Category Archives: In the News

The CDC Recommends Women of Childbearing Age Use Contraception if They Wish to Drink Alcohol

By Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a recommendation that women of childbearing age should abstain from alcohol consumption unless they are on some form of contraception.

This is ethically problematic for several reasons, the first being the blatant and outright paternalism and mistrust of women.

The CDC Vital Signs report estimates that “3.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, sexually active, and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy.” While the CDC’s intentions are good – attempting to curb incidents of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders – advocating a policy that does not respect women’s autonomy when it comes to making decisions regarding  consumption of alcohol and use of contraception is troubling.

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Ethics & Society 2015 Year in Review

Starting with a national discussion on vaccinations, public health and autonomy, and ending with widespread reflection on yet another mass shooting, 2015 had no shortage of ethics-related news and events.

Here are a few highlights of the work of Fordham University Center for Ethics Education faculty, staff, and students from 2015:

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. Read more here.

 

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‘Family is Family’: Why Intel’s New Adoption & Fertility Policies are a Step in the Right Direction

sperm and eggs

Via freedigitalphotos.net

By Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

This week Intel announced new job benefit policies that include tripling their adoption assistance program, and quadrupling their fertility coverage, noting, “family is family – no matter what it looks like.”

This comes after the company unveiled an expanded “family bonding leave” policy in January, which allows employees who are new parents to take up to eight weeks of paid leave, in addition to the existing pregnancy policy that provides new mothers with up to 13 weeks of paid time off. The “family bonding leave” can be taken any time within the first 12 months of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

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NIH’s New Definition of “Children” Finally Gets it Right: A Welcome Change for Children’s Health Equity

NIH_Logo

By Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

Under current federal research regulations, a “child” is defined as an individual younger than 21 years of age – a policy that has produced inequities in health research for youth younger than 18 years of age.

Beginning January 25th, 2016, that will change: the age of a child will be defined as an individual less than 18 years old. This is a welcome change that can begin to address the urgent need for age- and population-targeted research to avoid the use of treatments tested in young adult populations that may be unsuited for adolescents and children.

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Stopping Pseudoscience & Protecting Children’s Lives: Fordham’s Dr. Celia B. Fisher on SAMHSA Expert Panel Behind White House Groundbreaking Conversion Therapy Report

SAMHSA

apa-logo

A report released today is a major step in President Obama’s commitment to expand the number of states enacting “Leelah’s Law,” which would ban the use of conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay and transgender children and youth.

Dr. Celia B. Fisher, Director of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and the Marie Ward Doty Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology served on the expert consensus panel whose recommendations form the basis of this report.

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Predatory Publishers: a $75 million-a-year business that can exacerbate health disparities

Via freedigitalphotos.net

Via freedigitalphotos.net

A  longitudinal study published yesterday indicates that predatory publishing is big business, bringing in $75 million in 2014 alone by publishing nearly half a million articles.

Researchers in Finland conducted the first comprehensive study of predatory publishers, examining the e-business aspect as well as the inadequate peer-review process. They found that predatory journals have rapidly increased their publication volumes from 53,000 in 2010 to an estimated 420,000 articles in 2014, published by around 8,000 active journals.

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‘Generosity is penicillin to our culture of entitlement’: Cardinal Dolan on ethics, social justice and issues facing millennials

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH '14 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH '14 (right)

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 (right)

Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and specifically, New York, seemed like an appropriate time to revisit an interview with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. Two recent Fordham University graduates, Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 conducted the interview in June 2014, which focuses on many of the social justice issues currently highlighted by Pope Francis’ trip:

In response to a question on the unique responsibilities of young people today, particularly in relation to social justice, His Eminence explained that “if we properly understand who we are in God’s eyes…and in relation to other creatures and all of creation, we will sense that there are certain duties and obligations that simply flow from who we are.”

“This is not only an ethical, moral, religious, Catholic insight: it’s also a very American insight,” he continued. “It is at the heart of what our founders meant when they speak about the common good.  As a civic society, especially at the very core of an enlightened democracy, who we are as privileged citizens of this republic have certain duties which arise from within, upon which a democracy is to depend if it is to flourish.  I would congratulate Pope Francis for reminding us of this.”

Read a summary of their 90-minute conversation below, or read the full interview transcript. 

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