After a transgression has occurred within an organization, a primary concern is the reintegration of the affected parties back into the organizational community. However, beyond offenders and victims, reintegration depends on the views of organizational peers and their desire to interact with these parties. In two studies, we demonstrated that offender amends and victim forgiveness interact to predict peer reintegrative outcomes. We found evidence of backlash against unforgiving victims: Peers wanted to work the least with victims who rejected appropriate amends, (...) thus penalizing them for their failure to contribute to the restoration process. This backlash effect was due to decreased liking of the victim and the perceived failure to repair the offender-victim relationship. These findings demonstrate that peers expect both offenders and victims to do their part to achieve reconciliation following transgression, and both may suffer the consequences of failing to meet peer expectations. Implications for reintegration within organizations are discussed. (shrink)
Imagine a genetic counselor working with a young couple pregnant with their first child. The explosion of genetic knowledge and technology in recent years is complicating this professional relationship as a host of new choices brings a few clients with atypical needs. This couple is deaf. They seek not to avoid a child with their disability but rather to assure that the child too will be deaf—a child to share their culture and perspectives on the world. If prenatal diagnosis indicates (...) that the prospective child would be hearing, they intend to terminate the pregnancy and try again. So, how should the counselor respond to this request for services? Does a traditional deference to parental autonomy in reproductive matters require that we respect such decisions by informed couples? More broadly, what are the concepts by which society will guide policy in this new and sensitive domain? (shrink)
What makes an artwork bring on the demands of censorship? Is it when it offends a majority of people, a significant minority, or just a few? And is it censorship when the work is denied all venues of exhibition or is it also censorship when it is denied public grants and/or exhibitions dependent on public funds i.e. in museums, but granted the right of private exhibition i.e. in commercial galleries?The article "Censorship, 'Decency' and Dollars" by Dena Shottenkirk deals with (...) the thorny and difficult issues surrounding art censorship, and the political and aesthetic consequences of them. J.S. Mill's harm/offense distinction is sometimes used in such discussions regarding paternalism, but, even setting aside Mill's back-pedaling on public decency concerns, the harm/offense distinction is not the clear-cut one we'd often want in dealing with contemporary culture. How much of modernism's avant-garde would exist without tweaking the boundaries of harm and offense, and how dependent are our free speech rights on such cultural expressions? While hoping to defend the rights of perverse expression and - at the same time-democracy everywhere, the line drawn on what-gets-shown and who-gets-to-decide are tempestuous issues indeed. (shrink)
Responsible conduct of research courses are widely taught, but little is known about the purposes or effectiveness of such courses. As one way to assess the purposes of these courses, students were surveyed about their perspectives after recent completion of one of eleven different research ethics courses at ten different institutions. Participants enrolled in RCR courses in spring and fall of 2003 received a voluntary, anonymous survey from their instructors at the completion of the course. Responses were received from 268 (...) participants. Seventy-seven percent of open-ended responses listed specific kinds of information learned; only a few respondents talked about changes in skills or attitudes. The perception that courses did more to provide information than to foster skills or attitudes was verified in quantitative responses. Over 75% of the respondents specifically noted that courses were useful in preparing them to recognize, avoid, and respond to research misconduct. The two principal findings of this multi-institutional study are that respondents reported: a wide variety of positive outcomes for research ethics courses, but that the impact on knowledge was greater than that for changes in skills or attitudes. (shrink)
The principle of the child's right to an open future was first proposed by the legal philosopher Joel Feinberg and developed further by bioethicist Dena Davis. The principle holds that children possess a unique class of rights called rights in trust—rights that they cannot yet exercise, but which they will be able to exercise when they reach maturity. Parents should not, therefore, take actions that permanently foreclose on or pre-empt the future options of their children, but leave them the (...) greatest possible scope for exercising personal life choices in adulthood. Davis particularly applies the principle to genetic counselling, arguing that parents should not take deliberate steps to create physically abnormal children, and to religion, arguing that while parents are entitled to bring their children up in accordance with their own values, they are not entitled to inflict physical or mental harm, neither by omission nor commission. In this paper, I aim to elucidate the open future principle, and consider whether it is applicable to non-therapeutic circumcision of boys, whether performed for cultural/religious or for prophylactic/health reasons. I argue that the principle is highly applicable to non-therapeutic circumcision, and conclude that non-therapeutic circumcision would be a violation of the child's right to an open future, and thus objectionable from both an ethical and a human rights perspective. (shrink)
