Articles on Ethics

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Human challenge studies can be useful to test new vaccines and are increasingly being used internationally. Yet there are several ethical issues to consider. from www.shutterstock.com

Infecting healthy people in vaccine research can be ethical and necessary

Deliberately infecting people with a disease-causing agent as part of carefully considered medical research can be ethically acceptable or even necessary.
Crowdfunding platforms could create opportunities to partner individual campaigns with philanthropic organizations that address background causes of health-care gaps. (Shutterstock)

Medical crowdfunding supports the wealthy and endangers privacy – here’s how to make it more ethical

Medical crowdfunding raises billions of dollars annually -- mostly for those who already have good jobs and own their own homes.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke at his presidential campaign kickoff rally in Houston, March 30, 2019. AP/David J. Phillip

The case against voting for charisma

Charisma may be a necessary trait for getting elected – but it also discourages voters from independent moral deliberation about a potential leader's qualifications to govern.
On May 16, 2019, Madeleine Munier Apaire (shown here in June 2014), lawyer for Vincent Lambert’s nephew, considered that all remedies were “exhausted”. Eric Feferberg/AFP

Vincent Lambert: what are the legal and ethical issues?

The debate over Mr. Vincent Lambert's decision to discontinue his care overshadowed equally important judicial and ethical issues. A look back at a complex situation that will set a precedent.
Not everyone trusts that science will bring benefits to society. from www.shutterstock.com

Scientists want to build trust in science and technology. The alternative is too risky to contemplate

In Australia, the next government will need to meet the challenge of refreshing the social licence between science, government and the many and diverse communities that make up our nation.
Caster Semenya is legally female, was from birth raised as female and identifies as a female. Jon Connell on flickr

Ten ethical flaws in the Caster Semenya decision on intersex in sport

Athlete Caster Semenya will need to take hormone-lowering agents, or have surgery, if she wishes to continue her career in her chosen events. But the decision to ban her is flawed on many grounds.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau participates in TV interviews after tabling his budget, which included a $595 million financial package for news organizations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

As Ottawa helps the news industry, latest research suggests journalists’ loyalties are tough to buy

The federal budget has offered several initiatives to help Canada's ailing news industry. Does that mean journalists will be compromised by government handouts? New research suggests they won't.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research? Okrasyuk/Shutterstock.com

A case against a moratorium on germline gene editing

Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
CRISPR is a gene editing tool that can create permanent changes in the human genome. from www.shutterstock.com

Experts call for halt to CRISPR editing that allows gene changes to pass on to children

Four months ago a researcher claimed he had used the tool CRISPR to edit the genomes of twin girls. Now prominent researchers and ethicists are calling for a temporary halt to this sort of work.

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