Ethics in the News: Three-Parent Babies, How Ethics Courses can Prepare Students for Med School, The Ethics of Experimenting with Brain Tissue, Marketing Ethics & More – May 4, 2018

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Bioethics/Medical Ethics
Bioethics group to study technology behind ‘three-parent babies’
“Mitochondrial genome replacement technology involves combining the genetic material (DNA) of a couple – who would otherwise be unlikely to have healthy children of their own – with that of a female egg donor.”

Ethicists Call for More Scrutiny of ‘Human-Challenge’ Trials
“In an article published this month in the journal Science, panel members called for the establishment of ethics committees to review the design of such human-challenge studies, which are sometimes used to test vaccines.”

The impending ubiquity of DNA-sequencing for infants – and the bioethical challenges
“The ability to study a person’s DNA brings tremendous medical promises, but also poses great ethical challenges.”

Mother, wife, million-dollar patient: Keeping her alive is a full-time job – and good business for drug companies
“Olive-McCoy, 44, has hereditary angioedema (HAE), a life-threatening disease so rare that many doctors have only read about it. Fortunately, there are cutting-edge drugs to keep the swelling at bay and treat the attacks that break through.”

4 Ways an Ethics Course Can Prepare You for Med School
“A medical ethics course can help you advance your thinking in patient care and clinical research.”

Scott Pruitt Political Patron Now Questions the E.P.A. Chief’s Ethics
“Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, may be losing support even from his staunchest allies. His longtime political patron, Senator James Inhofe, said Tuesday that he would like to see an investigation into the ethical allegations against his protégé. If any prove true, he said, they could “have an effect” on Mr. Pruitt’s job. Mr. Inhofe said he was troubled by a recent New York Times story that detailed allegations of unchecked spending and ethics questions during Mr. Pruitt’s career as attorney general and state senator in Oklahoma.”

Friends or Not, French President Emmanuel Macron Challenges Trump In Congress Speech
“A day after flaunting his friendship with Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron forcefully challenged many of the U.S. president’s policies on Wednesday, urging the United States to engage more with the world, step up the fight against climate change and stay in the Iran nuclear pact for now.”

Want to give digital currency to a political campaign? State ethics panel mulls if and how “If and how digital currencies such as bitcoin can be used to make campaign contributions in Wisconsin remains an open question after the state Ethics Commission considered it Tuesday.”

Technology Ethics
Our digital future depends on our morals and ethics
“One thing is certain about technology: It has no reverse gear. Invent something and it won’t be un-invented. We can’t rid the planet of cars, nuclear weapons or computers. All we can do is either engineer them differently or decide on the best ways to use them. In other words, complain all you want about modern technology, but it will be of no use. The real key the future lies in society’s collective sense of morality and ethics.”

Axon’s police body cams could be getting an AI upgrade. Civil rights groups are worried
“America’s largest maker of police body cameras said Thursday it had formed an ethics board to guide its work on artificial intelligence, prompting a rebuke from civil rights organizations who urged the company not to develop devices that are able to identify people by their faces.”

Human Consciousness: What Are The Ethics of Experimenting With Brain Tissue?
“One of the most exciting scientific developments of recent years has been the development of relatively advanced human brain surrogates, which are enabling researchers to understand more about a host of neurological disorders.”

EU in race to set global Artificial Intelligence standards
“French president Emmanuel Macron did not mince words when speaking to technology magazine Wired about the upcoming disruption by artificial intelligence (AI). The technological revolution that comes with AI is, he said, “in fact a political revolution.”

Trump businesses made millions off Republican groups and federal agencies, report says
“President Donald Trump’s U.S. businesses have received at least $15.1 million in revenue from political groups and federal agencies since 2015, according to a new report to be released Monday.”

Business Ethics
Feelings of ethical superiority can lead to workplace ostracism, social undermining
“A new study suggests that feelings of ethical superiority can cause a chain reaction that is detrimental to you, your coworkers and your organization.”

Three ways the Facebook data breach provides lessons for other businesses
“The tale of how the Facebook data breach exposed the data of 50 million users to a Cambridge Analytica researcher may shine a light on how business ethics and regulatory compliance issues are struggling to keep up with fast-moving technological advances.”

Marketing in a Gray Area: The Ethics of Digital Targeting “According to a Gallup poll, confidence in our nation’s major institutions—banks, newspapers, big businesses, medical systems, public schools, etc.—is at an all-time low, at only 32 percent. Despite widespread distrust, it doesn’t stop users from freely giving up significant amounts of personal information online. As marketers, we are stewards of this information. We are held to limited legal standards, and are instead left to create our own guardrails.”

Dick’s Sporting Goods will destroy assault-style rifles pulled from shelves
“When Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would no longer sell modern sporting rifles at its Field & Stream stores following the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, one question was what would happen to the unsold firearms in its inventory. Typically a retailer may return unsold merchandise to the manufacturer. But in this case, Dick’s Sporting Goods has decided to destroy them.”

The Morality of Starbucks Isn’t Moral Enough
“That is, corporate morality has always been a species of capitalism. As such it’s always been governed by the logic and laws of capitalism, the law of accumulation and the telos of profit. It’s a morality that seeks the flourishing of the human person only accidentally, all the while seeking the flourishing of the consumer necessarily.”

From Artificial Intelligence to #MeToo, B-Schools Are Placing Ethical Dilemmas On The Syllabus
“In the wake of sexual harassment scandals that sparked the #MeToo movement and Oxfam exposés, business schools are stepping up their efforts to combat wrongdoing by placing more emphasis on ethics in the curriculum and creating new courses.”

Climate Change Ethics
Global Warming is Killing the Great Barrier Reef, study says
“Marine heat waves caused by global warming are killing off the corals of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.”

Travis Rieder, Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change Are Affecting the Morality of Procreation
The global human population is currently about 7.6 billion people, and our numbers are still increasing. Although human population growth has not been a popular topic to discuss in the last quarter-century, its contribution to various environmental problems is becoming harder and harder to ignore. Travis Rieder’s Toward a Small Family Ethic confronts the effects of population growth and addresses what individual procreative obligations might follow from it.”

Technology Ethics
We have the AI Technology, But is it ethical?
“Artificial intelligence has sparked more ethics-related debate than any technology before it.”

Facebook woes fuel ethics debate
“Debates are raging these days in the tech industry over issues such as data privacy, online hate speech and foreign interference in American elections, all with important ethical dimensions.”

Legal Ethics
Should Iceland Ban Circumcision? A Legal and Ethical Analysis
“For a small country, Iceland has had a big impact on global media coverage recently, following its proposed ban on male circumcision before an age of consent.”

The Ethical and Legal Issues of Artificial Intelligence “Ethics and law are inextricably linked in modern society, and many legal decisions arise from the interpretation of various ethical issues. Artificial intelligence adds a new dimension to these questions.”

How Change Will Slowly Come to a Privately Operated Mississippi Prison
“A just-concluded trial shines a harsh light on maximum security prison.”

Fentanyl Bill Would Be a Disastrous Return to War-on-Drugs Tactics
“The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law has issued several seminal reports finding that mandatory minimums — which remove discretion from judges and lead to longer prison terms — do not work. Such laws do not prevent crime, and serve only to drive up the number of people in prison.”

Racial Ethics
Should I Give Up On White People?
“I wanted to model for my students what it is like to be a contemporary philosopher who remains steadfast in the face of hatred. I wanted them to internalize something of what it means to practice philosophy, to love wisdom, in the face of danger, threats of violence and intolerance. Yet, there was a part of me that failed that day.”


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