There is a flood of papers being published on new ways to diagnose Alzheimer disease before it is symptomatic, involving a combination of invasive tests , and pen and paper tests. This changes the landscape with respect to genetic tests for risk of AD, making rational suicide a much more feasible option. Before the availability of these presymptomatic tests, even someone with a high risk of developing AD could not know if and when the disease was approaching. One could lose (...) years of good life by committing suicide too soon, or risk waiting until it was too late and dementia had already sapped one of the ability to form and carry out a plan. One can now put together what one knows about one's risk, with continuing surveillance via these clinical tests, and have a good strategy for planning one's suicide before one becomes demented. This has implications for how these genetic and clinical tests are marketed and deployed, and the language one uses to speak about them. The phrase ‘there is nothing one can do’ is insulting and disrespectful of the planned suicide option, as is the language of the Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer's Disease studies and others that conclude that it is ‘safe’ to tell subjects their risk status for AD. Further, the argument put forward by some researchers that presymptomatic testing should remain within research protocols, and the results not shared with subjects until such time as treatments become available, disrespects the autonomy of people at high risk who consider suicide an option. (shrink)
The ancient practice of metzitzah b'peh, direct oral suction, is still practiced by ultra-Orthodox Jews as part of the religious rite of male newborn circumcision. Between 2000 and 2011, 11 children have died in New York and New Jersey, following infection by herpes simplex virus, presumably from infected practitioners. The City responded by requiring signed parental consent before oral suction, with parents being warned of the dangers of the practice. This essay argues that informed consent is not an appropriate response (...) to this problem. An outright ban would a better response to a practice that is dangerous to children, but might prove unconstitutional under New York State law. (shrink)
Financial ties between physicians and pharmaceutical companies are pervasive and controversial. However, little is known about how patients perceive such ties. This paper describes an experiment examining how a national sample of U.S. adults perceived a variety of financial relationships between physicians and drug companies. Each respondent read a single scenario about a hypothetical physician and his financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; scenarios varied in terms of payment type of and amount. Respondents then evaluated the physician on several dimensions (...) . Findings revealed that perceptions of the physician were more strongly influenced by payment type than by payment amount. Specifically, respondents were quite critical of doctors who owned drug company stock or received industry payments for meals and lodging, but were more forgiving of physicians who received free drug samples or consulting fees . Interestingly, physicians who received no payments, while seen as honest, were also viewed by some respondents as inexperienced or uninformed about new treatments. Implications for public policy and future research are discussed. (shrink)
The practice of research is full of ethical challenges, many of which might be addressed through the teaching of responsible conduct of research . Although such training is increasingly required, there is no clear consensus about either the goals or content of an RCR curriculum. The present study was designed to assess community standards in three domains of research practice: authorship, collaboration, and data management. A survey, developed through advice from content matter experts, focus groups, and interviews, was distributed in (...) November 2010 to U.S. faculty from 50 graduate programs for each of four different disciplines: microbiology, neuroscience, nursing, and psychology. The survey addressed practices and perceived standards, as well as perceptions about teaching and learning. Over 1,300 responses yielded statistically significant differences in responses to nearly all questions. However the magnitude of these differences was typically small, leaving little reason to argue for community consensus on standards. For nearly all questions asked, the clear finding was that there was nothing approaching consensus. These results may be useful not so much to teach what the standards are, but to increase student awareness of the diversity of those standards in reported practice. (shrink)
This study integrates institutional theory and social cognitive theory to describe how peripheral organizations can accidentally bring about radical change even in highly institutionalized and change-resistant fields. The empirical context is the field of banking in Ireland (1995–2001), where a peripheral bank triggered a shift away from traditionally conservative and risk-averse banking values toward aggressive values of entrepreneurial risk taking. The introduction of a new approach to banking was attributed to three factors: (1) a benevolent environment, which made this innovation (...) feasible and timely, (2) the state of the field, which had gaps that could be addressed through specialization, and (3) prior successes, which created hubris in the senior managers, thereby increasing the pace and scope of adoption of this approach. Eventually, what started as a specialized and entrepreneurial approach led to the spread of a risky approach to banking across the entire field. The study highlights the risks of hubris, in that media praise and early successes can increase the pace of adoption of innovations which offer short-term gains but are detrimental in the long term. (shrink)
While it may be useful to consider the development of new topics in teaching the responsible conduct of research (RCR), it is perhaps equally important to reconsider the traditionally taught core topic areas in both more nuanced and broader ways. This paper takes the topic of authorship as an example. Through the description of two specific cases from sociocultural anthropology, ideas about credit and responsibility are examined. It is suggested that placing more focus on the array of meanings found in (...) the act of authoring might help students see themselves as part of a wider community both of scientists and beyond science. (shrink)
When the benefits of surgery do not outweigh the harms or where they do not clearly do so, surgical interventions become morally contested. Cutting to the Core examines a number of such surgeries, including infant male circumcision and cutting the genitals of female children, the separation of conjoined twins, surgical sex assignment of intersex children and the surgical re-assignment of transsexuals, limb and face transplantation, cosmetic surgery, and placebo surgery.
