for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Entitled, “What are we ready to risk? Academia, advocacy, and activism,” Dr. Arbeit’s speech addressed the concept of solidarity and risk sharing, particularly in an academic context.

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What Mad Men’s Betty Draper-Francis Can Teach Us About Paternalism in Medicine

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC's Mad Men.

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC’s Mad Men.

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

The penultimate episode of AMC’s Mad Men provided an all-too-familiar portrayal of the paternalistic nature of medicine via the handling of Betty Draper-Francis’s diagnosis of lung cancer. While the episode takes place in 1970 and there has since been a gradual shift to a more patient-centered approach in medicine, it offers a glimpse into power imbalances in medical care that still can occur today.

When Betty’s new classmates bring her to the emergency room, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth are “Mrs. Francis, is it possible to get your husband down here?” Betty assumes it is for the purpose of driving her home, but the doctor assures her that it is, in fact, for the purpose of explaining her condition to her husband, Henry, either prior to or at the same time he discloses the diagnosis to Betty.

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