Ethics and Society Newsfeed – February 9, 2018

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Image via We Are Neo

Politics
The Circumscribed Ethics Investigation into Devin Nunes
“The House Intelligence Committee chair claimed he’d been completely cleared, but the panel probing his conduct never gained access to the intelligence he was accused of divulging.”

Trump’s Choice For Ethics Chief Wins Praise As ‘Somebody Who Plays It By The Book’ “Emory A. Rounds III is an associate counsel at OGE, a career civil servant who previously served in the ethics office of the Commerce Department and in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or the JAG Corps. The White House announced Wednesday that Trump intends to nominate Rounds as OGE director for a five-year term that requires Senate confirmation.”

Does Texas business group’s use of “dark money” for its political action committee follow state ethics rules?
“The powerful Texas Association of Business has been using “dark money” — which obscures the identity of political donors — for its political action committee. The group says the money’s used only for administrative expenses.”

Ethicists explain exactly why James Comey isn’t qualified for his new gig teaching ethics
“Former FBI director James Comey, who faced the moral quandary of how to appropriately investigate US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign and wound up upsetting all sides of the political spectrum, is due to become a professor in, of all subjects, ethical leadership. We wondered if professional ethicists agreed, and so asked four professors in the leadership and ethics to evaluate Comey’s behavior.”

Bioethics/Medical Ethics/Animal Ethics
Spotlight on procreation rights as France begins sweeping bioethics debate
“France on Wednesday kicked off a marathon round of talks designed to inform the country’s legislation on bioethics, with the government hoping to avoid a repeat of the poisonous debate that hijacked the legalisation of same-sex marriage.”

Physicians, ethicists urge Congress not to pass ‘right-to-try’ legislation
“Dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental 
drugs risks harming patients’ health.”

Now you can genetically test your child for disease risks. Should you?
“Genomics is cheaper and more available than ever, but its usefulness for parents has yet to be proven.”

Monkeys? Humans? The ethics of testing diesel fumes
“German car manufacturer Volkswagen is under fire following revelations that it part-funded tests in which humans and monkeys inhaled diesel fumes for hours.”

Research Ethics
Jump in animal research in Canada generates debate on science ethics
“Critics charge that Canada is lagging other countries in seeking alternatives to using animals in research, and suggest that universities, in particular, can be slow to change their ways.”

Scientists hate the NIH’s new rules for experimenting on humans 
“This week, after almost a decade of work, some new rules go into effect for researchers funded by NIH.”

Diesel monkey tests: can harmful corporate research ever be justified?
“The recent allegations that researchers funded by the German car industry tested the effects of diesel fumes on humans and monkeys has raised serious questions about research ethics in the corporate world.”

Technology Ethics
Ethical Tech Will Require a Grassroots Revolution
“…calling on the companies themselves to redesign their products with ethics, not purely profits, in mind, and calling on Congress to write basic consumer protections into law.”

Should Data Scientists Adhere to a Hippocratic Oath?
“…while calls for regulation have been met with increased lobbying to block or shape any rules, some people around the industry are entertaining forms of self regulation. One idea swirling around: Should the programmers and data scientists massaging our data sign a kind of digital Hippocratic oath?”

The ethical dilemmas of self-driving cars
“The arrival of the self-driving car presents a challenging new dilemma: Whom should the vehicle save – and whom should it harm – when an accident is unavoidable? “

The ethics of AI: Robots will rise, but will they rule us all? “The rise of artificial intelligence is posing interesting challenges for society, raising questions about ethics in a modern world where robots have intelligent decision-making power.”

Want to design user behavior? Pass the ‘regret test’ first
“What are the ethical responsibilities of companies that are able to manipulate human behavior on a massive scale? It’s a question one hopes technologists and designers ask themselves when building world-changing products — but one that hasn’t been asked often enough.”

As technology develops, so must journalists’ code of ethics 
“AI is sure to bring many benefits but concerns over its ability to make decisions mean human journalists’ input remains vital”

Environmental/Climate Change Ethics
Evaluating the Environmental Impacts of Trump’s Presidency
“Looking back at the rollbacks the president has made to environmental protections and regulations throughout his first year in office.”

Trump EPA nominee advances after hosting fundraisers for 2 Senate committee members
“The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 11-10 party-line vote. “

Should People Stop Eating Seafood?
“Fish eating is, for me, an ethics issue, but it is difficult to disentangle that part with the sustainability component,” Marino said. “Conservation is an ethical issue for me as well.”