Scientific developments take place in a socio-political context but scientists often ignore the ways their innovations will be both interpreted by the media and used by policy makers. In the rush to neuroscientific discovery important questions are overlooked, such as the ways: (1) the brain, environment and behavior are related; (2) biological changes are mediated by social organization; (3) institutional bias in the application of technical procedures ignores race, class and gender dimensions of society; (4) knowledge is used to the (...) advantage of the powerful; and (5) its applications may reinforce existing structures of power that pose ethical questions about distributive justice. The case of crime, deception and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) shows the complexity, and the political and ethical challenges that confront those who seek to use neuroscience to explain the etiology of crime, and who base policy on its findings. An ethically grounded neuroscience needs to take account of existing structures of power and difference, and to develop a public neuropolitical consciousness that ensures that those subject to risk by the application of science and technology are participants in the decision-making processes involving the implementation of policies that affect them. (shrink)
It's not unusual to hear someone say, ‘I'd rather be dead than have Alzheimer's’. In ‘Alzheimer Disease and Preemptive Suicide’,1 Dena Davis explains why this is a reasonable position. People taking this position will welcome the discovery of biomarkers permitting very early AD diagnosis, Davis suggests, for this will enable more of them to end their lives while they remain motivated and able to do so. At the same time, Davis observes, people would have less reason to resort to (...) the drastic remedy of pre-emptive suicide if they had absolute authority over the medical treatment they received as patients with dementia; but the threat of pre-emptive suicide is not, in my view, a sufficient reason to grant competent individuals that authority.If preclinical diagnosis of AD becomes possible, some pre-emptive suicides will probably occur. There would be no ethical or practical way to ban such suicides, and it would be silly to try. Clinicians will undoubtedly try to discourage people seeking biomarker information in furtherance of a suicide plan, but savvy individuals will simply conceal their true motivation for having the tests. The real problem for people intent on self-destruction is that biomarkers are unlikely to deliver a clear suicide signal.First, as Davis notes, work on biomarkers remains in the research stage. No one yet knows whether biomarker tests will prove accurate enough to warrant clinical use. Second, even clinically accepted biomarker tests will generate imperfect information about future disease. Biomarkers may produce more accurate estimates of a person's risk of developing AD, but like all predictive tests, they will also yield false positive and negative results. The …. (shrink)
Henry Molaison, aged eighty-two, died at the end of 2008, and just after noon on exactly the first anniversary of his death, December 2, 2009, scientists began slicing his brain into 2,500 tissue samples. Known primarily in his lifetime as only H.M., he left his brain to science so that it could be dissected and digitally mapped – a gift much beloved by many scientists. An amnesiac in life, H.M. first rose to prominence in 1962 when Dr. Brenda Milner, a (...) pioneer in the field of neuropsychology, demonstrated that though H.M. was severely amnesic and could not remember past activities, he could nevertheless learn certain habits. The experiment involved the now famous mirror drawing. This article, written by a philosopher/artist and a neuroscientist/neuroaesthetician, argues that artists are unable to verbally articulate thoughts about their own art practice for reasons similar to why H.M. could not. All memories are not stored in the same part of the brain. Different categories of memories i.e., semantic memory or procedural memory, are stored in different parts of the brain. We argue that the procedural memory is not readily accessible to semantic memory. (shrink)
: Because I reject the notion that physical characteristics constitute cultural membership, I argue that, even if the claim were persuasive that deafness is a culture rather than a disability, there is no reason to fault hearing parents who choose cochlear implants for their deaf children.
