Tag 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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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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The United States v. Marijuana: Hidden Moral Arguments in the Room?

via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

By: Ken Ochs

President Obama recently stunned many physicians, members of Congress, and legal experts—as well as the general public—when he opined on marijuana usage in an interview, stating, “I don’t think it’s more dangerous than alcohol.” The fact that President Obama was asked about the drug in particular is—of course—not startling at all, as marijuana has received a great deal of legal and medical publicity throughout the past few years. But his answer itself should not have taken many by surprise either, especially if one considers the ethical issues associated with the topic of drug use, which are undergoing constant reexamination and reformulation by modern society.

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Environmental Ethics and Nature: Is All Nature Natural?

By: Michael Menconi

Dr. Gregory Kaebnick at Fordham University

Dr. Gregory Kaebnick of the Hastings Center giving a lecture at Fordham University

What exactly is nature? Is nature defined by sprawling man-made public parks at the center of the world’s largest cities, or by vast acres of vegetation in the most remote parts of the Amazon Jungle, supposedly unaltered by human action? Dr. Gregory Kaebnick of the Hastings Center addressed these questions during a Center for Ethics Education lecture in the Special Collections Room of Fordham’s Walsh Library, entitled “Humans in Nature.” Kaebnick utilizes a preservationist approach to environmental ethics in an effort to unwind the complex ethical dilemmas involved in defining the intricacies of the natural world.

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Two Moral Persons, One Court Decision

By: Michael Menconi

On November 24th, Erick Munoz discovered his 33-year-old wife, Marlise Munoz, unconscious on the floor of their Texas home. A tragic consequence of a pulmonary embolism, Marlise was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital and declared brain dead in the emergency room. She was moved to the intensive care unit where she remained on life support for six weeks against the wish of her husband, who maintained she would not wish to live in this incapacitated condition if she were given the choice. Significantly complicating the situation and simultaneously launching the case to the forefront of national debate, however, was the fact that Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her clinically diagnosed brain death.

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