Business Ethics
Comment: ‘We can’t leave Silicon Valley to solve AI’s ethical issues’
“Guendalina Dondé of the Institute of Business Ethics explains how companies can empower their employees and other stakeholders to use artificial intelligence efficiently, effectively and ethically”

Ethical leadership can have negative consequences, Baylor University researchers say “A new Baylor study published in the Journal of Business Ethics reveals that ethical leadership compounded by job-hindrance stress and supervisor-induced stress can lead to employee deviance and turnover. The research reflects the thoughts of 609 employees who were surveyed across two studies.”

Why Indian business schools will soon teach about karma, Mahabharata
“Business schools in India are set for a revamp of their curriculum, which will see the introduction of a new course on Indian ethics and concepts.”

Business schools now teaching #MeToo, N.F.L. protests and Trump
“As topics like sexual harassment dominate the national conversation and chief executives weigh in on the ethical and social issues of the day, business schools around the country are hastily reshaping their curriculums with case studies ripped straight from the headlines.”

Ethics and Pop Culture
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and the ethics of prisoner organ donations
“The idea of using a death-row inmate’s organ to save a child’s life made for entertaining and thought-provoking television, but it barely scratched the surface of the ongoing global debate over the ethical and legal implications of organ donations from inmates.”

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Confronts The Ethics And Science Of Survival, And Human Frailty Star Trek: Discovery episode 14 “The War Without, the War Within” confronts character ethics.

Philosophy and Ethics
In Theory: Feminist thinkers challenge ‘traditional ethics’
“A driving force for this revolution [women’s movements] might be a subject taught in women’s studies and modern-day philosophy courses known as “feminist ethics,” a branch of thought that argues “traditional ethics” neglects the perspective of women.”

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.”

Whose Rights are Right?: The Debate Over Animal Rights in Research

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STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN PRIZE HONORABLE MENTION

By Brianna Blunck

Animal research has been conventionally practiced under the notion that it has played a vital role in scientific and medical advances, but our use of animals should not continue without periods of reflection on the morality and necessity of their use. George Yancy, PhD and professor of philosophy at Emory University, in his talk Teaching Dangerously, spoke regarding white privilege. He called upon people to enter what he referred to as “danger zones,” where people become un-sutured or open to engage in discourse that, while uncomfortable, would help bring rise to awareness of issues so embedded that one might not realize the extensity of. I, analogous to Yancy, call upon people to enter the “danger zone” of the ethical consideration and its implications for the use of animals in research. By applying care ethics and features from the Belmont Report, it is evident that we need to evaluate our mainstream stance on the permissibility of animals used in research. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an animal rights organization that is often criticized for its extreme marketing and communication tactics. However, I believe PETA’s messages positively force the public into danger zones regarding the plight of animals for our usage. Undercover videos reveal the gruesome scenes of animals being electrocuted, strangled, skinned alive, confined to tiny cages, etc. “in the food, animal, experimentation, entertainment, clothing, and pet-trade industries” (“Animal Issues”). Unfortunately, videos and advertisements like PETA’s are often disregarded because they reveal violent processes on animals that often raise empathy towards the animals that go into our products and entertainment. Society at large prefers to maintain a considerable distance between the living animal and the finished product.   

During the spring of 2016, I joined the 3% of the U.S. population of vegans. Vegans do not use any product that is derived from an animal or is tested on one. I do not consume meat (including fish) or dairy, wear leather or suede, or wear any product tested on an animal, such as makeups. Prior to becoming a vegan, I was a vegetarian for two years. My decision to become a vegetarian was driven by gaining knowledge of the atrocities in the meat industry through organization’s like PETA. My decision to become a vegan was driven by my desire to reach a level of consistent ethical consideration for all animals in all the facets of my life. I personally believe in condemning the usage of animals at all levels, but I understand that it would be unrealistic for all humans to give up engrained lifestyles. However, I argue against the use of animals in research because I believe that positive change for an increase in animal rights in this field is possible.

We should bring to fruition various premises that call for equal consideration of all species by employing philosophical ideologies. Arguments for animal rights are rooted in the application of virtue ethics under the criteria of sentience. Aristotle’s model of virtue ethics is exclusive to humans because the distinct capacities of knowledge and understanding of virtue that humans have are what give he believes gives moral worth. Claims for animal welfare are derived from the premise that the capacity for animals to feel pain -their sentience- gives them value and necessitates their moral consideration. Tom Regan, an American philosopher who specializes in animal rights, argues that a being’s usefulness can never outweigh its value and gives living things the right “to be treated in ways that do[es] not reduce [them] to the status of things” (Regan 490). Utilitarianism is one of the most common theoretical perspectives used to undermine the argument against the use of animals in research. Utilitarianism states that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reserves of happiness” (Mill Chapter 2). Those who adhere to speciesism, the philosophy that nonhuman animals are available for humans unrestricted use, apply utilitarianism by promoting drug testing on animals rather than humans. However, the sentience criterion, “implies that the interests of certain nonhuman animals ought to be accorded the same weight as is accorded to the interests of human beings” (Singer, “All Animals are Equal” 477).