Advances in genetic research and technology can have a profound impact on identity and family dynamics when genetic findings disrupt deeply held assumptions about the nuclear family. Ancestry tracing and paternity testing present parallel risks and opportunities. As these latter uses are now available over the internet directly to the consumer, bypassing the genetic counselor, consumers need adequate warning when making use of these new modalities.
Advances in neuroscience continue to enhance understanding of the brain and provide new tools to take advantage of that understanding. These changes are poised to profoundly alter society. Given that the impact will be felt not only by neuroscientists, but by diverse members of society, it is imperative that conversations engage all stakeholders. Doing so will allow for the sharing of diverse views and perspectives to understand and frame the science, better educate and prepare the public for new developments, and (...) provide a shared approach to identifying and resolving ethical challenges. These were the goals of Neuroethics Week, staged in 2007 by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology in San Diego, and are the basis for the contributions to this special issue of Science and Engineering Ethics. (shrink)
There is strong sentiment for a policy which would exclude foreigners from access to organs from American cadaver donors. One common argument is that foreigners are free riders; since they are not members of the community whichgives organs, it would be unfair to allow them toreceive such a scarce resource.This essay examines the philosophical basis for the free rider argument, and compares that with the empirical data about organ donation in the U.S. The free rider argument ought not to be (...) used to exclude foreign nationals because it is based on fallacious assumptions about group membership, and how the giving community is defined. Polls show that even among the seventy-five per cent of Americans who support organ donation, only seventeen per cent had taken the small step of filling out donor cards. Therefore, it goes against logic to define the giving community as coextensive with American residency, while excluding foreigners who might well have become donors had they lived in countries which provided that option. (shrink)
This paper probes the implications of a genetic basis for sexual orientation for traditional branches of Judaism, which are struggling with how accepting to be of noncelibate gays and lesbians in their communities. The paper looks at the current attitudes toward homosexuality across the different branches of Judaism; social and cultural factors that work against acceptance; attitudes toward science in Jewish culture; and the likelihood that scientific evidence that sexual orientation is at least partly genetically determined will influence Jewish scholars' (...) and leaders' thinking on this issue. (shrink)
This article challenges the false opposition between public and private spheres that is often imposed upon our historical understanding in the Old Regime in France. An analysis of the work of Jürgen Habermas, Reinhart Koselleck, Philippe Ariès, and Roger Chartier shows that the "authentic public sphere" articulated by Habermas was constructed in the private realm, and the "new culture" of private life identified by Ariès was constitutive of Habermas's new public sphere. Institutions of sociability were the common ground upon which (...) public and private met in the unstable world of eighteenth-century France. Having superimposed the "maps" of public and private spheres drawn by Habermas and Ariès upon one another, the article then goes on to examine recent studies by Joan Landes and Roger Chartier to show the implications of drawing or avoiding the false opposition between public and private spheres for our understanding of the political culture of the Old Regime and Revolution. (shrink)
: It is possible and necessary to compare stretches of human life with other goods, such as the good of conserving resources for others. A minute of human life is not of infinite value; all else being equal, a minute of life is less valuable than 10 years of the same life. Nevertheless, this ability to evaluate human life does not necessarily lead to total commodification of human life.
Despite more than 25 years of a requirement for training in the responsible conduct of research, there is still little consensus about what such training should include, how it should be delivered, nor what constitutes “effectiveness” of such training. This lack of consensus on content, approaches and outcomes is evident in recent data showing high variability in the development and implementation of RCR instruction across universities and programs. If we accept that one of the primary aims of instruction in RCR/research (...) ethics is “to foster a community of social responsibility”, then it makes sense to consider the research environment itself—where learning one’s science happens where one also engages in social interaction around that science. In order to take the best advantage of that already existing/naturally occurring research environment, the authors, through a deliberative, collaborative, and integrative process, crafted a workshop curriculum meant to arm research faculty with concrete and specific tools to effectively introduce research ethics in the context of the research environment. (shrink)