Ethics & Society Newsfeed: October 14, 2016

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Health Care and Bioethics

DNA database highlights need for new medical privacy protections
Creation of a national repository of genetic information is seen by some as crucial to reducing medical costs and improving people’s healthcare.

‘Big data’ could mean big problems for people’s healthcare privacy
Public and private insurers are spending millions of dollars on systems that can predict people’s future healthcare needs.

Colorado Wrestles With Ethics Of Aid In Dying As Vote Looms
Colorado man says he would like the option to end his life rather than face a painful death and advocates for Colorado’s Proposition 106  or “death with dignity.”

The NIH needs to review the ethics of research on primates
Congress asked the National Institutes of Health to review “its ethical policies and processes” on nonhuman primate research “to ensure it has appropriate justification for animal research protocols.”

Breast Cancer Death Rates Are Down, But Racial Disparities Persist
Women are less likely to die of breast cancer than they were a decade ago, but not all women are benefiting from that trend.

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: September 30, 2016

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Technology and Ethics

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence
The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, consisting of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM (with Apple in talks to join), weighs in on the missing ethics standards in artificial intelligence.

Fourth Industrial Revolution: With robots, is a life without work one we’d want to live?
“Being gainfully employed is about more than money. We need to consider what will give our lives purpose and connection in the age of automation.”

Should we bring extinct species back from the dead?
New advances in genetic engineering have researchers thinking seriously about de-extinction and which animals we might be able to bring back.

Bioethics and Public Health

Birth of Baby with Three Parents’ DNA Marks Success for Banned Technique
Experts discuss the first successful mitochondrial donation procedure and why the term “three-parent baby” is misleading.

Human Chimera Research’s Huge (and Thorny) Potential
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reversed policy barring funding from research involving human chimeras (mixtures of human cells with animal embryos) which can yield major human development discoveries.

Ethics review identifies top two challenges for genome editing
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics reports a need for urgent ethical scrutiny on new genome editing techniques.

Bioethics in the Election: Where the Candidates Stand
The major presidential candidates’ positions on bioethics-related issues in The Hastings Center’s interactive chart.

Continue reading “Ethics & Society Newsfeed: September 30, 2016”

Jailing for Dollars: The Federal Government Takes Steps to Eliminate a Moral Stain on Justice in the US

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The United States has become the world’s leading jailer with 2.2 million people in jails and prisons across the country.  With a combination of government and privately run facilities, the nation faces the moral issues surrounding the prison-industrial complex.  As reflected in a recent New York Times article, the U.S. Justice Department has announced plans to phase out the use of privately run facilities, citing less safe conditions than their government run counterparts.

In the Obama administration’s continuing efforts to address inequities in the criminal justice system The U.S. Justice Department announced plans to phase out its use of privately operated prisons, calling them less safe and a poor substitute for government-run facilities.  According to Celia B. Fisher, Director of the Fordham Center for Ethics Education “this is a welcome step toward addressing the inequities produced by a public-private system that incentivizes high incarceration rates with devastating effects on poor and minority communities.

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education brought attention to this issue in a conference on “Jailing for Dollars: The Moral Cost of Privatizing Justice” featuring Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times, Scott Cohn, NBC, Thomas Giovanni, Brennan Center for Justice, Judith Greene, Justice Strategies and Michael Jacobson, Vera Institute of Justice. Speakers explored pressing moral questions about the prison-industrial complex, including dangerous overcrowding, unsafe work and health conditions and its consequences on individuals, families and society at large.

To watch the video of this conference, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to play.

Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D. is the Fordham University Marie Ward Doty University Chair in Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethics Education. Fisher’s  Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologist, is now in its fourth edition from Sage Publications.

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: April 8, 2016

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Can we trust robots to make moral decisions?
Last week, Microsoft inadvertently revealed the difficulty of creating moral robots.

Why Bioethics Has a Race Problem
Moral imagination in bioethics has largely failed African Americans.

The disturbing reason some African American patients may be undertreated for pain
African Americans are routinely under-treated for their pain compared with whites, according to research.

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: April 1, 2016

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Heroin Epidemic Is Yielding to a Deadlier Cousin: Fentanyl
Cheaper and far more potent, the synthetic painkiller is becoming the drug of choice for some addicts — and is killing them more quickly.

Who’s “They?”
We are witnessing a great explosion in the way that human beings are allowed to express their gender identities. We are also hearing a lot of awkward conversations. What are we supposed to call everyone?

Hunting the Genetic Signs of Postpartum Depression With an iPhone App
With mothers and medical providers clamoring for answers about postpartum depression, scientists are beginning a major effort to understand the genetic underpinnings of mood disorders that afflict millions of women during and after pregnancy.

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 18, 2016

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When Gene Tests for Breast Cancer Reveal Grim Data but No Guidance
Women with breast cancer are facing a frustrating reality: The genetic data is there, but in many cases, doctors do not know what to do with it.

First uterus transplant in US removed after sudden complication
The 26-year-old woman who received the transplant at the Cleveland Clinic is recovering from the operation after appearing in a news conference days earlier

​’Siri, I want to commit suicide’ and other statements likely to yield unhelpful responses from your phone
Apple’s Siri can be an amusing conversationalist for those times when you want to talk to someone but there’s no one around. She’s insanely knowledgeable about everything from American history to weather patterns and can crack you up with her well-timed zingers. But what about in times of crisis?

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 11

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Europe’s Latest Proposal for the Refugee Crisis
Adam Chandler looks at discussions and the possibility of new limitations on immigration in Turkey. He examines the concerns of human rights groups on the matter.

The Government Is Secretly Huddling With Companies to Fight Extremism Online
Kaveh Waddell looks at pro-privacy groups and their response to the feds campaign to end terrorist calls to action online. What are the ethical implications of the feds’ proposals?

Free-Speech Advocates Are Not Trying to Silence Students
Conor Friedersdorf looks at recent issues with free speech on campuses, and looks at the notion that marginalized groups are most harmed by limited free speech.

Continue reading “Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 11”