Articles on Ethics

Displaying 361 - 380 of 403 articles

Wheat-free: fields full of quick-growing miscanthus grass, an energy-rich biofuel. Andrew Parsons/PA

Food first, fuel second is the UN’s message on biofuels

Critics of the conversion of plants into biofuel have long argued that it is an issue of food versus fuel‎, and a recent UN report gives some weight to their argument. Since the amount of maize needed…
Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas or the ethical underpinning of self-regulation. AAP/RSPCA

Ethics is a jealous God: self-regulation vs self-sacrifice

Late one night recently I got a very frustrated email from a close friend. He’d just spent the evening arguing with investors about whether they needed to take ethics into account in their investment decisions…
Misplaced faith in the possibility of risk-free warfare may end up putting more lives at risk. L.C.Nøttaasen

Lethal autonomous robots must be stopped in their tracks

The topic of killer robots was drawn back into the public sphere last week with the widely publicised call for a moratorium on the development and use of “lethal autonomous robotics” by a top UN human…
There is mounting evidence that babies might have more of a moral compass than we once thought. Baby image from www.shutterstock.com

Young morals: can infants tell right from wrong?

Psychologists from Yale and the University of British Columbia think they have found a way to show that infants in their first year of life possess the psychological building blocks of a moral sense. These…
Every day around three Australian families face an end-of-life decision for their child. Image from shutterstock.com

Navigating the grey zone in end-of-life care for children

Recently on The Conversation, legal academic Neera Bhatia drew attention to two recent Australian court cases of withdrawing of life-saving medical treatment from infants with severe brain damage. She…
Doctors and sports scientists have to negotiate the goals of their employers with the expectations of their profession. Quinn Dombrowski

Embedded sports scientists and doctors walk an ethical tightrope

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) findings about the actions of “specific coaches, sports scientists and high-performance staff” in condoning or orchestrating the administration of prohibited substances…
Researchers decoded the whole mitochondrial DNA of five Neanderthal men, one of whom belonged to the El Sidron site (pictured) in Asturias, northern Spain, in 2009. EPA/CSIC

Caveman ethics? The rights and wrongs of cloning Neanderthals

It now appears that the scientist who seemed to be advocating that we clone Neanderthals was suggesting only that “we need to start talking about it.” Ethics is an essential part of such a conversation…
Drugs treat symptoms but do nothing to help people navigate depression. Shutterstock

Treating depression ethically requires more than drugs

Spot the problem in this scenario. Richard* is stressed. While he’s a high-flyer (a Rhodes Scholar no less), he’s under the pump at work and has just moved his family across nations. The job is taking…
Embryos matter because of what they mean to those for whom they were generated. UTS

Frozen in time: clarifying laws on IVF embryo use and destruction

Over the past two decades, the frozen preservation of embryos has become routine practice in IVF. What currently happens to embryos next is controlled by overlapping and complicated rules that confuse…
Unequal access to technology and technological literacy are the biggest challenges to open health. Stethoscope image from www.shutterstock.com

Diagnosing the inequality problems of open health

Open health programs create a range of ethical concerns. Some of these are old, and some are new; some need action now, and some need a longer view. Responding to these concerns requires the use of a limited…
Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rys Holleran has expressed “sorrow” at the death of Jacintha Saldanha, but who is to blame? AAP/Joe Castro

Between guilt and innocence: 2Day FM and the moral blame game

This past weekend, we saw the media – old, new, and social – trying to digest the indigestible. The death of Jacintha Saldanha, the British nurse who apparently took her own life after being caught up…
What are our ethical responsibilities for racing greyhounds? Jo Anne McArthur

The unbearable lightness of being a greyhound

Background Briefing’s program The Quick and the Dead exposed one of the key animal welfare issues facing the greyhound racing industry: the high rates of euthanasia of healthy dogs. During an interview…
How does Australia measure up morally? Are we in a moral decline? Compass image from www.shutterstock.com

Moral compass: is Australia a kind nation?

We’re in a state of moral decline in the West – or so we’re told. From sky-rocketing divorce rates and the shrinking of life-long commitments to an excessive concern with self and consumerism. Morality…
How much is enough to compensate someone who is about to die for allowing someone else to financially benefit from their death? leiris202/Flickr

Death and the market: the peculiar dealings of Joseph Caramadre

Is profiting from the deaths of others wrong? In an interview on This American Life, Joseph Caramadre maintains it’s not. At least, he says, “Not if it’s done morally, ethically, and legally.” This month…
A human egg being worked on in an IVF clinic. Adrian Wiggins

IVF treatment for older women: is age the greatest concern?

Considerable public controversy exists around the question of access to in-vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF) for older women. Some support unlimited, publicly-funded access for all infertile women and…
Peter Singer is awarded for ideas for which we shun others. Joel Travis Sage

Cory Bernardi is right, in Peter Singer’s anti-human world

Senator Cory Bernardi has been reviled for associating homosexuality with something repugnant, bestiality. Yet Australia has just awarded its highest civilian honour to a philosopher who provides a moral…
Plagiarism is happening at universities, but technology is not the way to solve the problem. Computer image from www.shutterstock.com

Delusions of candour: why technology won’t stop plagiarism

Plagiarism at university is a time-old scourge. Some would have us believe it can be sought out with ever-improving technology, and with more consistent vetting of student essays with the latest detection…
Soy might seem simply better, but what do the figures say? mc5556/Flickr

Soy versus dairy: what’s the footprint of milk?

Are soy milk’s environmental attributes based on substance or froth? Is soy a sustainable solution in the dairy debate? Comparative environmental analysis of different food groups is like comparing, well…
Animals are not just an incidental first choice of research method. usda/Wikimedia Commons

Animal-based research is still relevant and necessary

Drug development is a slow process involving years, even decades, of research and animal models have always been integral to this work. But progress in translating animal work into human benefits has been…
The dead soldier’s funeral holds an important place in our society. (AAP Image/Australian Department of Defence, LS Andrew Dakin)

From religion to patriotism: how we see the death of a soldier

Another Australian soldier has tragically lost his life while on his seventh tour in Afghanistan. The 40 year-old special forces soldier from Perth was shot while on a counter-insurgency operation in the…

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