Research can take several forms, but specifically field research and controlled experiments utilize animal subjects. Field research, or ethnography, is regularly practiced on animals by researchers observing an animal’s natural habitat. This research is critical to understanding the patterns of animal behavior in the wild. There is no debate over disclosure of the researcher’s role because the only way to conduct ethnography in the wild is covertly. On the other hand, controlled experiments are regularly practiced on animals in drug, food, and cosmetic tests. The same ethical concerns for human involvement in controlled experiments should apply to animals.

Countering the claims of benefits from using animals in research is evidence that animal tests do not always reliably predict results in human beings. A 2013 study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that despite being successful in animal tests, nearly 150 clinical trials to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients failed (Junhee, Seok et al.). An additional study conducted in 2013 and published in the Archives of Toxicology stated that, “the low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety” (Leist). Instead, alternative testing methods now exist that can replace the need for animals. There are commercially available products that mimic human skin by creating sheets of human skin cells in vitro, which can produce more relevant results than animal testing (Rogers). Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions, “can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals” (Watts). Thomas Hartung, professor of evidence-based toxicology at Johns Hopkins University, argues for alternatives to animal testing because “we are not 70 kg rats” (Humane Society International). For the reasons explained above, experimenters might fail to follow clinical equipoise, the notion that other available treatments should be used instead if they cause less harm.

People often confront me with the Desert Island Argument: if I was on a deserted island, would I eat meat to survive? In extreme situations, yes. In relation to research, I understand that it is a lot more difficult to never use an animal in fields such as academia and medicine. A solution is to apply care ethics, which places human obligation to animals as much as we decide to incorporate them into our lives. Animal research inflicts more pain and suffering on animals through controlled experiments than what they would endure in the wild, so our duty is to remove that suffering as best as we can. Rolston takes the question of “Can they suffer” and narrows it to “Is the human-inflicted suffering excessive to natural suffering?” (Rolston 61).

The Belmont Report summarizes ethical principles and guidelines that pertain to human subjects used in research. Principles include respect for persons, beneficence, and justice as they apply to informed consent, assessing risks and benefits, and the selection of subjects. Features of the Belmont Report should be considered when using animals in research even though animals are not subject to the concerns of anonymity or confidentiality. “Respect for persons” entails acknowledging humans as autonomous agents. To respect animals would require acknowledging nonhumans as more than just materials. Beneficence is the obligation to make efforts to serve “well-being,” which includes minimizing harm and maximizing benefits, and should be applied when using animals. Justice requires that careful consideration be included in the fairness of choosing individuals and groups for research. If animals are worthy of equal consideration, we must reflect on why we choose one species over another for our research?

To proceed with any research involving human participation, informed consent is required from the participant. He or she must be considered a reasonable volunteer, without the forces of coercion, undue influence, or unjustifiable pressure acting on them. If a human wants to stop the research, he or she can speak up and say so. Animals are not given the choice on whether they want to begin or end participating in a study, but I am sure if their cages were open they would try to escape.

Because I am vegan I come from a rhetorical position. It is easier for me, as an individual, to remain unfaltering on the side that argues against the use of animals. To expect the same resolute following of a vegan lifestyle on a larger population would be impossible on several assertions. There are “Desert Island Argument” exceptions, where animals might need to be used. The role of animals in accordance to humans is an ethical debate that is seeded in different beliefs regarding the worth of animals. To reconcile our usage our positions with animals requires the application of care ethics.

Works Cited

Animal Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://www.peta.org/issues/

Junhee Seok et al., “Genomic Responses in Mouse Models Poorly Mimic Human Inflammatory Diseases,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Feb. 11, 2013

Leist, Marcel and Hartung, Thomas, “Inflammatory Findings on Species Extrapolations: Humans Are Definitely No 70-kg Mice,” Archives of Toxicology, 2013

Regan, Tom. “The Case for Animal Rights.” Disputed Moral Issues: A Reader. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. 489-492. Print.

Rogers, Kara. “Scientific Alternatives to Animal Testing: A Progress Report,” britannica.com, Sep. 17, 2007.

Rolston III, Holmes. “Higher Animals: Duties to Sentient Life.” Environmental Ethics: Duties to and Values in the Natural World. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1988. 45-78. Print.

