In this paper I examine the prevailing assumption that there is a right to procreate and question whether there exists a coherent notion of such a right. I argue that we should question any and all procreative activities, not just alternative procreative means and contexts. I suggest that clinging to the assumption of a right to procreate prevents serious scrutiny of reproductive behavior and that, instead of continuing to embrace this assumption, attempts should be made to provide a proper foundation (...) for it. I argue that the focus of procreative activities and discourse on reproductive ethics should be on obligations instead of rights, as rights talk tends to obfuscate recognition of obligations toward others, particularly those who bear the most significant burdens of the procreative process. I examine some possible foundations of a right to procreate as well as John Robertson’s thoughtful account of “procreative liberty” but conclude that at the present time there exists no compelling account of a right to procreate. Finally, I conclude that in the absence of a satisfactory account of a right to procreate, we should refrain from grounding practices or polices on the assumption that there is such a right. (shrink)
Over the past 40 years, scholars and practitioners of public relations have often cast public relations workers in the role of the public relations-person-as-corporate-conscience. This work, however, maintains that this construct is so problematic that invoking it is of negligible use in addressing ethical issues that emerge during a crisis. In fact, a complex crisis, such as the Jahi McMath “brain death” case at Children’s Hospital Oakland, demonstrates the need to abandon the PRPaCC construct to better engage affected stakeholders, including (...) “outsiders” to the organization, who often determine whether an organization is facing a crisis. Through an examination of both the concept of the PRPaCC and the McMath crisis, this work makes the case for moving beyond the PRPaCC construct in favor of a more modest role for the public relations person: facilitating widespread ethical deliberation and discussion throughout an organization, potentially helping the organization alleviate concerns that contribute to crises. (shrink)
This dissertation explores the notion of a right to reproduce in the context of assisted reproductive technologies and argues that there are no good arguments supporting the notion of a genuine, independent right to reproduce. Although it is generally believed to be self-evident that there is a right to reproduce, I question this line of thinking and expose the fact that there is no adequate demonstration of a right to reproduce. Once I point out that there is no adequate basis (...) for a so-called right to reproduce, I proceed to argue that the proper emphasis in reproductive ethics is on obligations toward offspring rather than a so-called right to reproduce. Once the focus shifts to that of obligations toward offspring, it becomes clear that the emphasis on the supposed right to reproduce has resulted in avoidable harm to offspring, instances of morally impermissible procreation, and the rise of a lucrative, morally suspect fertility industry. I argue that it is necessary to take another look at both old-fashioned and assisted procreation under the microscope of obligation in order to point out how the current state of affairs, especially in the ART industry, has gone awry. Ultimately, I show that there should be greater focus on protecting the present and future autonomy of all persons and that this requires greater efforts to educate the public regarding their reproductive responsibility, as well as radical revisions of the ART industry, particularly in the United States. (shrink)
Academic-industry collaborations and the conflicts of interest (COI) arising out of them are not new. However, as industry funding for research in the life and health sciences has increased and scandals involving financial COI are brought to the public’s attention, demands for disclosure have grown. In a March 2008 American Council on Science and Health report by Ronald Bailey, he argues that the focus on COI—especially financial COI—is obsessive and likely to be more detrimental to scientific progress and public health (...) than COI themselves. In response, we argue that downplaying the potential negative impact of COI arising out of academic-industry relationships is no less harmful than overreacting to it. (shrink)
As we near a time when robots may serve a vital function by becoming caregivers, it is important to examine the ethical implications of this development. By applying the capabilities approach as a guide to both the design and use of robot caregivers, we hope that this will maximize opportunities to preserve or expand freedom for care recipients. We think the use of the capabilities approach will be especially valuable for improving the ability of impaired persons to interface more effectively (...) with their physical and social environments. (shrink)
In this article, the authors examine whether and how robot caregivers can contribute to the welfare of children with various cognitive and physical impairments by expanding recreational opportunities for these children. The capabilities approach is used as a basis for informing the relevant discussion. Though important in its own right, having the opportunity to play is essential to the development of other capabilities central to human flourishing. Drawing from empirical studies, the authors show that the use of various types of (...) robots has already helped some children with impairments. Recognizing the potential ethical pitfalls of robot caregiver intervention, however, the authors examine these concerns and conclude that an appropriately designed robot caregiver has the potential to contribute positively to the development of the capability to play while also enhancing the ability of human caregivers to understand and interact with care recipients. (shrink)
Recent events at Enron, K-Mart, Adelphia, and Tyson would seem to suggest that managers are still experiencing ethical lapses. These lapses are somewhat surprising and disappointing given the heightened focus on ethical considerations within business contexts during the past decade. This study is designed, therefore, to increase our understanding of the forces that shape ethical perceptions by considering the effects of business school education as well as a number of other individual-level factors (such as intra-national culture, area of specialization within (...) business, and gender) that may exert an influence on ethical perceptions. We found significant effects for business education, self-reported intra-national culture, area of specialization within business, and gender for some and/or all areas of ethics examined (i.e., deceit, fraud, self-interest, influence dealing, and coercion). One of our most encouraging findings is that tolerance for unethical behavior appears to decrease with formal business education. Despite the prevalent stereotype that business students are only interested in the bottom line or that business schools transform idealistic freshman into self-serving business graduates, our results suggest otherwise. Given the heightened criticism of the ethicality of contemporary managerial behavior, it is heartening to note that, even as adults, individuals can be positively affected by integration of ethics training. (shrink)
While human genetic research promises to deliver a range of health benefits to the population, genetic research that takes place in Indigenous communities has proven controversial. Indigenous peoples have raised concerns, including a lack of benefit to their communities, a diversion of attention and resources from non-genetic causes of health disparities and racism in health care, a reinforcement of “victim-blaming” approaches to health inequalities, and possible misuse of blood and tissue samples. Drawing on the international literature, this article reviews the (...) ethical issues relevant to genetic research in Indigenous populations and considers how some of these have been negotiated in a genomic research project currently under way in a remote Aboriginal community. We consider how the different levels of Indigenous research governance operating in Australia impacted on the research project and discuss whether specific guidelines for the conduct of genetic research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are warranted. (shrink)
I document some of the main evidence showing that E. S. Pearson rejected the key features of the behavioral-decision philosophy that became associated with the Neyman-Pearson Theory of statistics (NPT). I argue that NPT principles arose not out of behavioral aims, where the concern is solely with behaving correctly sufficiently often in some long run, but out of the epistemological aim of learning about causes of experimental results (e.g., distinguishing genuine from spurious effects). The view Pearson did (...) hold gives a deeper understanding of NPT tests than their typical formulation as accept-reject routines, against which criticisms of NPT are really directed. The Pearsonian view that emerges suggests how NPT tests may avoid these criticisms while still retaining what is central to these methods: the control of error probabilities. (shrink)
Erratum to: Bioethical InquiryDOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9391-xLobna Rouhani, University of Melbourne, is a co-author of the article “Genetic Research and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians” (2012, 419–432) that was published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry’s 9(4) symposium “Cases and Culture.” Her name was omitted from the publication and she should be credited as the third author of this article.
