Fordham RETI Fellow Discusses Addiction with U.S. Surgeon General on NPR

Dr. Erin Bonar, University of Michigan

Earlier this month, the United States Surgeon General issued a report declaring substance use disorders, like addiction, the “most pressing public health crises of our time.” The report called the country to action to both help those struggling with the chronic illness of addiction and change how addiction in the U.S. is perceived as a “criminal justice problem” rather than the public health problem that it is.

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) Fellow Dr. Erin Bonar, an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Michigan, recently addressed addiction in a panel along with the U.S. Surgeon General on NPR titled, “How To Spot — And Treat — Addiction In Your Family.”

“Many people still believe that addition is a moral failing or a sign of weakness, but decades of research as summarized in the surgeon general’s report support the notion that this is medical condition brought about by a number of factors, including genetics and environmental influences,” Bonar explained.

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Seeing Red, Feeling Blue: Fordham Historians Discuss the 2016 Election

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Following the 2016 election this month, a panel of historians at Fordham University discussed the results and President-Elect Trump through the lenses of different historical perspectives on November 22, 2016.

The panelists discussed several issues including, but not limited to, Latino/hispanic votes, immigration, fascism and the “alt-right,” mistrust of the United States government, misogyny, white supremacy, Islamophobia, women’s rights and more.

The panel was comprised of faculty with various levels of expertise in diverse fields of history:

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Moderator David Myers with panelists

Sal Acosta, Ph.D., United States history and United States Latino/Hispanic history

Christopher Dietrich, Ph.D., United States history and foreign policy, specifically post-WW2 era

Kirsten Swinth, Ph.D., U.S. since 1945 and U.S. women’s and gender history

Magda Teter, Ph.D., European history

To listen to this discussion, please play the audio below:

Highlights:

On the Latino vote: The media “distorted” the Latino vote in the media to have people believe they voted in favor in Trump. In reality, an exit poll of 5,600 people found that 79% of Latinos voted in favor of Clinton. – Dr. Acosta

On fascism: The “dual crisis” of political arrangements not functioning well and malfunctions in the government creating mistrust make “fascism appealing.” – Dr. Dietrich

On women: White women voted Republican in the 2016 election as “party affiliation trumps gender” typically when voting. – Dr. Swinth

On trends across Europe and the U.S.: There is a wave of nativists and right-wing movements in countries like Russia, Poland and England, and America and Israel are “part of that shift” as emotions of “fear, despair and post-economic crisis” dominate. – Dr. Teter

Now Accepting Applications: Fordham University’s Master’s Degree in Ethics and Society and the HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute

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Master’s Degree in Ethics and Society: Spring 2017

The Master of Arts in Ethics and Society provides students with a solid grounding in moral theory and ethical practice in fields such as philosophy, theology, bioethics, research ethics, business and law.

Preparation for:
– Doctoral programs in the humanities and biological and social sciences
– Professional degree programs in medicine and law
– Employment in a variety of fields including government, nonprofit, academia, business, and healthcare)

Engage in practicum experiences throughout the New York Metropolitan Area at:
– St. Barnabas Hospital
– Global Bioethics Initiative
– Generation Citizen
– Fordham University Institutional Review Board
– Families and Work Institute
– And more

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Finding the Questions: The Ethics of Voluntourism

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STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN PRIZE THIRD-PLACE WINNER

By Margaret Desmond

It is almost two in the morning and I am standing on the side of street in Guatemala while the driver rings the bell for what must be the sixth time. No one is answering the door. This house is supposed to be my home for the next two weeks. Internally I feel there is some universal karmic force at work which is punishing me for falling into the trap of “voluntourism.” I could have just come on vacation and explored but instead I chose to set up volunteer work. While a common choice among other college students, I really struggled with the ethical dilemmas that voluntourism presents.

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Suppression of Necessary Gun Violence Research

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STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN PRIZE SECOND-PLACE WINNER

By Colette Berg

Late in July 2015, my mother asked a surgeon friend of hers his opinion on gun control. He shook his head sadly and said, “I’ve operated on good guys shot by burglars, I’ve operated on parents accidentally shot by their children and children accidentally shot by their parents. But never have I once operated on a bad guy shot by a good guy.” He does not buy the popular notion that “good guys” with guns can defend themselves from “bad guys” with guns. Of course, this an anecdote from the life of one surgeon. However, most peoples’ opinions on gun control are based on intuition and personal experience rather than data. Good data about gun violence is hard to find, because Congress has refused to provide funding for gun violence research since 1996.

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Weighty Choices: Ethical Challenges of Addressing Eating Disorders

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STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN PRIZE FIRST-PLACE WINNER 

By: Geena Roth

In certain situations, the moral or ethical decision is obvious, but more often than not, there are a number of complicating factors.  Almost all decisions we make will affect more than just ourselves, forcing us to weigh our own morality against another’s autonomy.  This is particularly true in the case of medical interventions for the sake of another’s health.

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First Baby Born Via ‘3-Parent IVF’ Raises Ethical Questions

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On Tuesday it was reported that the first live birth resulting from mitochondrial donation was born in New York to a Jordanian couple. According to The New York Times, the fertility procedure – also referred to as “3-parent IVF” – was performed at a Mexican clinic and the baby is a healthy boy.

The purpose of a donor for this couple was to “overcome flaws in a parent’s mitochondria that can cause grave illnesses in babies.” Thus, the DNA from the egg of the healthy mother who has the mutation, is placed in the egg of a healthy donor after her nuclear DNA is removed. It is important to understand that the mitochondria of a cell are completely separate entities from DNA that determines inheritance.

The Jordanian couple took their chances with the procedure as they had lost two other children to the disease, one at age 6 and the other at 8 months. Dr. John Zhang performed the procedure at the New Hope Fertility Center’s clinic in Mexico as it is “effectively banned” in the United States, though it has been legal in the United Kingdom since last year.

The child is now 5 months old and healthy with normal mitochondria, as was first reported by New Scientist magazine.

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