Ethics & Society Newsfeed: January 26, 2018

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Image via Justin Baeder

Politics

Trump Move on Healthcare Religious Freedom Prompts Discrimination Fears
“The Trump administration’s move on Thursday to protect healthcare workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds is raising fears among some civil rights and medical groups that it will provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination.”

Group Promoting Ethics Amendment Attracting Big Donations
“A proposed ballot measure that would ask voters to make sweeping changes to state government ethics policies is attracting attention from donors and criticism from Missouri Republicans.”

House sexual harassment bill promises transparency but cuts out ethics watchdog
“A new sexual harassment bill freezes out the Office of Congressional Ethics. This is the second time that the House has worked to take away authority of OCE.”

We Asked Ethics Experts About Trump’s Worst Abuses During His First Year in Office: Here’s What They Said
“No president in modern history has run roughshod over the laws, guidelines, and norms of running an ethical and transparent administration like Donald Trump.”

Kansas Ethics Database Taken Offline Over Privacy Questions
“Kansas has taken an ethics database offline over questions about how it allowed access to forms for hundreds of state officials listing part of their Social Security numbers.”

Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards’ could violate ethics rules
“Every awards show has its critics, but President Donald Trump’s much ballyhooed “Fake News Awards” has drawn attention from a group beyond the usual peanut gallery: ethics experts who say the event could run afoul of White House rules and, depending on what exactly the president says during the proceedings, the First Amendment.”

Bioethics/Medical Ethics/Animal Ethics

Do You Trust the Medical Profession?
“A growing distrust could be dangerous to public health and safety.”

New HHS civil rights division to shield health workers with moral or religious obligations
“The Trump administration will create a new conscience and religious freedom division within the Health and Human Services Department to ease the way for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to opt out of providing services that violate their moral or religious beliefs.”

Bioethics in Action, Part I: Helping Students Explore Difficult Questions in Healthcare “Bioethics is a broad, interdisciplinary field. Its subject matter encompasses many of the most controversial and weighty matters facing contemporary society, including aid in dying or assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, artificial reproduction, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, medical marijuana and health care rationing.”

Bioethics in Action, Part II: Teaching About the Challenge of Balancing the Needs of Patients
“One of the most difficult challenges in the field of bioethics is balancing the needs of individual patients against the welfare of society.”

First Primate Clones Produced Using the “Dolly” Method
“The success with monkeys could ignite new ethical debates and medical research”

Research Ethics

NIH adopts new rules on human research, worrying behavioral scientists
“Last year, the National Institutes of Health announced plans to tighten its rules for all research involving humans — including new requirements for scientists studying human behavior — and touched off a panic.”

Scientists Hate the NIH’s New Rules for Experimenting on Humans
“Some new rules go into effect for researchers funded by NIH…Make science more open, more ethical, and smarter. But some researchers think the rule change will bring with it more than just confusing, possibly burdensome new bureaucracy, and maybe even set back all of basic bioscience.”

Rethinking Ethics in Social-Network Research
“Fuelled by increasingly powerful computing and visualisation tools, research on social networks is flourishing. However, it raises ethical issues that largely escape existing codes of conduct and regulatory frameworks. The economic power of large data platforms, the active participation of network members, the spectrum of mass surveillance, the effects of networking on health, the place of artificial intelligence: so many questions in search of solutions.”

Investigation raises multiple questions over ethics of TB trial involving 2800 babies
“A major investigation by the British Medical Journal has slammed Oxford University researchers for allegedly misrepresenting the results of animal experiments in order to secure backing for a TB booster vaccine trial that involved 2979 human babies.”

Technology Ethics

The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its role in society
“Technology – including mobile devices and cloud computing – has fundamentally changed the way we consume news, plan our day, communicate, shop and interact with our family, friends and colleagues. Two decades from now, what will our world look like?”

HR: Can We Please Discuss Ethics In The Future Of Work?
“Where is the line between humanizing technology and digitizing humanity?”

The development of AI ethics must keep pace with innovation
“As AI innovation continues to move forward at warp speed, it will be important for the development of ethics surrounding the technology to keep up.”

From healthcare to warfare – how to regulate brain technology
“Ethicists from the University of Basel have outlined a new biosecurity framework specific to neurotechnology. While the researchers declare an outright ban of dual-use technology ethically unjustified, they call for regulations aimed at protecting the mental privacy and integrity of humans. “

Business Ethics

What Can Jay-Z and Beyoncé Teach Us about Corporate Accountability?
“When promises are broken, it is reasonable to expect an apology from the transgressor and redress for the victim. This moral obligation is known as a directed duty, which seems simple until it is viewed through the lens of the law. How, for example, does directed duty work in the case of a company that has done something wrong?”

Ethics ruling raises questions about Oregon legislators with stake in private businesses
“The Oregon Ethics Commission last week found that former first lady Cylvia Hayes broke state laws barring officials from using their positions for personal gain.”

Accenture ‘transforms’ Code of Business Ethics for digital age
“Global professional services firm Accenture says it is transforming its Code of Business Ethics for the digital age by applying changes including the use of integrated intelligence technology.”

Ethics and Pop Culture

Is it news? Ansari story triggers media ethics debate
“What makes a private sexual encounter newsworthy? A little-known website raised that very question after publishing an unidentified woman’s vivid account of comedian Aziz Ansari’s sexual advances while the two were on a date.”

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