Category Archives: In the News

Fordham’s Dr. Christiana Z. Peppard at the forefront of encyclical analysis

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Following the Vatican’s release of Pope Francis’s first encyclical on Thursday, Fordham University Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D., has been providing analysis and commentary on the much-awaited papal message on climate change.

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Should a UK woman be able to fertilize, implant and gestate her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs?

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

While many parents of children of childbearing age make no secret of their desire to become grandparents, one woman in the UK took her request to the High Court.

Britain’s High Court has denied the 59-year-old woman – whose daughter died in 2011 at the age of 28 – the right to use her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs after determining that it wasn’t clear that the daughter had wanted her eggs used for this purpose.

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When are Researchers Accomplices to a Crime? Navigating Moral Boundaries

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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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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 Professor, Coast Guard Pioneer and Civil Rights Activist Dr. Olivia J. Hooker to Receive Recognition following her 100th Birthday

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker during her time in the Coast Guard. Photo from the United States Coast Guard via the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker during her time in the Coast Guard. Photo from the United States Coast Guard via the Wall Street Journal.

Nationally recognized pioneer in the rights of minority students and retired Fordham University Professor of Psychology Dr. Olivia J. Hooker is a lifelong civil rights activist and the first African American woman to enlist in the Coast Guard. To celebrate her life and 100th birthday, the Coast Guard will name a building on Staten Island in her honor on March 12th.

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Buy Buy Baby? The Ethics of Crowdfunding Babies

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By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Between adoption and advancing reproductive technologies, there are ever-increasing options for individuals and families who wish to have a baby. Recent reports indicate that the high costs associated with these processes have resulted in some using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com and GoFundMe.com to raise money for fees associated with adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Indeed, certain forms of assisted reproduction raise ethical questions in and of themselves, but in this case, our concern is whether it matters how funds for these processes are raised, and who provides the funding. In other words, is utilizing a crowdfunding website an ethically acceptable way to raise funds for adoption, IVF, and surrogacy? If so, is it significant who pays for these processes? Is anything owed to the people who contribute?

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Dr. Celia B. Fisher Contributes to National Discussion on Ethical Review & Oversight Issues in Standard of Care Research

Common clinical practices might lack a robust evidence base if there have not been empirical interventional research studies to compare an array of available routine or standard treatment options. Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, an internationally renowned expert on empirical research on research ethics, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop aimed to inform practice and policy of regulated research studies involving standard of care interventions.

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