Singer, Peter. “Becoming a Vegetarian…” Animal Liberation. New York: Avon, 1975. 162-189. Print.

Singer, Peter. “All Animals Are Equal.” Disputed Moral Issues: A Reader. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. 477-485. Print.

Watts, Geoff. “Alternatives to Animal Experimentation,” BMJ, Jan. 27, 2007

Yancy, George, Ph.D. “Teaching Dangerously.” 2017 Lecture Series: Human Rights in the New

Age of American Politics. Fordham University, Bronx. 22 Mar. 2017. Lecture.

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: December 8, 2017

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Technology Ethics

Artificial Intelligence Seeks An Ethical Conscience
“Leading artificial intelligence researchers gathered this week for the prestigious Neural Information Processing Systems conference have a new topic on their agenda. Alongside the usual cutting-edge research, panel discussions, and socializing: concern about AI’s power.

Four ethical priorities for neurotechnologies and AI
“Artificial intelligence and brain–computer interfaces must respect and preserve people’s privacy, identity, agency and equality, say Rafael Yuste, Sara Goering and colleagues.”

Can we teach robot ethics?

When man meets metal: rise of the transhumans

The Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

Bioethics/Medical Ethics

First Baby Born To U.S. Uterus Transplant Patient Raises Ethics Questions
“…talking about the birth of a baby boy to a mother who underwent a uterus transplant last year. It’s a first in the U.S., but in Sweden, eight babies have been born to mothers with uterus transplants. Not everyone is celebrating though.”

2017’s Word Of The Year In Health Law And Bioethics: Uncertainty

In the World of Online Health Quizzes, Who’s Looking Out for Consumers?

His Tattoo Said ‘Do Not Resuscitate.’ Doctors Wanted Another Opinion.

The ‘smart pill’ for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder raises tricky ethical questions

Conjoined Twins Ethical Dilemma: When Parents Need to Sacrifice One Life for the Other

The Ethics of a Child’s Future Fertility

Research Ethics

Purdue University Mounted a Child Nutrition Study. It Went Very, Very Wrong.

Politics

Ethics panel denied details on lawmakers accused of harassment
“Members of Congress voiced frustration Thursday that they remain in the dark about exactly how many of their colleagues have been accused of sexual harassment due to confidentiality rules they’re hoping to reform.”

McConnell: Moore will face Senate ethics probe if he wins election

Ethics Committee launches investigation into Farenthold sexual harassment allegations

Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes cleared of wrongdoing in House ethics probe

Former Ethics director to file second complaint against Kellyanne Conway

Business Ethics

Auditors and ethics: its worse than you think
“A decline in ethics would ultimately have a ripple effect into the economy with the poor the most likely collateral damage”

Changing Culture and Ethics at Uber

What’s The Difference Between Business Etiquette And Business Ethics?

Sustainable finance: Can socially responsible investing mitigate climate change?

Ethics and Pop Culture

Plastic Surgeons Weigh In On The Ethics Of Celebrity-Inspired Procedures
“And while we’re all for a person’s right to choose whether or not plastic surgery is for them, we couldn’t help but wonder about the ethics behind celebrity-inspired procedures. For instance, what do doctors do if they think a client’s desire for change verges on obsession? Do they refuse procedures or go a different route?” 

Sia tweets a long response to article criticising her collaboration with a child dancer

Fordham University Ethics & Society Master’s Student Working to Eradicate Poverty

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On October 17th, 2017, Omar Lebron, a graduate student of Fordham University’s Master of Arts in Ethics and Society program, moderated the event “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” at the United Nations in New York to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Please read Omar’s thoughts below and watch the video from the event..

STUDENT VOICES

By Omar Lebron

“You always have the poor with you…” (Mark 14:7), prophetic biblical words presented to us by Jesus Christ, exposing humanity’s inability to address those that live outside the reach of protection by state and government conditions. In ATD (All Together in Dignity) Fourth World Movement, extreme poverty is the focus as its base feature in a primary methodology in the developmental policy approach, addressing forms of poverty in collaboration with the United Nations. These forms represent the underlying assumptions associated by the behaviors of those who live in extreme poverty. Persons who live in destitute conditions due in large part of the status of poverty, accumulate behaviors relating to humiliation and exclusion. The NGO ATD Fourth World addresses these behaviors by focusing and introducing the removal of humiliation and exclusion to those of dignity and inclusion.

