Tag Archives: Ethics

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

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.

Psychologists who “Analyze” Trump are Violating the Public Trust

As the 2016 presidential election approaches, psychologists are gaining media attention by diagnosing candidates as having personality disorders, especially for the Republican nominee.  But the public should question whether or not offering these diagnoses is professionally ethical or in the service of political agendas.

As reflected in a recent New York Times article, the candidacy of Donald Trump has tempted some psychologists to abandon their unique training in mental health assessment and provide unprofessional diagnoses of Mr. Trump that, according to Celia B. Fisher, Director Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education, “distort the values of their profession and violate the public trust”.

“Trained mental health practitioners serve the public good by providing diagnoses of individuals based on scientifically and professionally established assessment techniques,” notes Fisher, who chaired the committee that wrote the current American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, “however the public and the profession are harmed when psychologists provide opinions based on unsubstantiated information drawn from media reports or other subjective observations.”

There have been claims suggesting that psychologists who offer diagnoses of Donald Trump are doing so for the purpose of national and public interest. According to Fisher, who is the author of the widely read Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists“Psychologists who claim that ‘Trumpism’ is a threat to democracy that provides moral justification to offer public diagnoses in the absence of established assessment techniques are deluding themselves into thinking that these unprofessional opinions benefit society.” Fisher further explains that psychologists are actually in “clear violation of the APA Ethics Code and are inadvertently contributing to a political climate based on opinion rather than fact.”

Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D. is the Fordham University Marie Ward Doty University Chair in Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethics Education. In addition to chairing the 2002 revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code, Fisher’s  Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologist, is now in its fourth edition from Sage Publications.

Dr. Celia B. Fisher Examines Whether IRBs Hinder HIV Research with LGBT Youth

The dearth of HIV prevention research on LGBT individuals under 18 years of age is at least partially a result of conservative Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), according to new research by Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, and colleague Dr. Brian Mustanski of Northwestern University’s IMPACT Program.

Fisher and Mustanski describe this problem in their article, “HIV Rates Are Increasing in Gay/Bisexual Teens: IRB Barriers to Research Must Be Resolved to Bend the Curve,” to be published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 5, 2016

Photo via freedigitalphotos.net.

Photo via freedigitalphotos.net.

UnitedHealth Medicare plan must cover U.S. sex reassignment surgery
A U.S. government panel has ruled that a privately run Medicare plan must cover sex reassignment surgery for a Texas transgender woman, a decision her attorney says was the first of its kind.

New wearable sensor can collect data from sweat
For the first time, a flexible, wearable sensor can collect data about multiple chemicals in body sweat.

Drug shortages forcing hard decisions on rationing treatments
Such shortages are the new normal in American medicine. But the rationing that results has been largely hidden from patients and the public.

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Ethics & Society Newsfeed: January 29, 2016

google self driving car

Google’s Autonomous Car, via https://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/

  • The Ethics of Autonomous Cars
    • Patrick Lin examines if there is a break between ethics and laws when it comes to robotic cars and future automobile innovations. What kind of judgements can machines make?
  • An Unprecedented Threat to Privacy
    • Edward Delman examines police departments with access to over 20,000 license plates. He notes the inherent privacy violation of the cases, and critically examines the NYPD, who contain their own license tracking software.

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Ethics & Gun Violence: ‘What is missing from the conversation is a willingness to address the moral implications of these actions & our reactions publicly’

San BernadinoSTUDENT VOICES

By Robert Schmaltz

December 3, 2015, a BBC News headline reads “California Shooting: Just another day in the United States of America, another day of gunfire, panic, and fear.” By all measures this act of violence claiming the lives of at least fourteen persons, maiming over twenty bodies, and shattering the lives of countless others, constitutes another mass shooting spilling blood over the social fabric of these United States.

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‘High-Profile and HIV+’ Revives Ethical Questions

Screenshot 2015-11-18 10.16.08

This piece was originally published yesterday on
the Fordham News blog

By: Gina Vergel

Actor Charlie Sheen made headlines in 2011 with a number of trips to rehab, his dismissal from hit show Two and a Half Men, and a public meltdown.

Four years later, he’s back in the news, as he revealed he is HIV positive in a TODAY interview with Matt Lauer.

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” the 50-year-old actor said to Lauer.

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