Category Archives: Fordham University Student Voices

Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer

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Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). ISBN 978-0-300-18027-5.

Reviewed by Michael S. Dauber

Peter Singer’s new book The Most Good You Can Do is the latest installment in a series of works dedicated to advancing altruism as a way of life. The book expands directly on Singer’s work in The Life You Can Save (2010), a best-selling text that argued that our obligation to help the poor overseas is just as strong as the obligation to save a drowning child one comes across in a river: if one can easily help, one is required to, and distance and nationality are not excuses to withhold aid.

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The Significance of Philosophical Ethics in a Scientific World

 STUDENT VOICES

By: Michael S. Dauber

In the course of my studies and in my everyday experiences, I have often been asked about the significance of philosophy. What is it? Does philosophy even matter anymore since science answers many of our pressing questions?

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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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Separation of Church and the Voting Booth? The Moral Dilemmas of a Catholic American Voter

 

By: Thomas Merante

With each election, Americans are reminded repeatedly of their civic duty to participate, the importance of “rocking the vote,” and how each party will get the country “back on track.” Yet with MTV ads screaming at teenagers to go to the polls and attack ads that aim purely at candidates’ character, it seems that the real issues are becoming lost in an election frenzy. Consequently, it can be very difficult to determine how to vote, especially when there are serious moral issues on the line, despite a constant news stream of information on the candidates, their positions, and public opinion on the positions. What moral questions should Catholic Americans ask when contemplating contemporary political issues, and what ethical dilemmas do they face in the voting booth?

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Considering the psychological needs of immigrants

 

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By: Charles M. Olbert

On September 16, the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and Center for Religion and Culture hosted a conference to discuss whether we have a moral obligation to immigrants. Entitled “A Crisis of Conscience: What Do We Owe Immigrant Youth and Families?” the conference featured former U.S. Senator and 50th Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, former immigration judge Sarah Burr, and Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. David Ushery, journalist and host of NBC’s “The Debrief” moderated the event.

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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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