Bioethics, Robots, and The Future of Work
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Bioethics, Robots, and The Future of Work

Self-driving cars, warehouse robots, EZ-pass, do-it-yourself check-outs, and ATMs threaten the future of work. Work and its many components including pay, atmosphere, feeling of inclusion, and empowerment are social determinants of health. Potential job loss is a valid consideration in ethical arguments to restrict the development or uses of new technologies, yet there is not…

Big Data: Reconciling Privacy, Antitrust, and Data-Generating Patents
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Big Data: Reconciling Privacy, Antitrust, and Data-Generating Patents

Data-Generating Patents require a broad ethical approach that incorporates business ethics. Ethics should that adhere to the spirit behind antitrust law and competition to protect consumers. Intellectual property rights are expanding. Data-generating patents can preclude competitors from obtaining, collecting, or generating the same type of data. It also deprives people of control over their data…

Why the Biggest Health News of the Week is the ProPublica Tax Report

Why the Biggest Health News of the Week is the ProPublica Tax Report

The ProPublica report on the taxes paid by the ultrawealthy is an important backdrop in a syndemic framework for evaluating health. A strong tax base contributes directly to health in several ways. Public parks, social services, education, community health centers, strong infrastructure, and Medicaid rely on tax dollars. Medical research is often funded by NIH…

Science or Humanities: A Need for Adaptability and Individuality Limit the Role of Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Bioethics

Science or Humanities: A Need for Adaptability and Individuality Limit the Role of Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Bioethics

Science is defined many ways, but the modern definition used here is knowledge based on data and observation. That is, the distinction between science and the social sciences or humanities is that critical thinking and complex reasoning, generally based in philosophy, logic, and reason, are the backbone of the social sciences and humanities. Critical thought…

Poverty & Global Climate Migration

Poverty & Global Climate Migration

The climate change framework that I set forth in the course accompanying this blog focuses on a broad “No Natural Disasters” protection of those vulnerability to climate change. Climate migration is already underway and has many causes. The ethical approaches should acknowledge human rights, responsibility for climate change, and the root of the moral obligations….

Critical Theory in Bioethics: Challenging Assumptions Behind Beneficence and Justice

Critical Theory in Bioethics: Challenging Assumptions Behind Beneficence and Justice

Critical theory seeks to challenge assumptions and constraining ideologies, both in a reflective, self-critical way and a normative way. It seeks to identify areas in need of change, identify who makes the change, and challenge prevailing views. Applying critical theory to bioethics would lead to questioning and changing prevailing assumptions as well as the actions…

Challenges to the Moral Expertise Behind the Four Principles Approach: The “collective is not the patient”

Challenges to the Moral Expertise Behind the Four Principles Approach: The “collective is not the patient”

In The “New” Medical Morality: Hippocrates or Bioethics? Jeffrey Hall Dobken writes, “…the neo-discipline of bioethics must be examined for moral effectiveness as well as clinical outcome.” By examining whose “needs and interests” are served by bioethics, Dobken criticizes the marginalization of both the doctor and patient voice. Dobken also questions the four principles and…

Standing Up to Power: The Price of Whistleblowing & Conscience-Following

Standing Up to Power: The Price of Whistleblowing & Conscience-Following

Last year, Dawn Wooten, a nurse in Georgia called attention to gynecological abuses of women held in ICE detention. In the US, some whistleblowing is protected and even has a set of processes in place. OSHA has a whistleblower protection program with a web of statutes across industries. Whistleblower laws left Edward Snowden unprotected, arguably…

Animals, Surveillance, and Privacy: Navigating the Ethical Collection and Use of Animal Data

Animals, Surveillance, and Privacy: Navigating the Ethical Collection and Use of Animal Data

New ethical standards will help discern what is or is not morally (and legally) owed animals now that techno-science affects wildlife and ecosystems. The term privacy rights as it applies to animals highlights the risks of high-tech surveillance using drones, vehicles, and camera traps. Tagging and tracing devices aimed for conservation efforts and to protect…

Opening or Closing the Window: Can the “Multiple Streams Framework” for Policy Benefit Bioethics?

Opening or Closing the Window: Can the “Multiple Streams Framework” for Policy Benefit Bioethics?

The public policy theory of multiple streams formulated by John Kingdon in 1984 applies to problems at a time when they become ripe for solving. By aligning the problem, policy, and political “streams” a window to solving the problem arises. In public health, the analysis was applied to UK health disparities and to obesity in…