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.
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.
On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society blog student editors Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. The 90-minute interview spanned a range of topics including political party participation, research on human and animal subjects, and how Catholic educational institutions should treat students who become pregnant, among others. He also provided background on many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and moral positions.
Ochs: Thank you once again for having us. We would like to get started with our first question. You have had a great deal of interaction and dialogue with young people, and college students, particularly Fordham students. You’ve been to our university many times since you’ve been installed as Archbishop of New York. What values—ethical values, religious values, societal values perhaps—do you believe are most important for those in our generation to hold and put into practice?
Many of the ethical challenges faced by researchers conducting community-based studies with persons addicted to street drugs can be understood in terms of the “scientist-citizen dilemma.” This dilemma arises when researcher’s ethical obligation to produce scientifically valid knowledge conflicts with their sense of moral responsibility to help participants living in poverty with little access to treatment.
Frontline research staff engaged in the practical process of moral agency who encounter such dilemmas on a daily basis often experience moral stress when they cannot actualize these dual values via their work. Such stress may lead them to take actions that while assisting research participants in need jeopardize the validity of the study conducted. In a recent article, Dr. Celia B. Fisher and her colleagues examined the consequences of moral stress among drug use community researchers and the organizational climates that can reduce or exacerbate these moral conflicts.
On August 26, 2013, Dr. Adam Fried, Assistant Director of the Center for Ethics Education, gave the following address at the Academic Convocation for the Fordham College at Rose Hill Class of 2017. Dr. Fried was asked to speak on behalf of all members of faculty, and to welcome the new class to the Fordham University academic community. In case you were unable to attend, here is a transcript of the address:
Using Your Moral Compass to Navigate the College Experience
Thank you, Dean Parmach. Welcome students! I’m so honored and excited to have an opportunity to speak with you today.
First, let me tell you a little about what I do. I’m the assistant director of the Fordham Center for Ethics Education. We organize conferences and lectures, conduct research, administer an undergraduate essay prize in ethics, and offer a Master’s in Ethics and Society and an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor in bioethics. Our programs provide the Fordham community and the public with the knowledge and skills to shape a just society. At Fordham, I teach and my work centers on ethics. But I am also a clinical psychologist and I have worked with veterans, college students and at-risk children and adolescents. Although these two areas, ethics and psychology, may seem quite different, there is in fact a great deal of overlap.