Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 10, 2017

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Politics

White House Slammed by Federal Ethics Chief for Not Disciplining Kellyanne Conway
U.S. government’s official ethics watchdog blasted White House for not taking disciplinary action against senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s products on TV

Trump’s Ethics Order Seen as Boost for Shadow Lobbying
President Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday explains executive order to ban lobbying for five years for officials who leave office – addresses the ethics of “draining the swamp”

George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says Jeff Sessions’ denial of Russia talks ‘a good way to go to jail’
Alleged ethics violations Jeff Sessions may have made when he claimed under oath that he “did not have communications with the Russians”

ACLU lawyer files ethics complaint against Sessions over Russia testimony: report
An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, Christopher Anders, formally filed an ethics complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any contact with Russian officials

Trump’s team nixed ethics course for White House staff
White House staff has received no ethics training under the Trump transition team and now presidency

Medical Ethics

House Republicans would let employers demand workers’ genetic test results
Bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars; employers see that genetic and other health information

Prisoners with serious mental health problems face urgent treatment delays
Prisoners in the UK are supposed to receive mental health services after being referred to such a unit within 14 days and new official numbers have indicated that regulations are not being followed

New pregnancy testing technique needs limits say ethics body
Press release from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics explores the ethics of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) and explains why they are calling for a moratorium on the use of the new technology

Ethical Implications of User Perceptions of Wearable Devices
Wearable devices can save time at medical appointments and may even save lives – ethical implications of having large amounts of personal information stored in devices that are shared with third parties

When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
Medical costs increasing and patient benefits are declining  – ethical conundrum of why medical professionals continue to prescribe unnecessary treatment, and calls for responsible regulation

States Wrestle With Legalizing Payments For Gestational Surrogates
Legislators proposed a bill that would regulate gestational surrogacy — potentially adding legal oversight to fertility clinics that facilitate these pregnancies

Environmental Ethics

EPA environmental justice leader resigns, amid White House plans to dismantle program
Key environmental justice leader at the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned, saying recent budget proposal to defund work would harm the people who most rely on the EPA

Why Won’t American Business Push for Action on Climate?
Fortune 500 companies who tout themselves as “green companies” have not stepped up to the plate when it comes to lobbying for climate change regulation

WCC participates in UN panel discussion on climate ethics
World Council of Churches (WCC) explains their involvement on UN’s panel discussion on climate ethics and why a human rights framework should be considered when taking action on climate change

Technology

Why we must teach morality to robots
Ethical input with robots needs to come before, not after, developing other skills

Ethics And Hacking: What You Need To Know
Forbes Technology Council members weigh in on ethics and hacking

Yes, what you do or say in an Uber may be recorded
Uber users to watch what you say and do in the back of those vehicles, as it just may be recorded

 

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: February 19, 2016

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Participants in the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. | Photo via National Archives Catalog

Voices for Our Fathers Keeping Memory of Horrific Study Alive
The Tuskegee syphilis experiment recruited poor men with “bad blood” from rural Macon County, Ala., as test subjects. The study went on for decades, despite its ethical issues.

‘Government only pays for the positive outcomes.’ A strikingly new approach to social problems.
Two states announced Tuesday that they would experiment with an unusual method of financing human service programs that allows governments to pay nothing unless the programs are successful.

Needle Exchanges Can Now Get Federal Funding
Lifting the ban underscores a growing recognition that needle exchange programs can help reduce the the spread of infectious diseases

A First-Aid Class for Mental Health
Most people know how to help someone with a cut or a scrape. But what about a panic attack?

Continue reading “Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 19, 2016”

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: January 22, 2016

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Record 30,000 Organ Transplants Performed Last Year
Doctors attribute the 5% increase in donations in 2015 to Americans’ growing willingness to donate organs.

Why We Need to Rethink HIV Attitudes
Robert Klitzman argues it is time to re-examine attitudes and laws criminalizing potential HIV exposure.

Advancing Medical Professionalism in US Military Detainee Treatment
A bioethical argument that current medical ethics standards provide a sound basis for military medical practice, even in situations where military missions must be reconciled with patient needs.

Continue reading “Ethics & Society Newsfeed: January 22, 2016”

Putting Justice Back in the Justice System: ‘It is time to defend the basic human rights of the voiceless individuals’

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

STUDENT VOICES

By Alyssa Dolan

The dialogue on the imprisonment of those with intellectual development disorders (IDDs) has progressively grown silent. Crucial to this nonexistent discourse is the tendency of the justice system to criminalize the traits associated with such disorders – traits including tendencies to tune people out, to repeat actions and words, to have poor eye contact, to fail to follow directions.

Continue reading “Putting Justice Back in the Justice System: ‘It is time to defend the basic human rights of the voiceless individuals’”

The Fallen Children: has the Christian narrative failed foster care?

By: Kate Smoot

Photo courtesy http://thegentreport.blogspot.com/2012/10/juvenile-delinquency-age-of-majority.html
Image via http://thegentreport.blogspot.com/2012/10/juvenile-delinquency-age-of-majority.html

Justice is notoriously difficult to get right.  Often, injustice prevails through simple ignorance or willful blindness.  Even the best-laid plans may go horrifically awry through inadequate attention to complex social realities. In a course entitled “Health Disparities and Social Inequalities” taught by Dr. Celia B. Fisher at Fordham University, we utilize current social research to link theoretical frameworks with careful attention to context.   In one study, “Pathways to Prison: Life Histories of Former Clients of the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems,” imprisoned adults were invited to tell their own stories, addressing their own understandings of justice, agency, and responsibility.

Continue reading “The Fallen Children: has the Christian narrative failed foster care?”

Louisiana Incarcerated: How We Built the World’s Prison Capital

Louisiana is the world’s prison capital.

As Cindy Chang pointed out during our Jailing for Dollars conference, and wrote in The Times-Picayune: “The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.”

Continue reading “Louisiana Incarcerated: How We Built the World’s Prison Capital”