Understanding that the economic approach is not the only way extreme poverty paralyzes individual and social growth, ATD’s founder Father Joseph Wresinski brought to the public square an awareness on extreme poverty as a violation of a person’s human rights stating that, “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated.  To come together to ensure that these rights are respected is our solemn duty.”  The depths of information within the statement preludes the tools and perspectives on achieving a new normality in terms of how poverty affects short and long term on individuals and societies.  Of remarkable notice is the dearth of common thought where poverty is highlighted by a monetary achievement.  Thirty years ago on October 17th, 1987, Father Wresinski formed a “Call to Action” on the steps of a park outside of Paris, France where 100,000 people stood in solidarity to those victims living in the harshest of conditions per each society.  Completely void is a financial solution from the crippling, disabling realities of living in extreme poverty.  Five years after that “Call to Action,” the United Nations adopted the “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.”  On October 17th of each year, there is a commemoration to this commitment described in the words of Father Wresinski at the United Nations known as the “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.”

Dealing with exclusion and humiliation is ATD Fourth World’s mission and overreaching ambition.  Its goals begin with both these forms associated with persons living in extreme poverty, and acknowledges that through commitment and consistency a new way of living becomes achievable. Within its name as an organization are its organizational leadership components using artifacts, espoused values and underlying assumptions, all necessary to address the sociological cultural habitat transcendent throughout all who live in extreme poverty, regardless of location, state or government.
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Fordham University’s Dr. Celia Fisher Weighs in on Researchers Using Real Guns in Study with Children in Mic

In a recent study, researchers asked children ages 8 – 12 years old to watch 20-minute clips of PG-rated movies that either included or did not include gun violence. The objective of the study was to test whether children exposed to gun violence in movie clips would 1) handle a real gun longer and 2) pull the trigger more times than children not exposed to the same clip edited to not contain gun violence.

The children were then placed into a university laboratory containing toys, games and a real, 0.38 caliber gun which was disabled and modified to have a sensor counting trigger pulls with the door closed. A research assistant sat in an exterior greeting room if the children had questions. The study found that children who watched the clip containing guns were more likely to use the guns themselves than the children who watched the clip that did not contain guns (median trigger pulls were 2.8 compared to 0.01 and median number of seconds holding the gun were 53.1 compared to 11.1, respectively). Roughly 27% of children informed the assistant about the gun or handed it over and a small number aimed the gun at other children.

Although this study was approved by the scientists’ institutional review board, many ethicists believe the potential harm of the study was “not worth it,” including Dr. Celia Fisher, director of Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education. “In any kinds of ethics evaluation, we have to balance the risk against the benefit. I think the study’s results are not of great scientific importance because we already know what the result is going to be. We have decades of scientific research showing that kids will imitate aggressive behavior they view on the TV screen,” Fisher told Mic.
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Hospice and Palliative Care

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STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN PRIZE THIRD-PLACE WINNER

By Maia Lauria

I first stumbled upon the issue of palliative care during a particularly hard time in my life. I was twenty years old, and for the first time having to confront the realities of watching a loved one die. Up until then, death had been a decently abstract concept to me. My grandmother had passed away when I was a child, but I was too young to be exposed to any part of the process. My uncle had also passed away when I was a teenager, but due to the suddenness of the death and geographical distance, I did not play a role in the event. I had never attended a funeral, let alone seen a corpse. The case of Monica was very different. For the first time, I became intimately involved in the dying process; and through this, became aware of the workings of the hospice and palliative care system that has become incredibly common throughout the country.

Monica was my mother’s best friend, and a pseudo-mother to my sister and I. In 2007, doctors found a malignant tumor in her colon, leading to multiple surgeries and the administration of rounds of chemotherapy. After some years of remission, the cancer returned in 2011, spreading to more of her internal organs. Once again, different treatments were administered, with waves of optimism and pessimism. Ultimately, in the summer of 2015, after attempting a failed experimental treatment, she was told that there was no more the doctors could do, and that she probably only had a couple more weeks to live. Receiving this news, she opted for in-home hospice care, to be able to spend her last days comfortably with family and friends.

Hospice care is becoming an increasingly common end of life plan in the United States. In the past decade, the number of hospice patients has more than doubled. In 2009, 42 percent of all deaths were under the care of a hospice program.1 According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, hospice care “ involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support” to help allow the patient to succumb to death in best way possible.2 The phrase they use is that they are shifting the focus from curing to caring. Typically, this involves a family member serving as the primary caregiver, with members of the hospice staff making regular visits and providing 24 hour on-call assistance.2 Central to hospice care is the idea of palliative care, which makes sure the patient is able to die in the most pain-free and dignified manner.

Continue reading “Hospice and Palliative Care”