Ethics in the News: Teaching Ethics in the Trump Era, Ethics of Prescribing Pain Meds, Ethical Environmental Tourism, Social Media Ethics, & More – February 3, 2017

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Betsy DeVos’s ethics review raises further questions for Democrats and watchdogs
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee to lead the Education Department, promised to divest from more than 100 entities to avoid potential conflicts of interest with her new job. Questions left unanswered.

Donald Trump warned over ‘unprecedented’ plan to appoint cabinet without ethics office checks, emails reveal
Disclosed emails from the head of the ethics office warn President aides staffing a cabinet with robust oversight is a ‘tradition evolved as a result of hard lessons’

South Dakota Governor Signs Measure Reversing Voter Ethics
Governor of South Dakota signed a bill Thursday overturning an anti-corruption measure passed by a majority of voters in November, to the consternation of government watchdog groups.

Trump And His Organization Lawyer Up For The Ethics War Ahead
President Trump and the Trump Organization are beefing up their legal teams against an expected surge of conflict-of-interest allegations.

Teaching Ethics In The Trump Era
Graduate-level professor asks how to tell students ethics is important when “nothing around them feels ethical” re: Trump administration and conflicts of interest.


Human-pig hybrids might be unsettling. But they could save lives.
A new study out of California unsettled a lot of people last week after revealing that scientists had, for the first time, made part-human, part-pig embryos — referred to as “chimeras.” Raises ethical questions.

Could changing the way doctors are paid help narrow health disparities?
A study suggests that changing the way doctors and hospitals are paid could narrow some of the health disparities between poorer and wealthier patients.

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Shape Bioethics for Generations
Neil Gorsuch, nominee for the US Supreme Court, has spent his career weighing matters of life and death. His views on life—that it is sacred and “intrinsically valuable”—are likely to shape court decisions in areas from abortion to assisted suicide for decades to come.

The Truth About How Parents Like Chrissy Teigen Can “Pick” The Sex Of A Child
Celebrity sparks discussion on picking sex of a child using IVF technologies.

Why Tom Price’s Biotech Stock Has Medical Ethicists Worried

Trump’s nominee for health and human services secretary, Tom Price (R-Ga) questioned over conflict of interest in his trading in health care company stock which may violate “congressional ethics regulations.”

Doctors prescribed me pain meds but couldn’t help me get off them
Should physicians be required to assist in treatment of foreseeable side effects after prescribing pain medications?

Environmental Ethics

Ethical Environmental Tourism Is The Future
Five things to consider when travelling if you want to make a difference in the lives of animals

World’s poorest countries to aim for 100% green energy
Representatives from 47 of the world’s most disadvantaged nations have pledged to generate all their future energy needs from renewables.


The Myth That Christianity Provides Ethical Guidance
Explicitly Christian signs have featured prominently in the recent protests against President Donald Trump’s immigrant and refugee ban: “Love thy neighbor.” “Jesus was a refugee.” “You call yourselves Christians?”

Christian Leaders Question Trump’s Promise To Favor Christian Refugees
President Trump is promising to give priority to Christians fleeing persecution — yet some of the strongest criticism of his executive order is coming from Christian leaders themselves.

Business and Social Media

Another Live-Streamed Suicide Puts Spotlight on Social Media Ethics
A teenage girl committed suicide early Sunday morning while streaming live on Facebook, the latest disturbing incident to be spread via social media.

Facebook Doesn’t Need a Chief Ethics Officer
Mark Zuckerberg insisted that fake news on Facebook played no role in electing Trump. But Facebook recently hiring former TV news journalist Campbell Brown to develop a different approach to editing, curating, and filtering news.

The Surprise Ethics Lesson of Wells Fargo
The scandal that recently enveloped Wells Fargo teaches an important lesson about running an ethical business.

Artificial Intelligence

Apple joins research group for ethical AI with fellow tech giants
As artificial intelligence becomes an increasingly powerful force, some of the world’s biggest companies are worrying about how the technology will be used ethically, and how the public will perceive its spread.

Whatever happened to the DeepMind AI ethics board Google promised?
Google bought the artificial intelligence company three years ago, part of the deal was setting up an ethics board –  where is it?


Most people don’t care about ethical fashion
Study from 2016 finds that “astonishing number of people are not interested in taking ethics into consideration when making fashion purchases.

Ethical Fashion Becomes The Rule. The Celebrity Wishmaker Simonetta Lein Meets Designer Ilaria Venturini Fendi
Fashion can lead us to a cultural revolution where what we wear can be sustainable, with a story, representing our values and dreams. Simonetta Lein

Sustainable and hi-tech fashion at Berlin’s Green and Ethical Show
This year a record 179 fashion brands took part in Berlin’s Green and Ethical Show.

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