Despite the widespread use of key concepts of the Neyman–Pearson (N–P) statistical paradigm—type I and II errors, significance levels, power, confidence levels—they have been the subject of philosophical controversy and debate for over 60 years. Both current and long-standing problems of N–P tests stem from unclarity and confusion, even among N–P adherents, as to how a test's (pre-data) error probabilities are to be used for (post-data) inductive inference as opposed to inductive behavior. We argue that the relevance of error (...) probabilities is to ensure that only statistical hypotheses that have passed severe or probative tests are inferred from the data. The severity criterion supplies a meta-statistical principle for evaluating proposed statistical inferences, avoiding classic fallacies from tests that are overly sensitive, as well as those not sensitive enough to particular errors and discrepancies. Introduction and overview 1.1 Behavioristic and inferential rationales for Neyman–Pearson (N–P) tests 1.2 Severity rationale: induction as severe testing 1.3 Severity as a meta-statistical concept: three required restrictions on the N–P paradigm Error statistical tests from the severity perspective 2.1 N–P test T(): type I, II error probabilities and power 2.2 Specifying test T() using p-values Neyman's post-data use of power 3.1 Neyman: does failure to reject H warrant confirming H? Severe testing as a basic concept for an adequate post-data inference 4.1 The severity interpretation of acceptance (SIA) for test T() 4.2 The fallacy of acceptance (i.e., an insignificant difference): Ms Rosy 4.3 Severity and power Fallacy of rejection: statistical vs. substantive significance 5.1 Taking a rejection of H0 as evidence for a substantive claim or theory 5.2 A statistically significant difference from H0 may fail to indicate a substantively important magnitude 5.3 Principle for the severity interpretation of a rejection (SIR) 5.4 Comparing significant results with different sample sizes in T(): large n problem 5.5 General testing rules for T(), using the severe testing concept The severe testing concept and confidence intervals 6.1 Dualities between one and two-sided intervals and tests 6.2 Avoiding shortcomings of confidence intervals Beyond the N–P paradigm: pure significance, and misspecification tests Concluding comments: have we shown severity to be a basic concept in a N–P philosophy of induction? (shrink)
The story of change and growth, i.e., evolution, in the traditional manner, involves an epistemology of indigenous knowledge systems that admits both evolution and the divine—and therefore the human capacity for free choice—that tells us that fossil fuels are a bad choice. Steven Biko’s message of “Black Consciousness” responds to the dilemma of how we belong to the species that is damaging the planetary ecosystem, amd yet how we can deny complicity by saying that reclaiming our culture enables us to (...) see what we have done, so we can refuse complicity with the system that has divided us and take responsibility for giving birth to new life. The uncertainties of climate change can be thought through using race, class, gender, sexual orientation, indigeneity, and disability as categories of analysis. The result is an understanding that through both climate science and lived experience, we can know enough to know we ought to act on climate change. We do not need more research; we need instead an acceptance of our ignorance amid a sense of ethical responsibility. This story speaks of liberation from oppression and of climate action as deeply entangled in. (shrink)
Chow pays lip service (but not much more!) to Type I errors and thus opts for a hard (all-or-none) .05 level of significance (Superego of Neyman/Pearson theory; Gigerenzer 1993). Most working scientists disregard Type I errors and thus utilize a soft .05 level (Ego of Fisher; Gigerenzer 1993), which lets them report gradations of significance (e.g., p.
Gelman and Loken (2013, 2014) proposed that when researchers base their statistical analyses on the idiosyncratic characteristics of a specific sample (e.g., a nonlinear transformation of a variable because it is skewed), they open up alternative analysis paths in potential replications of their study that are based on different samples (i.e., no transformation of the variable because it is not skewed). These alternative analysis paths count as additional (multiple) tests and, consequently, they increase the probability of making a Type I (...) error during hypothesis testing. The present article considers this forking paths problem and evaluates four potential solutions that might be used in psychology and other fields: (a) adjusting the prespecified alpha level, (b) preregistration, (c) sensitivity analyses, and (d) abandoning the Neyman-Pearson approach. It is concluded that although preregistration and sensitivity analyses are effective solutions to p-hacking, they are ineffective against result-neutral forking paths, such as those caused by transforming data. Conversely, although adjusting the alpha level cannot address p-hacking, it can be effective for result-neutral forking paths. Finally, abandoning the Neyman-Pearson approach represents a further solution to the forking paths problem. (shrink)